Falling in Love, Again
Memories play tricks on us. Contrary to what I said here, I did fall a little bit in love with Al Gore when he made his acceptance speech in 2000. Watching his latest speech reminded me of that fact. Reminded me that I enjoy listening to him speak. And this past Monday, I fell just a bit more in love with him.
He looked healthy. Spoke passionately. Intelligently. Didn't cut Democratic officeholders any slack. But most of all, he has never appeared more authentic. Of course, he has always been more authentic than Clinton or GWB have ever been. That may account for why I’ve always been bored by Bill’s speeches. In addition to being inauthentic, GWB is stiff, has awkward speech mannerisms and is obviously not intelligent, thus making it sheer torture to watch one of his speeches.
A few days ago I was ready to write Gore off for 2008. Didn’t think he had it in him to try again after eight years out of office as Nixon did in 1968. Ready to conclude that the only Democrat with sufficient experience and expertise in government and elective office that he/she would have a good chance to win and could reasonably be expected to be an effective POTUS was Feingold. Against McCain, Feingold would have a fighting chance. The same cannot be said for Hillary, Kerry, Warner or Edwards. (And now it looks as if Daschle is considering a run -- hasn’t anyone told him that he couldn’t win a re-election bid in South Dakota for god’s sake?)
If Democrats don’t begin with the assumption that the GOP will do whatever it takes to hold onto the WH in ’08 (unless they decide that the mess is so big that it‘s better to pass the hot potato to a DEM), they will risk underestimating them and losing again. Assume they’ll go with McCain. Twelve years of Reagan/Bush created serious problems that had to be addressed by Clinton (a task that he wasn’t up to which is why we lost Congress in 1994). However, that was child’s play compared to the mess that Bush/Cheney will leave behind. That’s not a job for a Democratic political lightweight. It will be a most difficult assignment even for a highly skilled Democratic politician that also has in-depth knowledge of the federal government. The challenge will be different but no less daunting than what FDR faced in 1933. Will be so large that a highly skilled VP that can manage a large portion of the task will also be necessary.
Al Gore demonstrated on Monday that he is the best we’ve got. He’s available, and could be ready and willing if only Democrats would open their eyes and for once stop championing various favorite pet politicians or POTUS wannabe novices (aka as dead cats) until it’s too late. Until all the candidates but one have been seriously wounded by the Democratic Party insider power brokers -- that will have selected our nominee before the primary voting charade begins. (Works the same way with the GOP.) That will be Hillary in ‘08. The difference between Gore and Kerry, Warner, Edwards et al. is that he knows how the game is played. Knows that no candidate can beat the chosen one for the nomination unless _____. Unless what? Or do I simply delude myself that an “unless” exists? Probably.
“The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” The behavior of a solid majority of Democrats and Democratic elected officials over the past five years suggests that, at least for the next few years, it will be nothing other than more of the same. The problem is us. We, and not Al Gore, are the real Sore-Losermen.
(Addendum- from the comments in my last piece, it appears that a number of TLC readers aren't interested in taking another look at Al Gore. That's fine, but it appears that you never took a close look at him in the first place. Gore would be the first one to admit that he made mistakes in 2000 and selecting Lieberman would be at the top of his list. However, most of Gore's mistake were either minor or made to satisfy those that had funded his race (the DLC/Clinton wing). It's not often that the candidate with a lot less money and almost the entire news/media operations against him wins, but that's exactly what Gore managed to do in 2000. This is a feat that Clinton and no recent POTUS has ever accomplished. Even with Nixon, journalists knew that he was a slimeball, but mostly bent over backwards being fair towards him. The media will not have changed by 2008, but this country will have, and the power of the MSM will continue to decline.)