Occupy the White House

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson talks about the presidential campaign of Green Party political veteran Jill Stein.

By Kris Kitto

If Green Party political veteran Jill Stein were to visit Occupy Boston several times, and if she were to describe the Occupy Wall Street movement’s grievances as “synergistic” with her own policy beliefs, and if she were to unveil her campaign for the 2012 presidential race at the height of the national movement’s growth, would that make her the country’s first Occupy Wall Street candidate?

Others might use simple logic to come to a “yes” conclusion, but Stein says no.

“I would not [say I’m an Occupy Wall Street candidate], because I think they have to decide who their candidate is,” Stein says in a phone interview from Boston, her hometown.

But in the same breath, she highlights the seamlessness between her candidacy and the Occupy Wall Street movement, describing the warm reception she received when she stopped by the Occupy Chicago base during a recent campaign trip through Illinois. . .

While (former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph) Nader had name recognition before entering electoral politics, “when you pick Jill Stein, you’re starting from zero,” says Southern Methodist University political science Professor Cal Jillson, noting that the only third-party presidential candidate to win was Abraham Lincoln in 1860.

What’s more, Jillson says, “the dominant parties write the rules for the participation of third-party candidates, and they write them in a way as to make it as difficult for them as possible to participate.”

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