Ralph Nader's failure to draw a sufficient number of people to a nominating gathering in Portland Monday night was surprising. It could mean one of a number of things. It might mean that many who admire Nader recognize that voting for Nader in the 2004 presidential election will only help re-elect George W. Bush.

Even Nader seems to recognize that dangerous possibility. In response to the question of why he is running in such perilous circumstances, Nader has offered a preposterous prediction that he will take votes from Bush among Republicans. That is exceedingly far-fetched. In fact, Republicans want Nader on the ballot. They are giving Nader money to fuel his candidacy.

In 2000, Nader told us there was no difference between the candidates. Now we know how wrong Nader was and how much the Bush presidency is costing America on a host of fronts.

Nader's presidential campaign is all about ego. It is akin to a movie star who is past his prime. And therein lies the greatest insult of Monday night. Ralph Nader's ego was not stroked.


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