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Ralph Goes Rogue: Nader Gives Sarah Palin Props For Populist Speech

In an interview with Salon, Ralph Nader praised Sarah Palin‘s iconoclastic Labor Day speech in which she railed against the “permanent political class” that was cut off from the concerns of regular people. “I think she’s a lot smarter than most people credit her,” said Nader. “Judging by her comments, she is squarely in the camp of conservative populism, opposed to corporatism and its corporate state.”

“When she was governor of Alaska she really did take on the oil industry, and [she also] approved a statewide referendum that resulted in the first state in the Union to regulate cruise lines and their pollution offshore,” he says. “So there is a precursor to these remarks.”

“It’s endlessly elaborative. She could elaborate it with all kinds of newsworthy examples — abuses, prosecutions, convictions,” he says.

That will apply especially if she jumps into the current “corporatist” GOP presidential field, Nader says. “She’ll really draw a line between herself and the others, who will never encroach on this.”

Nader’s surprising compliments to Palin are sure to enflame old wounds from Democrats who remain bitter over the consumer advocate’s quixotic runs for the presidency.

The conservative blogosphere largely saw Nader’s positive comments as being late to the party on Palin’s outsider ideology.

Hot Air‘s Ed Morrissey thought Nader’s view, coupled with a recent New York Times article , reflected a laziness on the part of many to realize Palin’s anti-establishment credentials. “I suspect that the newfound respect from Nader and Salon doesn’t have much to do with surprise as it does with trying to take a few indirect shots at the Republicans running for President,” wrote Morrissey. “If Palin does toss her hat in the ring, don’t expect this late media infatuation with Palin as a smart crusader to last very long.” Ace of Spades said, “I’m not buying the claim put forth by Palin-supporters that good reviews from the NYT and Ralph Nader are suddenly good reasons to support someone.”

(h/t Salon)

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