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Ralph Nader not ruling out 2012 presidential bid

It's not like Republicans need more good news right now, but here it is. Ralph Nader, who has mounted five campaigns for president -- four of them as a third-party spoiler -- declined to rule out a 2012 bid during an interview with former New York City public advocate Mark Green.

In the interview, flagged by Celese Katz of the New York Daily News, Green asked Nader, point blank, whether he'd run in 2012.

"I want the progressive agenda to be on the ballot," Nader said. "I'd rather have someone else do it, like Jim Hightower or Mark Green. I've really lost faith that the Republicans (sic) will even support progressives in their own party."

That's not a "no." Green declined his interest in a third party bid as soon as Nader finished speaking, and Hightower isn't the kind of name you drop if you're actually looking at a political successor. Nader, who will turn 78 in 2012, began the Obama era by asking whether the first black president would become an "uncle tom for the corporations," and followed that up with a utopian novel (of disputable literary merit) about billionaires saving the world from conservatives. He is, in other words, a flawed vessel for whatever progressive anger against Democrats exists in 2012. But he's not ruling out a run. And at least one current tea party leader has experience in helping him get onto the ballot.

By David Weigel  |  June 21, 2010; 1:20 PM ET
Categories:  2012 Election  
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