Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Return of Al Gore!?

Despite his earlier statements to the contrary, it is starting to look increasingly likely that Albert Gore Jr. will make another run (his third) for the Presidency. Last October, I posted a link to an online "Draft Gore" petition. The petition received thousands of signatures, but I'm not sure if Mr. Gore is even aware of it.

Let's look at some of the reasons why Gore should run. First and foremost, he won the election in 2000. It is not Democratic sour grapes to say that Gore was robbed. He was. But even if you disagree with that, you can't dispute that Mr. Gore received more votes than the "Decider in Chief," and more votes than any previous candidate for President had ever received. Now, six years later, with Bush's job approval rating hovering in the low 30s, millions of Americans who voted for Bush would gladly change their vote if that were somehow possible. The country is starting to realize the gravity of the error made by the Supreme Court when they handed the presidency to George W. Bush. Who knows how different America and the world would be if the Court had followed the law and the will of the people instead of their own personal, partisan preference?

Gore ran a bad campaign in 2000. That goes without saying. I don't recall a single time during that campaign where he even mentioned the environment -- and that was his defining issue. He was years, if not decades, ahead of the curve on the negative impact of global warming. Apparently, Gore's advisers thought that was a losing issue. Those advisers should not be re-hired.

Al Gore is one of the most qualified men ever to seek high office. Prior to Dick Cheney assuming the Vice Presidency, Gore was considered to have been the most powerful VP in history. He had a number of key policy initiatives that he ran from the VP's office, and was instrumental in many of the economic and foreign policy successes of the Clinton Administration. He should have coasted into office. Remember the peace and prosperity? Remember the billions of dollars in surplus? Remember the respect America enjoyed throughout the world? It's all disappeared thanks to the disastrous decisions made by the current administration.

The combination of Gore's poor political advice and the taint of Clinton's scandal, made many decide to give the new guy ("W") a try. I hope that was the last time America takes a risk on a man with no experience, no vision, and no ability to lead or govern. America: You fucked up. I didn't, of course. Don't blame me -- I voted for Gore!

In 2000, Gore's image was damaged by the same hateful, right-wing media machine that swift-boated John Kerry in 2004. There were so many misstatements and lies being spouted by the Rush Limbaughs, the Mary Matalins, and the Sean Hannity's of the world -- not to mention Fox News and the rest of the media -- that it's no wonder people had a negative impression of Gore. He did little to correct the record, and some of those impressions still remain. I doubt Gore would be as tame in regards to his record this time around.

However, Gore has done a lot to rehabilitate his image over the course of the last few years. He has delivered many powerful and effective speeches critical of the Bush Administration, has just completed a new feature film about global warming -- An Inconvenient Truth -- and has appeared on Saturday Night Live to poke fun at his old, stiff demeanor. His most recent appearance was a "what would have happened if..." skit showing Gore as President ticking off all of the problems his leadership had solved. It was quite hilarious. But it also gave a tiny glimpse into how life in America could have been had the correct decision been made in 2000.

The possibility of a Gore run in 2008 was thought to have been just the fantasy of a few left-wing bloggers. But that "fantasy" could become a reality. The media is now taking the idea seriously; as are many Democratic activists who are worried about the viability of a Hillary Clinton candidacy. The buzz on Gore is written about here, here, and here. The big oil lobby is already on the attack against Al Gore -- a sure sign they are worried about what a Gore Presidency might mean for their future. In today's The Hill newspaper, Fox News pundit, political strategist, and former Clinton pollster Dick Morris says 2008 could be Gore's year.

I'm ready for it. The country is ready for it. Al Gore may end up being the only hope the Democrats have for reclaiming the White House in 2008.


Snave said...

Great post, Howard!

I am one of those who is very worried about a Hillary Clinton candidacy. I don't think she would have a snowball's chance of winning a presidential election... I think the right wing media would have a field day with her, and her well would be quickly poisoned to the point where McCain or whoever would whip her in a landslide. Kerry lost too recently to have much of a chance, and the swift-boaters would be out in even greater numbers should Kerry run again. I think the kookballs would have a much tougher time skewering Gore, or someone else besides him, Kerry or Clinton.

Of those three, Gore would be my choice. I believed in him in 00, and I would do likewise in 08.

Al said...

I agree. Unfortunately for Hillary, there are many males who would not support her democratic or otherwise. I don't think the US is quite ready for a female leader (from either party). Perhaps in another 50 - 100 yrs as our country evolves. Especially from the de - evolution it has undergone in the dark ages or the bush ages.

Jim Marquis said...

I would definitely consider A.G. again. I think the country might be ready to embrace a candidate who actually gives a damn about the environment. And there are probably a lot of moderates and independents who regret voting for Dumbya in 2000 and would like to atone for it.

Howard Davis said...

Al - I don't think it will be 50 or 100 years before the US is ready for a female leader. I think it will be less than that. I'm not one of those that think it is impossible for Hillary to win. There are a couple of scenarios where I think she could win. I just don't think she would do as well as "real" Gore campaign. Hillary can do the focus-group tested, Republican-lite campaign, and Gore can talk about the environment and remind everyone how much they fucked up in 2000!

I could easily handle a Hillary presidency, but I really want the Dems to win. None of the top tier candidates are too objectionable. Can we bring back Bob Kerry or Jerry Brown?