Focus Point - A Political Dilemma

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis

Al Gore got a potentially nasty bit of news recently when Ralph Nader accepted the green party nomination for president. In the past, the greens have come in below other third parties, but grumblings on the left, a rise of no-nothingism in such areas as free trade, and a big-name candidate like Nader could put the greens on the map. He's attacking the hustings this time with vigor, and it's paying off: he's polling six percent nationally and ten percent in some states.

He's trying to build what he calls a "blue-green" coalition - traditional blue-collar democrats and leftist greens. He's even made inroads in the auto unions. And unlike Ross Perot's mischief in '92 -- Perot sucked votes about equally from Clinton and the elder Bush -- Nader will draw from liberal democrats.

So what's Gore to do? Pretend Nader doesn't exist, or swerve left and alienate moderate democrats?

Now there's a political dilemma.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, thoughts for the fourth.