Don’t let DNC chief Terry McAuliffe‘s hangdog look fool you. He’s privately thrilled that consumer gadfly Ralph Nader is in the 2004 presidential race.
“All you had to do was look at Ralph’s shtick on Meet the Press to see why we’re happy,” says a DNC research staffer. “He’s going to make Kerry or Edwards seem downright level-headed and moderate.”
According to the DNC staffer, McAuliffe is willing to lose some of the Deaniac votes that may roll back to Nader around the country in return for having Nader jawing at the camera in the same venues as the Democratic candidates.
“The public will see Nader up there talking about how corporations are unpatriotic, and about how Washington is a company town, and all of a sudden, Kerry doesn’t look as extreme as he would were Nader not there,” says the DNC staffer. “Bush is going to have a hard time painting Kerry as the great liberal demon with Nader right there. What’s he going to do call ’em, ‘liberal’ and ‘liberaler’? It can’t work.”