Saturday 26 June 2004
“Cobb’s Safe States Strategy Wins Him Green Party Presidential Nomination” Focus on defeating Bush attracts swing delegates to his candidacy
At the Green Party nominating convention, delegates were evenly split between the nomination of David Cobb and the endorsement of Ralph Nader. So-called ‘no nominee’ delegates broke in Cobb’s favor, securing him and running mate Pat LaMarche the nomination in the second round of voting. The group was swayed by Cobb’s dual goals of defeating Bush through his ‘safe states strategy’ while simultaneously fostering grassroots growth. A ‘safe states strategy’ entails prioritizing campaign activities in those states where either the Democratic or Republican nominee is the clear favorite.
After the first round of voting, no candidate had received the required majority of delegate votes. Over 15% of the total delegates initially voted for ‘no nominee’ and Cobb needed more than half of this group in order to secure the nomination. After an hour of intense caucusing by ‘safe state supporters’ following the first round of votes, enough ‘no nominee’ delegates chose to support Cobb for the nomination.
“As a Green elected official, I recognized early that Cobb’s presidential campaign strategy represented the best chance for growing the party,” said Madison, WI Alderman Austin King, who helped organize ‘no nominee’ delegates. “Not only will he focus our party’s limited resources where they’ll best be used, but his prioritization of grassroots organizing and getting Bush out of office will help more Green candidates win local office in years to come.”
Medea Benjamin, founder of Code Pink and Global Exchange and former Green Party candidate for US Senate (CA), said “I supported David’s nomination because I believe that our party must join in the broader movement to retire Bush this November. A ‘safe states strategy’ will help our party grow without alienating the progressive allies we need in this struggle. Cobb’s nomination, ” she continued, “will undoubtedly help us not only beat Bush but also reach out to peace groups, organized labor, environmental organizations, communities of color and women’s groups.” Benjamin’s stature with the Green Party grassroots was crucial in swaying undecided delegates in Cobb’s favor.
Minority leader of the Providence, RI City Council, David Segal, said, “as an elected official in an urban center, I feel an obligation to ensure Bush’s defeat because his domestic agenda is so terribly destructive. I owe that to my constituents. But I also have loyalties to my party and want it to grow. For me, Cobb was an easy choice as his ‘safe states strategy’ will not interfere with Bush’s defeat and his earnest and energetic commitment to the party will help it flourish.”