New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman on Sunday claimed Ralph Nader helped elect "the wrong person" in 2000 - George W. Bush.
Although he praised Ross Perot's third party run in 1992, Friedman failed to mention how that helped elect "the wrong person" that year:
EVENTUALLY the “circular firing squad” that is the Republican primary will be over and the last man standing will be the party’s nominee for president. If that candidate is Rick Santorum, I think there is a good chance a Third Party will try to fill the space between the really “severely conservative” Santorum (or even Mitt Romney) and the left-of-center Barack Obama. It would be fitting. After all, this is the 20th anniversary of Ross Perot’s independent candidacy. Perot won close to 20 percent of the vote, and his success was instrumental in making deficit reduction one of Bill Clinton’s top priorities. An independent candidate in 2012 who was a little more, shall we say, “normal” than Perot could have an equally big impact on the winner. I still don’t know if I’d support an independent. Like others, I worry about electing the wrong person by accident. (See: Ralph Nader and George W. Bush.)
To be sure, Nader had an impact on the 2000 elections garnering 2.7 percent of the popular probably most of which coming from Al Gore.
Yet Friedman ignored Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan's 0.4 percent and Libertarian candidate Harry Browne's 0.4 percent, both probably exclusively taking from Bush.
Would the absence of all three have tipped the scales to Gore? Probably.
But most certainly, the 19.2 percent Perot received in 1992 gave that election to Clinton as the United We Stand movement was largely a conservative one demanding fiscal sanity in Washington.
Without Perot in the race, George H.W. Bush would have easily won reelection.
Not surprisingly, that didn't seem to bother Friedman.
It also seems a metaphysical certitude that if a third party candidate emerged this year taking from the Republican nominee and handing the election to Barack Obama, that wouldn't bother Friedman either.
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