Jewish World Review Dec. 6, 2004 / 23 Kislev, 5765
Nader offers to lead Ukraine
Seeks to heal bitterly divided nation
Plans for a rerun of Ukraine's controversial presidential election were thrown into turmoil today as perennial third-party candidate Ralph Nader threw his hat into the ring, saying that he and only he was qualified to heal the bitterly divided nation.
In Washington and Moscow, where officials had been hoping for an orderly solution to the roiling crisis, Mr. Nader's decision to run for election in Ukraine, a country he has never visited, raised more than a few eyebrows.
But Mr. Nader showed no sign of backing down, even amid concerns that by siphoning off as little as one percent of the vote he could thrust Ukraine into another electoral catastrophe.
Arriving today in downtown Kiev, whose streets have been clogged with angry protesters since the disputed election, Mr. Nader blasted his two opponents, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich and opposition leader Viktor Yuschenko.
"There's not a hyrvna's worth of difference between these two guys," Mr. Nader told the massive crowd. "For starters, their names are both Viktor and their last names both begin with a 'Y.'"
But after Mr. Nader launched into a forty-five-minute speech urging Ukraine to adopt stricter fuel-economy standards for its cars, the protesters started to drift away, many of them going home for the first time in weeks.
Prime Minister Yanukovich later said that Ukrainian security forces had tape-recorded Mr. Nader's speech and will use it in the future to disperse unruly crowds.
Elsewhere, under increasing pressure to explain why she named her twins Phinnaeus and Hazel, actress Julia Roberts said that she "wanted to give schoolyard sadists a head start."
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JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, the first-ever recipient of the National Press Club's Award for Humor, is a former president of the Harvard Lampoon,and a regular humor columnist for Newsweek.com, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville. He is the author of, most recently, "The Borowitz Report : The Big Book of Shockers" Comments by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.
© 2004, Andy Borowitz