Cynthia McKinney, six-term Democratic Congresswoman, snagged the Green Party nomination for the Presidency in its first round of delegate votes, naming hip-hop activist Rosa Clemente her running mate. A jubilant crowd responded to the relieved candidate, whose path to the nomination has seen some trouble.
The merging of "radical" black politics and "tree-huggin" Greens was never going to be easy. Nevertheless, the struggles were swallowed in the bosoms of hundreds of dancing people in the audience. Members of McKinney's campaign, the other candidates and the Reconstruction Party took the stage.
While the Green Party completes its navigation toward the Cynthia McKinney campaign for President, both candidates Ralph Nader and McKinney have expressed their deep respect for one another and have pledged to continue working on parallel progressive paths. Each of them describes their campaign as a movement. McKinney's campaign will focus on delivering new voters from the hip-hop, Reconstruction communities, arenas that Nader is unlikely to challenge for votes.
Both Nader and McKinney have carefully selected running mates who are youthful and energized, preparing to pass the baton of leadership. We'll report more soon. We have been crushed by deadlines related to our film. Until then, here is Nader's public statement.
RALPH NADER ISSUES STATEMENT ON CYNTHIA MCKINNEY'S NOMINATION
Washington, DC: Independent Presidential candidate Ralph Nader issued the below statement today on the Green Party's nominee for President of the United States, Cynthia McKinney.
"I want to congratulate Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente on winning the Green Party nomination for the Presidency of the United States. I wish them well and hope they go into all 50 states and spread the message of the Green Agenda. The country needs a diversity of voices that are unrelentingly progressive, forthright, candid, and documented in good sound civic values and the wellbeing of all the people.
"Third party candidates usually are more forthright and they highlight social justice issues that are regularly ignored or contravened by the two major parties. As history shows from the anti-slavery Liberty Party of the 1840's to the women's suffrage and farmer and labor parties up to the early 20th century, eventually the big ideas of these little parties break through.
"Although the Nader/Gonzalez and Green Party platforms have many similarities, we are not competing for votes, but instead we are allies joined in a common struggle to tap the huge and growing numbers of millions of unsatisfied voters who want to vote for something better than the lesser of two-evils. The more progressive voices and choices, the more widespread will be the definition of freedom as participation in power.
"In Cynthia McKinney, the Greens have an energetic and courageous candidate unafraid to challenge America to be better for the millions who are marginalized, overcharged, underpaid and ignored by the two-party duopoly. Her vim and vigor offers the Green Party an excellent chance to break through in 2008 and provides voters one more viable alternative to the DemReps. I wish her and Ms. Clemente good luck."