A Little More Clarity From Gore

This comment by gore is generally keeping with what I have heard:
When I asked Gore why he hasn't dismissed all the speculation by issuing a Shermanesque refusal to stand, as he did in 2002, Gore said, "Having spent 30 years as part of the political dialogue, I don't know why a 600-day campaign is taken as a given, and why people who aren't in it 600 days out for the convenience of whatever brokers want to close the door and narrow the field and say, `This is it, now let's place your bets' -- If they want to do that, fine. I don't have to play that game."(...)

"I'm not issuing a Shermanesque statement because that's not where I am. I'm not ruling it out for all time. Although I cannot presently foresee any circumstances, such circumstances could emerge."(...)

"It's [2008] extremely unlikely, but not impossible.
Gore clearly has not entirely ruled out running for President again, including a potential 2008 run. At the same time, he has repeatedly made it clear that it is extremely unlikely that he would run in 2008.

I've heard varying rumors on what could cause Gore to run. The most interesting one I heard was that he would only run if, later in the year, it looked like no one else had any chance to defeat Clinton. I've also heard that the door might have opened a little wider in the last month or so, corresponding perhaps to Obama's slight fade at the end of March. I have no word on whether that changed during the final two weeks of April,

My basic feeling is that Gore won't run unless both Clinton and Obama noticeably stumble, and he could thus enter the campaign in first place. It would also have to happen in the next three or four months, at the most, for there to be any chance he runs. I just can't see him announcing more than a week or two after Labor Day, or if he wouldn't start with both a national poll lead as well as a lead in either Iowa or New Hampshire. Wait to see where the campaign stands in about two months, after the July concerts and Q2 fundraising numbers are released. If there is an opening for him at that point, his odds of running might increase from about 0.1-0.2% to more like 5%.

But, no matter what happens, Gore's entry seems extremely, extremely unlikely.

Tags: Al Gore, President 2008 (all tags)

Comments

57 Comments

Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

I don't see any possibility that Gore would run. He has his place in history.

by robliberal 2007-05-16 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

Victim of the biggest screwjob in politics since Sam Tilden.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-17 03:21AM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

Tilden's supposed 'victory' depended on ruthless suppression of the African-American vote in Florida and other states.  

The bi-partisan panel which evaluated those abusive tactics recognized the Hayes slate of electors from Florida.  If we had a Supreme Court that good today we would be on our seventh year of President Gore today.

Don't lionize Sam 'Jim Crow' Tilden.

by Brian Watkins 2007-05-17 09:37AM | 0 recs
Gore himself left the possibility open

what makes you a greater authority of what Gore might do, than Gore himself?

Are you working for Hillary'08?

by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-17 03:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Gore himself left the possibility open

Um, what?  Gore himself has said he won't run, Gore's close friends say he won't run, no one thinks Gore will run.

Are you working for Kodos'08?

by Baldrick 2007-05-17 12:26PM | 0 recs
Gore Sphinx

If he ran, he'd be my choice, but I'm tired of this game already. I know many activists, bloggers, and regular folks who would jump to support a Gore candidacy, but if he doesn't announce by Labor Day, he's toast imho.

He has to win the nomination, not handed to him.  If he's not moving (visibly) to announce by end of summer, then he should stop saying "maybe someday."  The next president will be a Dem and will be around until Jan. 2017!

If I had a chance to talk to him for a couple minutes, I'd ask him: If you feel so pationately about your issues, what's better way to change the world as president of the United States? I think that's your moment in history, and also your obligation...

by Andros 2007-05-16 07:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Gore Sphinx

"If you feel so pationately about your issues, what's better way to change the world as president of the United States? I think that's your moment in history, and also your obligation..."

My response to that is basically, how much do you think he would actually accomplish? The same Global Warming Deniers would still be in Congress, the same Dems in the pockets of industry. Gore sees his best shot at getting something done in undermining the elites, not bashing his head against the wall.

I can certainly see the point to that. After all, the US didn't even have the guts to sign onto Kyoto and that was with Big Dog.

by MNPundit 2007-05-16 09:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Gore Sphinx

Yeah but the GOP congress wouldn't ratify that treaty.  I hope when a Dem wins in 2008, something like Kyoto is one of his or hers firstacts.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-17 03:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Gore Sphinx

Look at the Senate vote again. The vote was 95-0. I don't think the Republicans' majority was thatbig in 1997.

by clarkent 2007-05-17 03:47AM | 0 recs
Gore said of Kyoto:

    "If I had been president, would I have bent every part of the administration and every part of the White House to support this? Yes, I would have. Does that translate into criticism of President Clinton for not doing this? No. I was vice president, not president."
link

in the same interview that the diary addresses. Succinct and direct.
by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-17 03:50AM | 0 recs
Exactly my point

Gore could have been as passionate about it as anyone could have and used all his power to do it but it would have taken an incredible amount of effort--and Kyoto has proved to have a very limited impact (even if we HAD followed it). Can you imagine the opposition actual substantive legislation would have and how long it would take?

I can certainly see Gore feeling he can do more good by working outside the process.

by MNPundit 2007-05-17 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Gore Sphinx

The next president will be a Dem and will be around until Jan. 2017!

If it's Edwards or Obama and they don't make enormous newbie mistakes (a huge possibility), you're probably right; if it's Clinton, I think we'll see a new GOPer in office for 2013.  We only get to pat ourselves on the back once for electing a woman, she can't bring back the nineties economy even if Bill's sleeping in the WH (no one can, really, not yet), and nothing will bring the right's fragmented groups back in line than 'America Held Hostage' redux.

by latts 2007-05-17 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Gore Sphinx

I think Rove at least is counting on that.  

sPh

by sphealey 2007-05-17 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Gore Sphinx

The 90s economy was a chimera.  It was fueled by the tech bubble and shady accounting.  

by Valatan 2007-05-17 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Gore Sphinx

What game are you tired of?  He says he's not running.  Go support someone else - nothing's stopping you.  

He doesn't want to be president.  He's sick of politics and the games that go along with it.  He'd rather be able to be a passionate advocate and focus on the issue he cares about than get dragged into the daily pushing and shoving and minute details of actually running a huge bureaucracy.  

His "waffling" is just a statement that he's not sure he'll always feel that way.  And if he changes his mind, he'll let us all know, but he's not asking you or anyone to stick around and wait for him.  

by Baldrick 2007-05-17 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

I don't understand those who refuse to accept the fact that he is not going to run.  No matter what anyone says or what the man himself says, they stay in their fantasyland

by vwcat 2007-05-16 07:18PM | 0 recs
The man himself said:'[a 2008 run] not impossible'

by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-17 03:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The man himself said:'[a 2008 run] not impossi

And you are taking 'not impossible' to mean 'almost certain'

This just in: me winning the lottery: 'Not impossible'

by Valatan 2007-05-17 09:14AM | 0 recs
'not impossible' is 'possible' until

he says otherwise, 'certain' if he enters the race, 'hightly unlikely' once it is too late to enter the race. And it won't be too late for Al Gore to enter the race until November or so.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-17 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: 'not impossible' is 'possible' until

No.  It is 'highly unlikely' right now.

That is what he has said, repeatedly.

by Valatan 2007-05-17 05:29PM | 0 recs
Because he ruled it out in 2004

...telling supporters in 2002 that he definitely was not running, and he clearly has NOT done so this time around.

If he were considering a run for President, his best strategy would be to stay in the public eye throughout the spring and summer (Oscar telecast, DVD release of his movie, new book and book tour in May/June, high profile global warming concerts in July, possible Nobel Prize in August) without putting the target on his back as an official "candidate", thereby poisoning his press coverage. This is, of course, exactly what he is doing....

I hope he comes to Chicago on his book tour so I can ask him in what position he thinks he could do more about global warming than as President of the United states and leader of the free world. I also plan to give him one of these: http://www.cafepress.com/gore4prez2008.7 4601521

by Jim in Chicago 2007-05-17 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

I always thought Obama would flame out quickly.  He's nothing but the flavor du jour.  All the non-blogger type people I talk to don't even think he'll be a factor.  Only on the blogs is he considered experienced enough to be president.  Most regular people just roll their eyes.

I really do hope that Obama fades more soon, because I agree that his fade would encourage a Gore run.  I support Edwards for the time being, but that haircut thing is way more damaging than people think.  A Gore versus Hillary race would be the most exciting primary campaign in our lifetimes.  

C'mon, Al, RUN!!!  We need ya!

by jgarcia 2007-05-16 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

The crowds of thousands he's attracting are all just bloggers? All the donations are just from bloggers?

Who knew?

by kvenlander 2007-05-16 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

Dean had 'em, too, remember?  And I was one of those who bought into it and thought he'd win easily.  Number of donations does not equal average-person support.  But it's easy to fall into the trap and think it does.

by jgarcia 2007-05-16 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

As an Obama supporter, I have no illusions that he will "win easily." As a former Dean supporter, I never thought he would win easily either. Power isn't given up easily, anywhere, anytime.

I think the point is well taken that more people than just bloggers think Obama is not just a "flavor of the month." In fact, many people are dedicating real hours and dollars to get him elected, throughout the country.

by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona 2007-05-16 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

Don't forget that Clinton had his haircut thing too.  And he was a hillbilly from Arkansas.  Edwards just keeps working and building the foundations.  And at the same time he is encouraging us to speak up.  Edwards had the same issues last time and he almost passed Kerry.  He is doing a better job this time and he has matured as a leader.  

If haircuts stop electing a good person then we really have a country that is lost.  I think this is the time we need Edwards.  Much as I care for Gore he hasn't been involved with any other issue besides climate change.  I don't even know what his thoughts are on key issues.  And I don't think Tipper wants him to run.  I want someone with fire in his belly now and who will work to clean up this mess.  I just don't think that is Gore.

by pioneer111 2007-05-16 08:44PM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

Much as I care for Gore he hasn't been involved with any other issue besides climate change.

Of course, Gore was involved with every possible issue as Rep/Senator/VP.

After 2000, he stood up to oppose the Bush "administration"'s excesses every step of the way, including his opposition to: the war, illegal wiretaps, torture, patriot act, and a lot more. He not only addressed the elements corrupting the democracy, eg. the media, he actually worked on ways to help overcome it, eg he started his TV channel "current" (and he may have played a role in Air America, based of some things I have read, but I am not certain).

I don't even know what his thoughts are on key issues.

First, there is his 2000 campaign platform which had several good policy directions. Then, Gore called for a single payer universal healthcare plan in Nov of 2002.

His book "Assault of Reason" may cover quite a bit of ground on his views. See the diary: Al Gore Stands Up. Time Cover Story On "The Assault On Reason" Is Out..

I want someone with fire in his belly now and who will work to clean up this mess.  I just don't think that is Gore.

If the man didn't have "fire in the belly", do you think he would have even a tenth of what he has done over the past 3 decades as well as the recent years? Nope.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-17 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

"I really do hope that Obama fades more soon"

This would explain your attacks on Obama.

"Most regular people" prefer Obama over Hillary and Edwards according to the polls so you might want to check your facts.

And the "experience" issue has been refuted many times. Basically Obama has as much experience as Edwards, Romney and Guiliani. He would still win against Clinton and McCain because people do not vote for the most experienced but the most likeable candidate.

by Populism2008 2007-05-17 03:05AM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

There is a LOT more that would need to happen for Obama to "flame out".  While Hillary is a solid #1, Obama or Edwards can catch her in the next 8 months.  Now if she has a 15 point lead in November, then that would be different.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-17 03:25AM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

There won't be much of a point for Gore to get into the race in case the MSM would just revive its 2000 campaign against him. I imagine that would be a very big factor. He's going to try to predict what kind of narrative the MSM will build around him, and to influence and control that narrative if possible.

by brainwave 2007-05-16 07:25PM | 0 recs
Controlling the narrative

What do you think his new book is about?!

http://www.amazon.com/Assault-Reason-Al- Gore/dp/1594201226

by Jim in Chicago 2007-05-17 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

Gore turns down another opportunity to say that he's not running. Last cycle, he announced a month after the mid-terms that he wouldn't run. 600+ days before the election was the right time to issue a Shermanesque statement before. Why not this time? If he is not going to run, why doesn't he say so?

Ever day that goes by and he leaves the door open, the chances of him jumping into the race increase.

by Kal 2007-05-16 07:56PM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

I tend to agree. But I'm also desperate for him to run, so.....

by arbitropia 2007-05-16 08:33PM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

I would say the main reason for his early announcement last time was out of respect for Joementum who said he wouldn't run unless Gore didn't run.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-17 03:26AM | 0 recs
Respect for Joementum

Really?!

by Jim in Chicago 2007-05-17 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

Possibly, but there's also a very practical PR reason for public ambiguity: the press pays more attention to Gore's climate-change advocacy as long as they think he might run, but if he stated that he wouldn't their interest in him would drop off sharply.  And the specter of a Gore candidacy keeps the other candidates more focused on his signature issue, making it more likely that they'll make actual commitments as campaign promises.

by latts 2007-05-17 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

Nice, latts. You put it a lot better than I did just a few comments down.

by clarkent 2007-05-17 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

Do people think that Gore will endorse an anti-Hillary candidate in the same way that he endorsed Howard Dean?

by Anthony de Jesus 2007-05-16 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

I doubt it. I think this his way of influencing the race, since an endorsement didn't put the anti-establishment candidate over the top last time.

by clarkent 2007-05-16 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

You don't think he'd endorse anyone come October or November?

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-17 03:26AM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

Oh he might, if he's particularly impressed with a candidate. I suspect that he's leaving the door open to running right now in order to keep candidates focused on his issues. In other words, the others have more to fear from having a rival like Gore in the race than to gain from an endorsement, and the best way to do that will be to have strong positions on global warming, Iraq, the environment, etc.

by clarkent 2007-05-17 03:44AM | 0 recs
Rumors

and more rumors.

Let's say a cup of tea is Hillary Clinton's favorable ratings. In January, her ratings were almost 60 percent positive. Now they've dropped into the 40 percentile. If they hit the low 30s, Al Gore will jump into the race - or so say political insiders.

by misscee 2007-05-16 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Rumors

I really wonder what Gore's opinion of H. Clinton is.  I think he was truly appalled at Bill's lying to us.  The two of them had the country at heart but I think the whole Lewinsky thing really disgusted Gore.  I know that what Bill did would probably not influence his opinion of Hillary but, he certainly knows her well.

by noquacks 2007-05-17 05:14AM | 0 recs
I have no clue how Gore would scramble things

I don't know too many hard-core Gore supporters in Iowa. One of them is leaning toward Richardson if Gore does not get in. Another has no idea what she will do.

Will Gore take anti-war support away from Obama? Will he take white southern guy support away from Edwards? Will he take establishment support away from Clinton?

I just have no sense at all.

by desmoinesdem 2007-05-16 08:13PM | 0 recs
Re: I have no clue how Gore would scramble things

How many white southern guys are there in Iowa? ;)

by clarkent 2007-05-16 09:02PM | 0 recs
clarification!

I meant the Iowans who are more comfortable supporting a southerner on electability grounds. Such people exist, just like the people who are more comfortable supporting governors instead of senators.

I don't get the sense right now that huge numbers of Iowans would flock to a Gore candidacy. But who knows?

by desmoinesdem 2007-05-16 09:42PM | 0 recs
Re: clarification!

Sorry, I was just teasing you there.

by clarkent 2007-05-17 03:19AM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

I agree with what he wrote. When did campaigns become 600 days, and why do we feel like we have to force people to give definative no or yes answers. i feel the song searching for a hero, or whatever it's called coming on, because reading some of these comments it feels a little bit like "either you run now as I say or don't run." I would rather he not run if he's not sure, but if things changed, I would hope he runs. I am not sure I would support him, but I am sure that what he said resonates with me. I'm guessing there are a lot of voters like me.

by bruh21 2007-05-16 08:17PM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

I would say they began coming that way for the 2000 election with all of Bush the sequel's electioneering, got worse in 2004 (I remember Kerry's announcement WAY WAY early) and have continued into 2008.  I hope the pre-midterm election barrier is not broken in the future (exception being sitting pres or vp) but who knows.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-17 03:29AM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

I think he'd be able to do more for the environment from the White House.  

by jrub 2007-05-16 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: A Little More Clarity From Gore

wink wink. nudge nudge. smoke signal. smoke signal. say no more.

by optimusprime 2007-05-17 03:10AM | 0 recs
For the first time I see Gore showing some

interest in running.

And, I don't think that Obama needs to fade for Gore to enter. Here is why: the "with Gore" polls currently stand at approximately:

HRC: 36%
Obama: 20%
Gore: 13%
Edwards: 12%

The momentum form Gore announcing can conceivably draw about 5% from HRC towards Gore and say, 3% from Obama and 2% from Edwards. That'd put us at:

HRC: 31%
Gore: 23%

Obama: 17%
Edwards: 10%

i.e, Gore could be within a striking distance shortly after announcing. Then he can tie it up by the time primaries begin, and with a couple of wins, he can emerge on top, and proceed to win the nomination.

After looking at how his favorables shot up to 60%  (that's among general public, not just Democrats) after a brief appearance at the Oscar's, I am convinced that the nomination will be Gore's, if he wants it.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-17 04:08AM | 0 recs
It's way too early to make predictions, but...

These polls don't mean all that much, as there's soft support and the potential for a lot of movement.

HC has the advantage today, but the Dem. party's primary voters often strike down the early frontrunner.  It will come down to electability. So it's possible that we'll see HC and the anti-HC duking it out.

As of now, those supporting JE & BO don't seem to be ready to move to HC's camp. This can change of course.

As for Gore, he does have a couple months to decide, but he will have to start speaking out on issues other than the environment too. Like, end the war and bring back the troops by a certain date. Healthcare, education, etc.

I repeat, Gore has to win this by debate and personal appeal. It won't be a coronation.

by Andros 2007-05-17 05:03AM | 0 recs
He doesn't have to announce now

> It would also have to happen in the next
> three or four months, at the most, for
> there to be any chance he runs. I

Respectfully I have to disagree.  The so-called "primary campaign" right now is just an exercise in inside baseball and is being consumed almost entirely by political junkies.  Of the more typical people I know even those who have been motivated by W to get involved in politics aren't paying attention and won't be until next October.  Nor are local stations or local newspapers giving it any attention beyond a bit of humor.  

I see no reason why Gore would have to jump in before next fall.  If he wants to run he is playing the perfect stealth candidate IMHO - the problem being that there is no way to tell that from his having decided not to run at all.

sPh

by sphealey 2007-05-17 05:38AM | 0 recs
He would need some time to gear up

You can't put together a campaign overnight, so September probably is the latest. But your point about all the stuff we're consuming today being inside baseball is well taken -- as we Dean supporters who were flying so high in the summer/fall of 2003 learned the hard way!

For an insurgent candidate like Dean, the early momentum was needed to give him a chance to be in position when the caucuses and primaries started. Gore doesn't need to establish who he is that way. He is doing a better job defining his image through "An Inconvenient Truth", "The Assault on Reason", etc.

by Jim in Chicago 2007-05-17 07:46AM | 0 recs
No Gore romanticism here

The hard core Gore supporters look pretty small in number to me, as they did in '04.  

There are a heck of a lot of people out there like me who admire Al Gore from a policy and intellectual perspective but think he's a hapless political candidate, and have no illusions or hopes that he has somehow magically evolved, or that the country has somehow radically changed and will embrace an issue-focused, intellectual candidate.

Yes, he was screwed, but it was his responsibility to recognize that and adjust accordingly.  You have to make mid course corrections in politics.  He didn't, at multiple junctures.   And he also ran poorly in '88, too.  He doesn't get retail with regular folks.  

by Andmoreagain 2007-05-17 10:41AM | 0 recs
Gore's 12% or so while he says he has

no plans to run must be pretty solid supporters of his. I doubt anyone other than HRC has a larger number of "solid" supporters. Fors sure Edwards doesn't, because he polling below Gore in several polls, even now, depsite Gore not running and him running as hard as one could.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-17 03:40PM | 0 recs

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