Redfern Riled by Nader, Predicts Quarter Million Vote Margin in Ohio

OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: Chris Redfern, the boyish-faced leader of the Ohio Democratic Party who is the new kingmaker for Democratic candidates here, wasted no time blasting Ralph Nader as the man most responsible for putting George W. Bush in the White House in 2000.

Redfern was fielding groundballs from reporters in the filing room at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University, after he and party officials completed their presentation on why they are better positioned and better equipped than the Republicans to take the presidency, congressional and state races in November.


When asked by the ePlurubis Media OhioNews Bureau whether any of the 12 questions that appeared on Nader’s new campaign Website were issues that either Sens. Obama or Clinton had failed to address, Redfern proceeded to lambaste Nader for his role as the primary spoiler for then-Vice President Al Gore losing the White House because he garnered nearly 100,000 votes in the State of Florida, votes Redfern says would otherwise have gone to Gore.

After looking at the questions on Nader’s campaign Website, Redfern said Nader is ruining his reputation, and that if he’s so concerned about issues like a single payer national health insurance system or cutting the huge, bloated, wasteful military budget, he “ought to try working within the system.”

“George Bush won because of Ralph Nader; we’re in the war in Iraq because of Ralph Nader; we have a failed economy because of Ralph Nader; we are sending kids, including my own brother, to war because of Ralph Nader,” Redfern said in a pointed manner. “He may have some good ideas, I’d just like to read about them once or twice,” the ODP chairman said of Nader’s “Holier than thou” attitude that has clearly upset him.

“Each of those questions are just words,” Redfern said of Nader’s questions.


Will Gov. Strickland, who endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton, be the worse for wear if she doesn’t win Ohio? Redfern said Clinton, not Strickland, is on the ballot, and that even though his poll ratings dipped from an approval rating of 61 percent not long ago to 56 percent now, he said Strickland won’t be damaged from it.

“They’ve enjoyed a close personal relationship for about 16 years,” he said of what he thinks will be an enduring tie between them no matter what happens next Tuesday when Ohioans go to the polls.


Even though Redfern’s two aces, Doug Kelley and John Hagner, said the vote in Ohio would be close, 51- 49, Democrat’s advantage, Redfern said the difference between the winner and looser of Ohio will be about 250,000 votes. Considering Kerry lost the state in 2004 by about 118,000, the larger figure shouldn’t give either presidential candidate any room to waste.

John Michael Spinelli is a former Ohio Statehouse government and political reporter and business columnist. He now serves as the OhioNews Bureau Chief for ePluribus Media Journal. Find ONB archives here.

If readers have a news tip or story idea about Ohio politics or government, contact the OhioNews Bureau at:

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keep it coming. Redfern shouldn't have wasted any words at all on Nader:

Nearly one in 10 of Nader's major donors -- those writing checks of $1, 000 or more -- have given in recent months to the Bush-Cheney campaign, the latest documents show. GOP fund-raisers also have "bundled" contributions -- gathering hefty donations for maximum effect to help Nader, who has criticized the practice in the past. [Carla Marinucci/SFGate, 2004]

Credibility rating: zero.

what he said.

the "Nader cost us the election" theme they are spinning their wheels since the only people that buy that story, IMHO, are hardcore Democratic voters/supporters, and even some of them don't buy it.

Everyone else will say Gore should never had conceded until all of the votes were counted (he would have won) OR put up a better candidate/campaign next time around.

Blaming Nader only hurts Dems in the eyes of outsiders. Like it or not, it is seen as a weakness.