Don't get me wrong. I like Al Gore. I've seen his movie, An Inconvenient Truth and mine is one of the 500,000+ names on the message he brought to Congress demanding immediate action to solve the climate crisis. I think he's been one of the most effective advocates for a response to global warming that we've ever had but, if he ever throws his hat in the ring for the Democratic presidential primaries, I won't vote for him.

    Why not? Well, it's a problem I have that apparently I don't share with a large portion of the American electorate. I have a functioning memory. I remember the 2000 election campaign. Many argue that the election was stolen from Gore. It may even be true but, why did the future of the entire country come down to a few hundred screwed-up ballots in Florida in the first place? It should have been a Democratic landslide.

    I think Gore dropped the ball and dropped it badly. I think his eye was too firmly fixed on Bill Clinton's zipper instead of on the real accomplishments of the Clinton administration: a budget surplus, a strong economy, eight years of relative peace and a booming stock market. He should have been embracing Clinton and his legacy, not distancing himself from it.

    Instead, Al Gore chose to play a game of who's the more moral candidate, me or that other guy? And this played into Republican strengths since they had a lock on the Moral Majority crowd (Hey, after 6 years of deficit spending, nearly non-stop scandals and 4+ years of the Iraq debacle, these folks are STILL mostly loyal Republicans!) while it did nothing to drum up enthusiasm among the Democratic base. Worse than that, by playing down his association with the Clinton administration, it left him with very little to differentiate himself from his opponent other than party affiliation.

    Remember those three 90-minute television debates Gore had with GW? They spent more time agreeing on issues than disagreeing (in the second debate, according to one source, they agreed with each other on thirty-seven different issues!). And how could anyone debate George W Bush, a genial former party animal who knew practically nothing about foreign affairs, dodged the draft by getting (through papa's influence) a cushy National Guard gig (and went AWOL in time of war even from that), ran almost every business venture papa's friends backed him in, into the ground and not mop the floor with him?

    I think Gore lost the election less because it was stolen from him then because of his own poor judgment calls. So, while I think he's a wonderful advocate for environmental causes, even, probably, the best EX-vice president we've ever had; when I ask myself, would this guy be my first choice to go head to head across a negotiating table with tough customers like Russia's president Putin or Iran's president Ahmadinejad? The answer is: NO.

Tags: Al Gore, Democratic primaries, Elections, Global Warming (all tags)




Simple Question:  Would we be better off today with six plus years of Al Gore as President or what we have now?  If the answer is NO, then please attempt to be credible?

by CalMinorityWhiteGuy 2007-03-22 05:14PM | 0 recs

If Al Gore becomes the Democratic nominee, he'll have my vote. If you'll read the article a little closer, you'll see I was talking about the Democratic primaries.

by Credoabsurdum 2007-03-22 07:00PM | 0 recs
Most people don't have a good grasp of the

2000 election. I don't blame them, because I din't have it either, until I unexpectedly happened to explore it with some rigor.

Gore made some mistakes as any campaign would, but his campaign pulled from heavy double-digit deficits that were handed to Gore because of the scandal, and weathered some serious road blocks such as unprecedented MSM unfair coverage, and he had to fight on two fronts because of Nader (in contrast to Perot in 1992 who attacked Bush-I and helped Clinton in several ways, Nader mostly attacked Gore, and did so using unreasonable claims and false characterizations).

Here is how the three electoral blocks fell, per data and some assessment:

1. Gore actually got more among Dems than Clinton did running for reelection in 1996: Gore 86% in 2000 vs Clinton 84% in 1996, amongs Dems.

2. Republicans were upset with Clinton's behavior and hence less than the usual number of Republicans broke for Gore.

3. Independents were, IMO, the subjects of "Clinton fatigue", and so fewer went for Gore than   they did for Clinton in 1996 (remember that Clinton having the affair gave Republicans the stick to beat him up with.)

I will respond to some of your remarks point by point if time permits, but you may find responses and/or answers, in this analysis that I had compiled in order to bring to light many aspects of the 2000 election that people have either forgotten or were not aware of:

The 2000 Presidential election: A Synopsis (3/19/07 version)

Clinton got impeached (he shouldn't have been, but he was reckless in the first place; and, Gore stood in support of Clinton on the day of impeachment. Painfully, Clinton also got caught lying to the American public), made Gore pay the price with double-digit deficits (up to 18 points down in some polls), media screwed democracy over, Nader (whose important contributions in the 60s and 70s I respect, and who recently had pleasant meeting with Gore) mischaracterized Gore in 2000 and allowed himself to be used as a GOP-pawn and forced Gore to write-off TN and other southern states in the final weeks.

Still Gore won the popular vote, and won Florida, fought for 35 days to get all the votes counted, withdrew in disagreement when no recourse was left following the supreme court verdict and the DNC chairman called on him to concede, and nearly 80% of Americans wanted Gore to concede should the Supreme Court rule against him.

See here for more:

Based on the things I have looked at, had Clinton not lied to the American public as he did, Gore would have won in a landslide. That's my finding.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-03-22 08:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Most people don't have a good grasp of the

Great comment! I will have to check out some of the leads here.

by Credoabsurdum 2007-03-22 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Most people don't have a good grasp of the

"using unreasonable claims and false characterizations"

Which were?

by justinh 2007-03-22 08:52PM | 0 recs

"There is no significant difference between Bush and Gore" (paraphrased).

by NuevoLiberal 2007-03-23 06:10AM | 0 recs
Why did you use caps in your title?

Are you aware that CAPS are taken to be a form of screaming in internet "netiquette?"

Or was it a deliberate expression on your part?

by NuevoLiberal 2007-03-22 08:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Why did you use caps in your title?

Mea culpa about the caps. I write in essay format on a word processor where title caps are part of the format I use and I just copied the essay verbatim from there. I will try to be more aware of netiquette next time.

by Credoabsurdum 2007-03-22 08:33PM | 0 recs
BTW, the diaries can be edited after

posting. You should see an "Edit Post" button or something like it, when you're logged in.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-03-23 06:40AM | 0 recs
Al Gore
...when I ask myself, would this guy be my first choice to go head to head across a negotiating table with tough customers like Russia's president Putin or Iran's president Ahmadinejad?

Instead, we've had this "tough" maroon for over six years. You need to learn to regurgitate something other than right wingnut spin.
by Michael Bersin 2007-03-22 05:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Al Gore

I was referring only to the upcoming Democratic primaries, not the national election.

As to whether or not we would have been better off if Gore had been president the last 6 years instead of Bush the Lesser, well undoubtedly we would. It's hard to imagine even a mashed potato doing a worse job than Junior. Unfortunately, that has nothing to do with the point I was making in my essay.

by Credoabsurdum 2007-03-22 07:10PM | 0 recs

The simple fact is that there isn't a single politician out there with the experience, a solid track record of correctly identifying the most pressing issue of the day (environment, early opposition to the Iraq war just to name two), and the international standing/credibility to restore America's global authority.  Yes, Gore is still just a man and the moment he steps into the political arena he'll be knocked down a couple of notches, but no politician has the credibility, authority and -- do I dare say it -- gravitas that Gore currently enjoys.  Frankly, I think that at this particular moment -- specially after what will be eight years of Bush & Co -- America would be lucky to have someone as well prepared, experienced and credible and Al Gore to restore our international standing and faith on America again.

by bedobe 2007-03-22 06:05PM | 0 recs
Why I Would Vote for Al Gore again and again .....
Al Gore has something very few politicians have, real future vision. I know of his work with DARPA, he was a consultant to Google, he is a board member of Apple computers and a friend of America's great futurists that actually can make the future Steve Jobs. He has that special future vision thing that so few others have in Washington. Unfortunately, he is also a great guy. His political team was not up to dealing with all the dirty tricks of the Bush campaign. They didn't know how to stop the lies from sticking. His choice of Joseph Lieberman was so poor it makes me shutter. His campaign manager was not capable. However, he isn't and wasn't a bad choice compaired to George W. Bush.

His last campaign pitted a conservative democrat, Al Gore, whose wife was involved in protecting our children from the extremes of entertainment. Hollywood didn't want sensorship so they made him the enemy. Gore spent his campaign corting the liberal vote to maintain the powers of the Democratic Party so much so that he lost the right wing, where he came from and so did Bill Clinton, and lost part of the center that was leaning right. The parties mainstays, the far left wing abandoned him and he was eaten alive. I am sure Hollywood would take back all that they have done today. They sure put their weight behind John Kerry. I am sure that Ralph Nader would have thrown his support behind Al Gore if he knew that we were going to get the desaster George Bush is.

The Republican party is scared stupid about an Al Gore candidacy. That is because he represents professional foreign policy, a domestic agenda that would mean a real move away from imported oil, one that would include electric cars, our economy would be directed to real entreprenuership rather than the free criminalizing markets of the Bush administration. Our relationship with the world would be better and will be better if we can only convince Tipper that the nation is calling.

Some who are called to serve are asked to give the ultamate sacrifice to our nation. Being President is just that type of task. You may survive it, but the sacrifice is that of a normal life.

After the Bush administration our nation faces crushing debt, two unfinished wars, a houseing market that is teatering on the brink of colapse, our energy supplies being held in place by threads, our envirionment moving backwards and the real threat of global warming looming on the horizon. As far as I can see there is only one person for the task. It is Al Gore. Who else can see and speak to getting our nation out of peril and back on the road to prosperity? Tipper, let Al run, the nation needs him. Sincerely, Joseph Lado

by joelado 2007-03-22 07:11PM | 0 recs

Interesting comment. Most of it appears to support what I said about him making some bad decisions. Like you though, I voted for Gore in 2000 (albeit without enthusiasm) and I'd vote for him again in 2008 if he becomes the Democratic nominee. He just wouldn't be my first choice.

by Credoabsurdum 2007-03-22 07:31PM | 0 recs

Apologies to Credoabsurdum.  I glanced over the order of candidate choice remark and only caught it after I had sent in a response.  Also I was a bit angry because I had just read Robert Parry's article US News Media's "War on Gore" (http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032207 I.shtml) on truthout.org.  If you want to throw rope in a pickup truck and drive down to the WaPo, its a must read.

All the analysis given so far are remarkably consistent.  For my part Gore had his faults in 2000.  From the far-left of the Party, I thought he listened a little too much to James Carvelle, Bill Daley and the rest of the DLC crowd in September 2000.  He was on a populist role, made up the huge deficit and someone in the Party said 'you'll alienate the moderates' and he tones it down.  'Alienating the moderates' is just a euphemism for shilling for the moneyed-classes.

To be entirely scary in hindsight one might ponder the 'What-Ifs' of Vinegar Joe Lieberman as the current VP and likely 2008 Candidate (No apologies to General Stilwell who referred to Franklin Roosevelt as 'Old Rubber-legs').

Really what candidate Democrat or Other has any of the perceived 'gravitas' needed to overcome Bush?  'W' is a lot like a negative Arnold - he sucks the political oxygen out of the air.  He is so bad, his evil, incompetence and arrogance crowds everything else off the stage.  Like an anti-Clinton, he will dominate this Repubic until January 20, 2009!

Al Gore in a heart beat.  If you want a nightmare, think Jeb Bush!

by CalMinorityWhiteGuy 2007-03-22 09:28PM | 0 recs

Come on--do you honestly think that the Al Gore of 2000 is the same Al Gore we have now?  People can grow and change (yes, even politicians) and Gore is different now.  He has found his voice and his confidence and wouldn't try to fit into the conventional wisdom of how to run a campaign this time.  His would be a truly interesting campaign to watch.

by rayspace 2007-03-22 08:53PM | 0 recs

Sure people can grow, but how would I determine that this has happened? Using that reasoning I might even assume that, after 6 years of experience, even Bush Junior might have learned something. Nope, I'm afraid my best bet is the old, time-tested method of predicting future performance from past history.

by Credoabsurdum 2007-03-22 10:03PM | 0 recs

Gee, you're right.  How would you predict that Gore has changed?

*He came out against the war in 2002, while all the other Democratic contenders (except Obama) were running toward "yes" votes as fast as possible.

*He is about to publish a book lamenting the erosion of our civil liberties at a time when none of the other candidates is addressing this.

*He is the unchallenged leader on the critical issue of climate change.

If you haven't seen how Gore has changed since 2000, you're not paying attention.

by rayspace 2007-03-23 04:45AM | 0 recs
Novel, the he has poor judgment rationale....

Let's accept your premise for a second. Gore exercised poor judgment on a number of issues. I'm guessing Clinton, Edwards, Dodd ad Biden exercised poor judgement in voting for the Iraq war AND the PATRIOT Act. We should probably rule them out too.

Anyone wanna take a whack at the remaining candidates?

EVERYONE exhibits poor judgment from time to time. If you're sufficiently critical, you can rule out the entire field.

Also, if you're an Edwards supporter, you're a total ass. Whacking Gore for poor judgment on campaign tactics, but giving Edwards a free pass on voting for Iraq.

p.s: The reason Bush agreed with Gore was because he pretty much lied through his teeth the entire time.

by crazymoloch 2007-03-22 09:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Novel, the he has poor judgment rationale....

Where did you get the idea that I'm an Edwards supporter? I only said who I wouldn't favor, not who I would. That being said, perhaps I'm a total ass anyway. At this stage of the game, with nearly a year before the first primaries are held, I haven't made up my mind yet. If that doesn't show that I walk on all fours and bray, then I don't know what would. :^)

by Credoabsurdum 2007-03-22 10:22PM | 0 recs
I Will Go With Gore! n/t

by blues 2007-03-23 04:34AM | 0 recs

Him and Kerry failed to critique Bush during their campaigns strong enough, Kerry during the Swith boat attack ads and Gore with the phi betta kai and last two debate performances and then when nothing is at stake they open up these tirades against the Bush adminsitration. Al Gore last week seemed like an angry liberal at the Senate meeting on environment.

by olawakandi 2007-03-23 08:31AM | 0 recs


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