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Ralph Nader Campaigns in Minnesota

September 16, 2004

Photographs and story by Paul Udstrand

All Images Copyrighted

Nader addresses the press


Ralph Nader campaigned in the Twin Cities yesterday afternoon and evening.  Nader visited St. Paul and Minneapolis as part of his independent run for president .  His first stop was in St. Paul, on the campus of Macalaster College.  After a short press conference he addressed several hundred people at Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel.  Nader went on to address a larger crowd of over a thousand at the Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. 


Speaking at Weyeraeuser Chapel


Nader spent much of the evening attacking his traditional foe, corporate dominated government.  At the press conference and in the speeches that followed, Nader attacked the two party duopoly, and answered what must be to him by now, tired questions.  When asked what he is trying to accomplish with his campaign, he claims that he is energizing young people, and provoking critical non duopoly thinking.    Nader also pointed out that he is making necessary criticisms of the Bush presidency that the Democrats are not able or willing to make.  It's on this second point that the Nader campaign takes a dramatic turn from his previous campaigns.  


Campus Democrats outside Weheraeuser


While Nader has offers harsh and unequivocal criticisms of the Bush presidency, he devotes much more time to criticizing the Democratic party.  He refers to the Democrats as the most politically stupid people in the United States, and chastises them for their lack of clarity, passion, and integrity.  All over the country the Democrats have been fighting legal, and according to Nader, some illegal battles to keep him off the ballot.  Nader suggests that if they had spent all that time and energy trying to defeat Bush, and developing a clear popular campaign message, they wouldn't be trailing Bush in the polls.  He promises that when this election is over, win or lose, the Democrats will pay a heavy price for miss directing so much vitriol at his campaign, and having ignored so many core issues that face the United States.   Nader acknowledges that the Democratic machinations have hurt his campaign.  When asked why he thinks his poll numbers are down, he sites the fact that his campaign is just beginning because he's spent the last several months dealing with ballot fights all over the country.  In one of the more dramatic moments of the evening, Nader informed the crowd at the Ted Mann Concert Hall that someone was on site to serve him legal papers regarding a law suit filed against him by the Democrats in the state of Arkansas.  He challenged the server to come up onto the stage and serve him the papers.  No one came forth.

Nader didn't spend the entire evening criticizing the Democrats, or attacking the corporate controlled duopoly.  Nader really hits his stride when he talks about corporate crime, and his platform for change.  While Bush and Kerry may talk of bills they've signed, sponsored, or voted for or against, Nader points directly to lives saved, and legal battles won, and Nader can point to a lot of battles.  Nader offers a clear and unapologetic populist agenda: universal health care, living wages, and responsible withdrawal from Iraq.  His position are well considered, specific, passionately presented, and honest. 

Ray Tricomo, 2002 Green Party Candidate for MN Senate listens to Nader at Macalaster College

Jay Pond, Green Party Candidate for Cogress

Lucy Miller (left) and her mother Helen Miller sell Nader mercandize at the Ted Mann Concer Hall

Philip Locker of the MN Socialists Party tempts passersby with the socialist newspaper

Nader at the University of Minnesota Ted Mann Concer Hall

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