Dr. Jill Stein is campaigning for president of the United States in Paris.
Not Paris, Maine, or Paris, Ohio, or Paris, Va. But the Paris, as in the city in France, where Stein, the Green Party White House hopeful, will push her plan to create living wage jobs and 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, at events related to the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
According to Stein, who is from Lexington, it’s more “strategic” to campaign halfway across the world than in her own backyard, where the lens of the country’s media is trained on New Hampshire with its first-in-the-nation primary in early February.
So, while dozens of lesser-known candidates, including a man who wears a boot on his head (No, seriously: a boot. His name is Vermin Supreme) are taking advantage of the attention to promote their causes, Stein is not.
She abhors the idea.
“These folks are using the machine parties, and they may be libertarian or totally independent or switching around, but they are hanging their hats inside of the machines which gives them the right to be on the ballot,” Stein said in an interview before jetting off to the City of Light. “When you’re on the ballot, people pay attention and the press pay attention, and when you are not the ballot, then they do not.”
Stein’s will not be one of the 58 names on the New Hampshire primary presidential ballot, which is only open to members of the Republican and Democratic parties. It’s not impossible for a candidate from a third party to appear on the primary ballot, but it’s not easy either.
The Green Party must first run a candidate for New Hampshire governor or US Senate, and that candidate must earn 4 percent of the vote, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Then it can apply for a spot on the next presidential primary ballot. Or, the party can submit the signatures of about 15,000 registered voters who cast ballots in the last general election to appear on the ballot in the next one.
But that’s not happening, considering the Green Party of New Hampshire is pretty much nonexistent.
“The system is very biased against independent voices,” Stein said. “The rules in New Hampshire speak volumes for the hurdles put in the way of independent candidates to reach out to voters.”
But remember: It’s not impossible. The Libertarian Party and Constitutional Party managed to pull it off in the general election in New Hampshire in 2012. Stein ran for president as the Green Party’s nominee that year on the ballot in other states.
So, while Stein said New Hampshire is “not a strategic use of our time,” Paris, some 3,435 miles away, apparently is.