I actually had to look up wether Nader ran in 2004 or not because I honestly could not remember. He did, and took an easy-to-forget-about 0.4% of the popular vote. I can't imagine he'll take any more than that in November, so I think his running is largely a non-issue as far as his potential to steal votes from the Democratic nominee.
What I am afraid of is Obama now being able to try to position himself as a moderate, as someone to the right of Nader and to the left of McCain. In an effort to curb that from happening though, here's my question to those that view Obama as a moderate:
What policies do you want Obama to enact that Nader wouldn't also enact?
Iraq? Government healthcare? Sticking it to corporations?
And wouldn't an independent candidate be more of a change than a Republican or Democrat?
Even listen to Nader's rhetoric:
You take that framework of people feeling locked out, shut out, marginalized and disrespected. You go from Iraq, to Palestine to Israel, from Enron to Wall Street, from Katrina to the bumbling of the Bush administration.
Tack on "And you know, it's time for change. It's time for hope. Yes we can." to the end and I think you've got the beginnings of an Obama speech.
And then you could even add on some more Nader-rhetoric: "[We must have the] fortitude to stand up to corporate powers and get things done for the American people. We have to shift the power from the few to the many." Hope. Change. Yeswecan.