Ralph Nader's controversial quest for the presidency received a major boost today as the nation's crash-test dummies pledged their silent support.
Nader, best known in political circles for helping George W. Bush reach the White House in the 2000 election, rose to prominence in the mid-1960s when his book "Unsafe at Any Speed" led to new automobile safety laws.
"This president is a friggin' lemon," Nader told the Humor Gazette, invoking the terminology that made him almost as much of a pariah in the automobile industry as he is now among Democrats who believe his candidacy will help Bush gain re-election.
Appearing Sunday on "Meet the Press," Nader said President Bush ought to be impeached for lying his way into an unnecessary war and for being (actual quote) "a giant corporation in the White House masquerading as a human being."
White House spokesman Scott McClellan responded by giving reporters a nearly illegible fax that he said proves the president is, in fact, a human being.
Nevertheless, many leading Democrats are concerned that Nader's brand of straight talk will siphon votes away from the party's eventual nominee.
Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, leads a long list of influential players who have begged Nader not to run. They include Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, the biggest name reporters could reach on Sunday to badmouth Nader's presidential bid, and comedian Dana Carvey, who said he would prefer to see Texas funnyman Ross Perot enter the race.
Opponents to Nader's candidacy also have set up web sites with names like www.whatthehellareyouthinkingralph.com and www.ohpleasedudenotagain.com.
Nader, who received a lovely thank-you note from President and Mrs. Bush after the 2000 election, is now accusing the president of "high crimes and misdemeanors."
Responding to "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert's question on how he feels about being called a "spoiler," Nader replied, "Gotcha, Tim! You're on my new hidden camera show - The Ralph Nader Ego Trip 2004!"