Saturday, March 31, 2007

Musings on Presidential Politics

I have posted a couple of entries at Green Commons concerning the search for a Green Party presidential candidate. It seem that everyone has a gut feel that we need a candidate with national name recognition and that is a very limiting fact. Those with the name recognition and a real desire to win the presidency will not be likely to abandon the Democratic Party for the Greens. It may be more useful to seek that in a well known disgruntled Republican, like Pete McCloskey.

This week, the speculation arose about a rumored conversation between Nader and Al Gore in which Nader supposedly tried to interest Gore in running for President as a Green. Coming so close to April 1, I would hazard a guess that this was something that was "leaked" earlier than was intended. Still, it did appear in Insight Magazine. It was even discussed at the center of Democratic bloggins, DailyKos.

So, the list of possible candidates with a national name recognition is now:
  • Elaine Brown
  • Al Gore?????
  • Dennis Kucinich?????
  • Cynthia McKinney?????
  • Ralph Nader
  • Cindy Sheehan
Note: All of those with the ????? are Democrats. While all three have expressed some frustration with the current state of affairs in this country, or even with the Democratic Party, only McKinney has shown any interest in talking to Greens, with Greens on any occasion.

Note 2: Of that list, only Elaine Brown has announced that they are a candidate.

I have my personal doubts that we will have any luck in getting any of those Democrats to actually run as a Green. Based on previous statements and committments, we know that Kucinich will not abandon the Democratic Party. I doubt that McKinney will either. We know that Nader will not join the Green Party.

Maybe the best course is to make this a campaign of issues rather than personalities, to define the issues around which we want to run this campaign, and then to select the candidate who can best articulate those issues. We might field a different candidate if we want to make the Peace the number one issue as opposed to global warming / environment as opposed to corruption and excessive corporate power.

Personally, I would like to have seen Winona LaDuke remain more active in Green Party politics. She is also a candidate that I could very easily support.

1 comment:

Gregg Jocoy said...

Hey Wes.

I think that we could do much worse than Elaine Brown. I think I would prefer Cindy Sheehan only because she would have an easier shot at getting on the Daily Show. Sadly, that is the sort of thinking I believe we must do to get our message out.

If we run a candidate with little name recognition then I think we really must run someone who has a base of support. Ms. Brown offers that, although I have no idea how strongly her supporters feel about the race.

For example, if we do as you suggest and focus on environmental issues, it might make sense to ask the head of the Sierra Club or another high profile environmental group to consider a run. Likewise, a peace candidate might best be someone with a background there, such as Rev. Lowery. If labor issues are the focus, perhaps the president of SEIU or the AFL-CIO could be approached.

I continue to believe that it would be perfectly acceptable, and perhaps very advantageous to allow each state to decide whom to run. That way we here in South Carolina could nominate a "Favorite Daughter" and have a full-time campaigner right here in the state instead of having to "share" with states who have more dollars, media, Greens and votes than we do here.