Inaugural Ideas: Second Thoughts for Third Parties
You'll never guess who really, really wants to go to the inauguration: Ralph Nader.
The sometimes cantankerous outsider has sent an open letter to Barack Obama asking that third-party candidates -- the Libertarian Party's Bob Barr, the Constitution Party's Chuck Baldwin and the Green Party's Cynthia McKinney -- be included among the Democrats, Republicans, business execs and others at the January ceremonies.
"I have not spoken to any of them about this recommendation," Nader writes. "To avoid any semblance of self-interest, I will delete my name from this list and watch the event on C-SPAN."
Oh, c'mon -- the man's dying for an invite.
Nader called us to elaborate: "In other Western European countries, it's a political courtesy to have their competitors. It's a demonstration of unity." Er, competitors? Obama and John McCain got 123 million votes combined; other presidential candidates received a total of 1.5 million votes nationwide, with Nader in the lead at 685,000.
Nader assumes that both McCain and Sarah Palin will have some role in the inaugural weekend and, frankly, seems to want some of the same respect. The swearing-in? "That's the best and most visible," he said. "I don't expect to be invited to an inaugural ball."
If the president-elect does cough up a ticket, will Nader behave? "I don't have to be asked to be respectful," he chided us.
The Reliable Source
November 14, 2008; 1:03 AM ET
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