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Cornel West
  • Ralph Nader Is Already Figuring Out How to Ralph Nader Up This Election

    An old bit of I'm-not-so-certain-how-true-it-actually-is electoral wisdom states that it is incredibly difficult to unseat an incumbent president unless he has to face a strong contender in his party's primaries. (Think of Teddy Kennedy back in 1980.) Just wanted to provide you with a little bit of optimism that you can roll around in your head while continuing work on the Rick Perry fallout chamber you're building in your backyard. (Still not sure how you're planning on stocking eight years worth of 1st Degree Burn Blazin' Jalapeno Doritos down there, but I assume you've got stuff all worked out.)

    Oh, on a totally unrelated topic, Ralph Nader and Cornel West are looking to mount a half dozen campaigns against Obama next year

    The group said Saturday it is seeking six "recognizable, articulate" candidates who would not mount serious challenges to Obama, but "rigorously debate his policy stands" on issues related to labor, poverty, foreign policy, civil rights and consumer protections.

    [Ralph] Nader said Saturday it is "very unlikely" he would challenge Obama, and that he is gauging the interest of former lawmakers and governors, academics, authors and labor leaders.

    "I just want all these liberal, progressive agendas to be robustly debated. Otherwise, there will be a de facto blackout of their discussion" during next year’s campaign, Nader said.

    Running as a third party candidate? Bah! That's so 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. Primary running! That's the wave of the future. Get in early, fuck shit up asap, and then get out so that you can start making plans for the next election in four years.

    I do, however, empathize with Nader here. I think I share a lot of people's disappointment and frustration with President Obama, so I can totally see why you'd want to force him to publicly address progressives' concerns and make campaign promises to not keep. I respect Nader, and I think a lot of good can come from his efforts.

    For one thing, I'm looking forward to having less-complicated negative feelings about the president once again. I'm really looking forward to disliking President Perry.

    Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

    Tags: Barack Obama, Cornel West, Democrats, Primaries, Ralph Nader
  • Anticipated Ad Campaigns


    Washington is no different from Hollywood — it's full of famous names, ruthless backstabbers, and gossip bloggers willing to grossly exaggerate any anecdote to boost their readership. As former United States Senate Pages, Dylan and Ethan Ris were privy to backroom dealings, power grabs, and scandals that would make even Eliot Spitzer blush. Join the Pages as they get the dish on not just the presidential race but all the exciting triumphs and disgraces inside, outside, and below the Beltway!

    Well folks, we Pages would like to thank the good people of West Virginia for keeping the Democratic presidential race alive! From here on out, the campaign boils down to TV advertising as the candidates' final chance to sell themselves to voters. Knowing as much, Congressional Confidential has consulted our sources, weighed the intangibles, and is now ready to reveal our anticipated ad campaigns for each of the remaining states!


    (May 20)

    Hillary Clinton
    Title: "Run for the Roses"
    Synopsis: Clinton enters the shot on horseback, wearing a jockey helmet and vest over her horsehair pantsuit. She recaps the Presidential campaign using Kentucky Derby metaphors and pounds a mint julep shot before trotting away.
    Music: Dan Fogelberg — "Run for the Roses"

    Barack Obama
    Title: "Summer Reading"
    Synopsis: Obama is seen sipping cognac in the Harvard faculty lounge. Setting down his copy of Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy, he offers a brief contrast of the physical and metaphysical symbolism of American Flag pins.
    Music: Feist — "We Shall Overcome"


    (May 20)

    Hillary Clinton
    Title: "Timber!"
    Synopsis: Clinton is shown operating a chainsaw as she fells a redwood in southern Oregon. Brushing woodchips from her camouflage pantsuit, she recounts the hardships of her third cousin toiling in an Oregon sawmill as a summer job in 1966.
    Music: Celine Dion — "Truck Drivin' Man"

    Barack Obama
    Title: "A Long, Strange Trip"
    Synopsis: Grainy late-70s footage of Obama hitchhiking in Indonesia. Surrounded by friends from his madrassa, he sports bellbottoms and an Afro. He holds a sign reading “America or bust!” with a Marcel Proust quote scrawled beneath it.
    Music: Ozomatli feat. Professor Cornel West — "(If You’re Going To) San Francisco"


    (June 1)

    Hillary Clinton
    Title: "A Little Bit of the Captain in Her"
    Synopsis: Clinton swabs the deck of a campaign donor’s yacht. Wearing a banana leaf pantsuit, she describes the executive branch using boat crew metaphors. She takes a giant swig from a liter bottle of Captain Morgan's and approves the message as the shot fades to black.
    Music: Van Halen — "I'm The One"

    Barack Obama
    Title: "Footprints in the Sand"
    Synopsis: Obama, barefoot and shirtless in ripped jean shorts, walks along the beach as multi-ethnic children frolic in the surf ahead of him. In the distant background, we see a stone-induced splash from a Mike Gravel commercial filming on the same beach.
    Music: Yanni – "Age of Aquarius"


    (June 3)

    Hillary Clinton
    Title: "Home on the Range"
    Synopsis: Clinton, wearing a rawhide leather pantsuit, stands beside cowboys before a roaring bonfire. She raises a toast to the common man, shotguns a beer, and then dramatically throws her Wellesley College diploma into the flames as the cowboys cheer.
    Music: Kid Rock — "Cowboy"

    Barack Obama
    Title: "Nature's Miracle"
    Synopsis: Obama stands in attendance at the waterbirth of his daughter. As his nude, submerged wife Michelle shuts her eyes and bears down, Obama bestows Hawaiian leis upon attending guests Cindy Sheehan and Tony Rezko.
    Music: Sarah McLaughlin — "Kumbaya"


    (June 3)

    Hillary Clinton
    Title: "My Fellow Americans"
    Synopsis: Clinton appears on a movie set depicting the Oval Office. She accepts the Democratic nomination and pledges to appoint Barack Obama to the position of Junior Senator from Illinois. Bill, Chelsea, and Terry McAuliffe assemble at her side and their faces magically morph into a refashioned Mount Rushmore.
    Music: Lesley Gore — "It’s My Party"

    Barack Obama
    Title: "A Whole New Me"
    Synopsis: Obama is shown in the mirror trying on lipstick, rouge, and women's clothing. He briefly considers a burqa before deciding against it. He is careful to affix an American flag lapel to his outfit by the commercial's end.
    Music: James Blunt — "You’re Beautiful"

    Tags: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Congressional Confidential, Cornel West, Hillary Clinton, Kentucky, Michelle Obama, Mike Gravel, Montana, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Terry McAuliffe, Tony Rezko