Monday, September 27, 2004

Nader plays crucial role in reelection plan

Nader plays crucial role in reelection plan
Miami Herald

Glenda Hood is sleeping easier these days, now that Ralph Nader is back on the ballot in Florida.

Still, it was a close call for the ex-Orlando mayor and Republican stalwart who was hand-picked by Gov. Jeb Bush to succeed Katherine Harris as secretary of state, overseer of elections.

Harris' glazedly obedient, Stepford-wife performance during the 2000 vote debacle has been a tough act to follow, but Hood shows promise.

First came the infamous purge of felons from Florida's voting rolls. The list of vanquished conveniently failed to include thousands of Hispanics, who tend to vote Republican.

The scheme was hurriedly scrapped after African-American groups and others pointed out the rather glaring bias.

The Nader maneuver turned out sweeter for Hood, although for a few days it appeared that she was in danger of letting the team down.

Nader rescued Bush four years ago, and he's back again, completing his bizarre descent from iconic consumer crusader to petulant, ego-addled spoiler. He won't win more than 3 percent nationally, but that's all the buffer that the GOP may need.