Before he hits Denver, Ralph Nader defends his candidacy -- again

As Ralph Nader continues his fifth campaign for the presidency, he joins an elite club of independent mainstays—Gus Hall for the U.S. Communist Party (4 runs), Howard Phillips for the Constitution Party (3 runs), Norman Thomas for the Socialist Party (6 runs). Nader’s message, like his rumpled suits, has changed little over the years—mostly, he says, because neither major party has taken him up on his invitations to merge aspects of his platform with theirs. Now 74, he laps youngsters like Barack Obama, 47, and John McCain, 71, but has no intentions of slowing down. No word yet on whether this will be Nader’s last run for the White House or whether he’s already printing up Nader ’12 and Nader ’16 stickers.

Here, Nader discusses his contempt for the policies of the two major party candidates, itemizes why Obama is nothing new for the Democrats, and, as always, defends his candidacy.

Westword (Joe Horton): If, as you described in 2000, Al Gore and George Bush were “Tweedledee and Tweedledum,” what are McCain and Obama this year?