Day Four of the Nader Candidacy, and, at first glance, nobody seems to be doing handsprings.

David Broder of The Washington Post dismisses as “malarkey” Nader’s claim that his presence in the race won’t ultimately benefit George W. Bush. Karenna Gore Schiff, writing today on The Wall Street Journal’s op-ed page (subscription required for link), thinks Nader’s decision to run is an “awful idea” for the same reason Broder cites.

But wait!

There is one commentator out there positively elated that Ralph has stormed the gates. We’ll let you guess who that might be with this line: “In an era when every politician’s naked ego is muffled by euphemism, his blood-minded announcement was the political version of unprotected sex.”

Now there’s political writing that had to have a few Washington Post readers choking on their cornflakes.

Still not sure of the pundit’s identity? Here’s another hint: “One can only imagine the extent of Nader’s simmering rage as he watched the rise of [Howard] Dean on the flickering black-and-white TV in his Spartan apartment.”

Who else but Tina Brown? At last the tart-tongued, sharp-nailed Brit has weighed in with a unique (to put it mildly) take on the Nader candidacy. Says Tina: ‘Tis “better for the Democrats to fret about Nader than to start bugging Kerry to be more exciting.” Nine months of Kerry, writes Brown, would make us all crave for some “nuthouse distraction.”

In Brown’s fevered imagination, the previously colorless Nader has morphed into a “new political streaker,” racing stark naked across a political landscape that was clearly starting to bore Her Divaship.

Susan Q. Stranahan

Susan Q. Stranahan wrote for CJR.