From MSNBC.com's Andy Merten
For Ralph Nader, there are two ways to win.
"I'm interested in the issues," he told MSNBC.com in an interview this week. "There's two ways to succeed: One way is to beat them by getting more votes, and we could turn this into a three-way race," he insisted, adding, "And the second is to have them take our issues and run with them."
But Nader, who announced his fifth presidential candidacy on Meet the Press last month, isn't holding his breath for McCain, Clinton or Obama to become mouth pieces for his pro-consumer, high corporate oversight presidential platform any time soon. Asked if Obama's message of change quelled his frustration with two-party domination, he said he doesn't see any real differences between the Illinois senator and his presidential opponents.
"I think he's a corporate Democrat," he said of Obama, likening him to Clinton and McCain. "As a senator, he has not championed the cause of consumers and workers against corporations.
"If people don't make demands on him or whoever else is running for the major party nominations, if they win, they won't have any mandate. And they'll go into a place called the White House, which is a very elaborate and nice corporate prison."
VIDEO: Ralph Nader speaks with MSNBC.com about his platform of consumer advocacy.
But Nader doesn't seem delusional about his likelihood of winning the presidency later this year. After all, he garnered just 0.38% of the vote in 2004 after receiving 2.74% in 2000. (He is still seen by many Democrats as having cost Al Gore the election, particularly in Florida.) Instead, Nader likens his candidacy to political movements of the past that have spurred larger social change.
"Don't vote for the Liberty Party's anti-slavery; it's never going to win. Don't vote for the Women's Right to Vote Party; it's never going to win," he said sarcastically. "Those great social justice issues would've been delayed and delayed if it wasn't for those small parties.
"So as a tug boat candidacy, we're going to push these parties, but we'd like to push it into a three-way race."