Stop Nader With Kucinich: A Note to Terry McAuliffe

Feb. 23, 2004

Dear Terry,
Did you get the check? There’s a lot more where that came from. We’ve put together an informal little band of brothers and sisters called Sane Leaders Against W, and we’re loaded. I’m talking about over 150 executives on a mission, Terry, each of whom can fill a $2,000 per plate gig. But we’re thinking bigger than that. Soros hasn’t figured this one out. Do I have your attention?

But listen, Terry, before we roll this machine out, we need to have a serious talk about Ralph Nader. I know, he’s a nutcase and a conspiracy theorist. Did you see him on TV claiming that Operation Iraqi Freedom was all about oil? I sprayed frappucino all over my family when he said that, Terry. That he doesn’t know this Iraqi fling was all about cutting my people out of the contracts tells you how in the know this citizen is.

But the thing is, Terry, people fall for his lines, and this isn’t even speculation here. He beat us last time. He beat us last time. He beat us last time and we need to prevent that happening again. Al Gore ran a magnificent campaign. You could hardly have asked for a better candidate, and I do not think John is going to do significantly BETTER. I mean Edwards of course. Or Kerry for that matter. How could they top Al’s performance?

And they can’t appeal to the sort of people who vote for Nader anyway. Now, John’s little trick of being “against NAFTA” while stating for the record clear as day on his website that he will keep NAFTA in place and proceed with the FTAA is masterful. I hand it to him and you and the Party. But it won’t stop Nader. He beat us last time, Terry.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. No, don’t go imagining that I’m going to turn Republican. You know what my Daddy would have thought of that! I’m a Democrat. That’s the important thing to keep in mind when you read what I’m about to tell you. We are all Democrats. Even Dennis Kucinich is a Democrat.

I know what you’re going to say. I know it. He went against the Party. He got two-thirds of the Democrats in the House to vote against the war. He’s a short vegetarian who scares away money, I know. But listen to me, I’ve talked to him. And I’ve got the money that says he can stop Nader and win this for the Democrats. How many times have we tried to push him out. If he’s not a loyal Democrat, who is? And Nader has stated in no uncertain terms that if Dennis gets the nomination he’ll support him.

That’s the upside, Terry, we win. What’s the downside? We end the Iraq occupation? Who needs it! We can’t afford it anyway. And why should we be the party in office when the draft starts? We’re not thinking, Terry. Desperate times!

Here’s a quote from the Chicago Trib on Oct. 27, 2003: “Fully 57 percent of Democratic voters said they would favor a candidate who opposed the congressional resolution that authorized the war against Iraq, compared with 22 percent who said they would support candidates who backed the resolution. Kerry, Edwards, Lieberman and Gephardt voted for it; Kucinich voted against it.” We didn’t read this carefully, Terry. We stuck it in the bottom of a birdcage.

What else? We repeal the PATRIOT Act? Who’s going to mind? Half the blessed cities and a couple of red states have passed local measures against the damn thing. What does that tell you?

Now, here’s the big one. We completely lose the health insurance industry. We can ride that out, Terry. And here’s why. 62 percent of Americans, according to ABC and the Washington Post want the single-payer plan that Dennis is pushing – and 10,000 doctors. We can do a lot with 10,000 doctors. And – remember, it’s time to think outside the box – those 45 million people who have no health insurance can be registered to vote. I kid you not. We can do it. Millions more are close to having no insurance or have lousy insurance. They can win this for us.

And what about Dennis’ jobs program. That’s a winner that goes way beyond what John can do. And when it’s attacked as left wing, here’s what we do. First we play up FDR. Yes, why shouldn’t we? Have you ever seen the Republicans too scared to play up their greatest president, or their worst for that matter? Second, we reveal Dennis’ plan to lower most people’s taxes. Technically, he revealed it months ago, but nobody noticed – did you?

See, we can sell the free preschool and free college stuff if we’re lowering taxes, Terry. It’s win-win-win. Do you get it? And we do it without a war hero. Yes, we attack the phony flight suit stunts of the AWOL cowboy, and not by comparing them to someone who fought in a war that everybody thinks was a crime. We do it by comparing them to the one guy who stood up and said Bush was lying about the weapons of mass destruction. We make the financial savings of ending the war and controlling Pentagon waste a positive. Hell, Terry, if you give people free college they’ll probably agree. We’re running FDR, Truman, and Wilson against a moron who couldn’t find oil in Texas. What are we holding back for?

Nader is a wake up call for all of us. He can’t be shut out because he is anti-corporate, and people love being anti-corporate. A Harris poll last year said 80 percent of Americans think big companies have too much power in Washington. 80 percent. 80 percent. Think about it. We can’t ignore that 80 percent of the country and not have a Nader problem.

Dennis is one inch shorter than Howard Dean. We can get around the height thing, trust me. And he brings Ohio with him, not a few mountains with cows and ice cream. I’ve talked to him, Terry. I’ve talked to his staff. One of them told me that she used to go to Cleveland Browns games and the team would fall behind, the stadium would empty out, and then the Browns would come back and win it. That’s Dennis. Every office he’s held he’s beat an incumbent Republican for. Every victory has been a surprise. We give this guy a surprise nomination, and he’ll roll right over W. He’ll excite people, like Nader does. We’ll fill stadiums like Nader does – and we’ll sell box seats.

Yours Truly

P.S.: If you back off because he accepts same-sex marriage, I will refuse to wear the boots next time, Terrance.

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