Former San Francisco Board of Supervisors member (and mayoral candidate) Matt Gonzalez will be Ralph Nader’s running mate.
Gonzalez is just the sort of political figure I would like to see the Green Party build on: Someone with actual prior electoral experience. That he had that experience while an affiliated Green is even more a plus. However, given that Nader is running as an independent and not as a Green, I wonder if this could be a bridge-burning move for Gonzalez with the Green Party. I hope not.1
Regarding Green candidates for prominent office with a record of electoral experience, the first Green I can recall voting for was Dan Hamburg for California Governor, in 1998. Hamburg previously had been a Democratic member of Congress from a closely divided district on the state’s north coast. His journey seems subsequently to have taken him rather far from politics, Green or otherwise.
Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is an announced Green presidential pre-candidate. For various reasons I have doubts about her being any more serious about party-building–or any more likely to be effective at it–than Nader is at this point,2 but that is a topic for another day.
One can debate whether the Green Party should run a presidential candidate,3 but despite his being on the ballot as a pre-candidate in the 5 February Green primary in California,4 Nader is not actually part of that debate as far as I can tell. I could certainly see a basis for a Greens for Obama push, though I do not think it should be unconditional.5
In other third-party/independent news, Michael Bloomberg says he’s not running.
- See Wes’s thoughts on this at California Greening. [↩]
- I believe Nader was serious in 2000, and I supported him on that basis. [↩]
- And, frankly, I have no interest in debating with those who believe that the only thing a Green can do is get out of the way of the Democrats. [↩]
- He won more than 60% of the roughly 28,000 votes cast, despite not having announced he was a candidate. [↩]
- I know that realistically, it would be, alas. And that few activist Greens would go for it, in any case. Alas. [↩]