Campaigns/Elections

Hope for the White Man in The Democratic Presidential Race

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Rolling Stone dares to discuss the dog that isn't barking, the elephant (donkey?) in the room, the dark horse that has not yet neighed, uh, you know, that famed documentarian Al Gore–the real Next President of the United States.

Past one of those kill-me-now "you think I'm talking about some present phenomenon, but really I'm discussing some historical precursor to it" leads that reminds us of the long-forgotten Richard Nixon (two-term VP in era of prosperity who lost his own race with hints of electoral fraud, came back eight years later in triumph–and, as the lead doesn't note, stepped out again 6 years later in disgrace), here are some of their reasons Gore's The One:

He has the buzz to beat Obama, the substance to supplant Hillary, and enough stature to enter the race late in the game and still raise the millions needed to mount a successful campaign. "Very few people who run for president can just step in when they want, with a superstar, titanic presence," says James Carville, the dean of Democratic strategists. "But Gore clearly is one of those. He's going to run, and he's going to be formidable. If he didn't run, I'd be shocked."

He's got the cleanest hands and most Cassandra-like record on the Iraq invasion, and he's even won over the MoveOn.Org and Kossites, which may be a good enough reason to throw dirt on his non-campaign's coffin right now, but still:

Gore's deep ties to online activists could neutralize Clinton's greatest advantage: her fund-raising prowess. Gore retains a network of big-dollar donors from his 2000 campaign, and many of the party's biggest funders are reportedly sitting on their checkbooks, waiting to see if he enters the race. "If Howard Dean could raise $59 million on the Internet," says Carrick, "the mind boggles as to what Al Gore might do." Joe Trippi, who managed Dean's campaign, believes Gore could raise as much as $200 million on the Internet: "Gore may have more money than anybody within days of entering the race."

While pundits never go more wrong than assuming their world of acquaintances is representative of anything other than their own poor judgement, I will note that I know dozens of prog-leaning would-be voters, who I suspect represent a larger constiuency of types who might otherwise lean Green or stay home in numbed disgust, who would be very enthusiastic about Mr. Gore and his inconvenient truths indeed.

With all this going for him, what's the ol' stiff waiting for? Fear of a Bill Planet!

Letting others battle-test Hillary's viability as a front-runner has an added benefit for Gore: It allows him to put off a bruising political confrontation with Bill Clinton. Some insiders suggest that a reticence to take on his generation's most brilliant political mind—and someone renowned as a take-no-prisoners campaigner—is the primary factor keeping Gore off the roster. "It's one thing to distance yourself from Bill Clinton, as Gore did in 2000," says a Democratic strategist who has advised both men. "It's another to run against Bill Clinton when the former first lady is heading the field."

Ah, but perhaps now the time has come…for the student to surpass the master! It'll make a possibly better-than-average campaign psychobiography, at any rate. I'm taking no bets on the Democratic nomination…yet. But the day Gore officially enters, I might be.

NEXT: Drug Propaganda Thursday

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  1. “He’s got the cleanest hands and most Cassandra-like record on the Iraq invastion, and he’s even won over the MoveOn.Org and Kossites, which may be a good enough reason to throw dirt on his non-campaign’s coffin right now, but still…Ah, but perhaps now the time has come…for the student to surpass the master! It’ll make a possibly better-than-average campaign psychobiography, at any rate. I’m taking no bets on the Democratic nomination…yet. But the day Gore officially enters, I might be.”

    Wow! I have got to say that Reason is without a doubt one of the best (maybe even the best)Left-wing sites on the Web. Thanks for all you do!

  2. Shoudn’t Davvid Weigal be bloging this?

    (Just kidding.)

  3. no

  4. As long at there are Democratic hopeful posts, I’ll keep making the same comment.

    There’s no point talking about any of this because Hillary holds all the purse strings. And unless she shows up in a YouTube video smoking crack and having incestuous relations with Chelsea, nothing can stop her from becoming the Nominee.

  5. Come to think of it, strike the part about “relations with Chelsea”, as that might actually increase her support.

  6. Didn’t Al just get nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize?

    Does that help or hurt?

  7. “I have got to say that Reason is without a doubt one of the best (maybe even the best)Left-wing sites on the Web.”

    Yes, yes, god forbid anyone discuss the democrats with anything other than outright dismissal and disdain (“who cares who wins, they’re all a bunch of socialist freaks anyway…now, back to privatizing the roads…”), lest they be named a “left-wing site”.

    Trevor, I know you’re just some mindless troll, but, come the fuck on…

  8. I’d just like to note that you never see comments from angry Democrats-pretending-to-be-libertarians when you comment on the Republican primary.

    It’s like the righties think they own libertarians.

  9. If you look at the amount of money raised in the ’06 cycle through liberal blogs, Hillary’s rolodex doesn’t look quite so intimidating.

    Actually, if you look at the Win/Loss record of Act Blue candidates or those heavily plugged on Kos, the “throwing dirt on the coffin” snark looks downright anachronistic.

  10. -joe

    Who are you pulling for predominantly, at least right now?

  11. Right now, I don’t know. Probably Obama or Dodd, because they’ve had the stones to actually use their power to try to stop the war.

    If Gore’s in, I’m 90% pro Gore.

  12. Actually, if you look at the Win/Loss record of Act Blue candidates or those heavily plugged on Kos, the “throwing dirt on the coffin” snark looks downright anachronistic.

    Now why let facts get in the way of a good cheap shot??

    Everyone knows those kossites are loonies whose support is the kiss of death. Just ask Tester, Webb, and McCaskill

  13. Well, Kos just surprised everybody by coming out in favor of Gore: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/2/1/151831/4719

    I guess that’s either the kiss of death, or the coup that will land Gore in the White House, depending on which reality you reside in.

  14. If you look at the amount of money raised in the ’06 cycle through liberal blogs, Hillary’s rolodex doesn’t look quite so intimidating.

    Hillary had a cakewalk in 06. She didn’t call in a single favor or spend a solitary chip. All money raised was protection money paid to the machine in the hope of not being squashed by it.

    Now that she’s in the big one, the gloves will come off. And every dollar extorted will count as two because her supporters will not be allowed to contribute to her rivals.

  15. Warren,

    I doubt the $10-$200 givers who made up most of the netroots donors in the ’06 race are people Hillary Clinton knows or cares about.

    I’m sure there are big-money bundlers she will tap and deny to her opponents, but my point is, those people have become much less important.

  16. But would Gore be good for libertarians or bad for libertarians?

  17. “Trevor, I know you’re just some mindless troll, but, come the fuck on…”

    Well that’s certainly enlightening!

  18. So did I miss when Gore got a charisma chip implanted?

  19. “I’m sure there are big-money bundlers”

    Isn’t bundling of campaign contributions illegal?

  20. “So did I miss when Gore got a charisma chip implanted?”

    He’s fat now, so it makes him appear jolly. Everyone loves jolly.

  21. Skippy Dee,

    Bundling is officially illegal.

    Having every person in the upper management donate the maximum to exactly the same candidate is not.

  22. Gore somehow had his charisma chip installed when he went from being Al Gore, Vice President to Al Gore, head-in-a-jar on Futurama. He manages to be funny! (and he’s apparently appearing in the direct-to-DVD Futurama movies as well).

    Still wouldn’t vote for him, but he really can show some charisma.

  23. I can’t imagine it’s very fun losing twice.

  24. But would Gore be good for libertarians or bad for libertarians?

    I would guess that Gore would be about the same as Hillary, which is bad for libertarians on the social side and worse for libertarians on the economic side. All in all, not much different from the last six years.

  25. With Gore in the race it would be more entertaining. My inner cynic says: If you can’t have good government, you might as well have entertaining government.

    I think Gore would have a better chance this time. He has ran before (and there’s no substitution for experience); climate change as an issue is getting bigger and bigger (and he’s all over that, for good or ill); being former Number Two to Bill Clinton will likely be a positive for him this time (thanks to Bush in some ways), whereas it was a bit of an albatross for him in 2000 (and Hillary is Bill’s girl, further removing him from Bill’s negatives). Al just might do it, which Democrats would love, Republicans would hate, and libertarians would suffer from as usual. ; >

  26. “I’d just like to note that you never see comments from angry Democrats-pretending-to-be-libertarians when you comment on the Republican primary.

    It’s like the righties think they own libertarians.”

    Very true. It’s as if, because the “conservative doctrine” pays faint lip service to a few libertarian ideals like property rights and lower taxes, we’re supposed to be beholden to the motherfuckers.

  27. joe said:

    I’d just like to note that you never see comments from angry Democrats-pretending-to-be-libertarians when you comment on the Republican primary.

    It’s like the righties think they own libertarians.

    actually i think trevor was being ironic…at least that is how i read it.

    I am supposedly one of those right wingers masquerading as a libertarian…and this article only raised a “eh whatever” response and had more to do with dem on dem battles then anything.

  28. “Trevor, I know you’re just some mindless troll, but, come the fuck on…”

    Well that’s certainly enlightening!”

    Not nearly as enlightening as calling a libertarian blog “leftist” because it had the gall to discuss a democratic candidate in less-than-absolute-dismissal terms.

    People like you add nothing to the conversation. You’re like a gnat buzzing around the heads of people having conversations of substance, serving only to interject your off-the-cuff criticisms.

    If I were you, I wouldn’t go around criticising OTHER people’s posts of lacking enlightenment.

  29. Gore “reminds us of the long-forgotten Richard Nixon . . .” [enumerating various parallels between Nixon and Gore]

    What’s another thing Nixon is famous for? He consistently ran for office on an anticommunist platform, which included calling many of his Democratic opponents soft on Communism. Nixon is particularly indignant at proposals to normalize relations with Communist China.

    Then, in 1971, who’s that clinking glasses with Mao and applauding operas with titles like (I’m approximating) — “Smash the revisionist imperialist dogs”? Richard Nixon!

    The phrase passed into a proverb: “Only Nixon could go to China.”

    Would Gore emulate Nixon in this respect? In other words, will he end up clinking glasses with the President of Exxon-Mobil and singing “screw the polar bears, let them drown!”

  30. What happens to libertarianism if alarmists like Gore are right, and global warming does a number on the planet? Isn’t market capitalism predicated on the continuous prodcution of new wealth? Could the (to me) obvious implcations davastating climate change explain why there are so many global-warming skeptics among right-wing libertarians? I know I’m just a lowly troll, but these are sincere questions.

    (God, I hope Jennifer doesn’t jump in with some boring personal anecdote.)

  31. Oddly enough, I think Gore could win this thing. He has a low “hate” factor. People may dislike him, but the don’t hate him. Lots of people HATE Hillary (on both sides). She could succumb to the anti-Howard Dean gang campaign from 04. The fact that he had more votes in 2000 reduces the stench of loss on him. And he he’s 2-0 on the widom of Iraq wars. I hate to say it, but Gore’s got a decent shot at 08.

  32. “I would guess that Gore would be about the same as Hillary, which is bad for libertarians on the social side and worse for libertarians on the economic side. All in all, not much different from the last six years.”

    I would like to think that any democrat, short of Lieberman, would be better on the social side than Hillary “WE’VE GOTTA BAN GTA FOR THE CHIIIILLLLLDDRRRENNNN” Clinton. Ugh.

  33. “What happens to libertarianism if alarmists like Gore are right, and global warming does a number on the planet?”

    Wealth can still be created via services, etc., but that’s not the point. The point is that capitalism is, honestly, the only economic system that is equipped to adapt the human race to whatever the realities of GW end up being. At the end of the day, if the doom-and-gloom scenarios come true anytime soon, the fate of libertarianism will be the least of my worries. But, at the same time, I think libertarianism is compatible with environmental restrictions. Always have. Environmental destruction is externalized. Therefore, libertarianism sees that government has a vested interest in regulating it. This can be debated left and right, but if I dump shit in my air and it fucks over my neighbor, it’s not really too different than if I went over and set his house on fire. And no libertarian would argue that setting someone else’s house on fire is a “natural right”.

  34. Evan!

    Good points. But doesn’t the rpofit motive often blur vision? Maybe I can make a bundle by producing something that polutes the environment, and I’m more interested in making money than in being socially responsible. What’s to stop me if the people harmed are not my target market? This is going on in leather production in China right now. We’re getting cheap leather goods from China. What do we care if the Chinese producers are ruining some river that far-away peasants depend on?

  35. I don’t know about Gore. Senator Gore would’ve been a good candidate for the Democrats. There’s still some negative associations due to his time served with the Clintons, and he has seemed off the farm at times to the mainstream in his post-2000 days. Interesting to see what he does, though.

  36. Have to repeal 22nd amendmentor Gore can only serve one-term. It was proven after supreme court theft He really won Florida.

  37. We’ve seen some pretty lame attempts at sock-puppetry over the years, but you raise transparent lameness to a new level.

    We’re not supposed to realize you’re a right winger trying to pose as a kucinich supporter?

    Smarter trolls, please.

  38. We’re not supposed to realize you’re a right winger trying to pose as a kucinich supporter?

    Well seeing as how this is a libertarian blog’s comments you would think most people here would be “extreme right wingers”. Which would make Socialist Statists, such as yourself, the trolls.Trolls keep things interesting so continue as you were Mistuh joe Suh. The “liberaltarian” concept is in of itself a troll.

  39. I always chuckle when people start to map out the presidential elections. I can still remember Muskie being the presumptive nominee and thinking “Jimmy who?” in 76. But I guess things are much different now.

    I heard someone on Bob Edwards show talk about the race before the primary to lock up the best consultants, money raisers and other campaign types that are essential to winning. He said that Hillary pretty much had them all on her side and that was 3 months ago. I have no idea if any of this is valid, so take it for what it’s worth.

    The only way I see Gore getting in is if Clinton stumbles or gaffes her way out of it. It’s difficult to imagine that. Also, with California moving their primary up to early February, I think that’s a huge advantage for someone with her money raising capability. It could also help blunt any weakness she shows in the south. I’m not a betting man, but it’s difficult to imagine her losing.

  40. joe – it has to be someone who worships Gore. You didn’t notice the capitalized He?

  41. It’s like the righties think they own libertarians.

    Mee-owww. It is comments like this that keep me below the fold here, FBOFW.

  42. I can’t imagine it’s very fun losing twice.

    U mean once.

  43. Assuming he doesn’t win in 08 and/or 12.

  44. Heh, I trolled the troll.

    *burp*

  45. Happy Jack,

    “joe – it has to be someone who worships Gore.”

    Al-leluia! Al-leluia!

    Al-leluia, Al-leluia!

    Al-leluia!

  46. unless she shows up in a YouTube video smoking crack and having incestuous relations with Chelsea

    No no, she won’t show up and actually do it. She’ll show up and just want to talk about it. You know, it’s Therapist Clinton now that she’s running.

    So did I miss when Gore got a charisma chip implanted?

    It happened at the very moment that Gore was having actual, real incestuous relations with Gaia Our Earth Mommy. The fallout from this experience (and Hers), is that Gore has become Our Earth Daddy.

    The Democrats are so warm and fuzzy.

    [barf]

    Oddly enough, I think Gore could win this thing. He has a low “hate” factor. People may dislike him, but the don’t hate him.

    You really should have checked with me before you said that.

    I dislike Bush. I hate Gore, and Clinton, the way lefties today hate Bush.

    I doan theenk I’m alone, omeego.

  47. Re: Gore’s Iraq Record

    Not that facts matter, but wasn’t Gore the number two man in an administration that used to talk all the time about how Saddam was building WMD’s? Doesn’t that make him a Giant Lying Liar Liar Lying Liar? And didn’t this very same Clinton-Gore administration make “War On” Iraq with, you know, BOMBS that KILLED people? Wouldn’t that have been “Not in our name” or “Blood for oil” or something? Just curious.

    By the way, right after the fall of the Taliban, when asked his opinion of how the war on terror was progressing, Gore said (and I’m paraphrasing) “That’s all well and good, but the real threat in the Middle East is Saddam Hussein, and this isn’t going to be over until we do something about him”. Not that any of those facts matter. Gore is part of the “reality based” community, who need not explain such things.

  48. Even still, I suppose Gore would be a better president than Edwards, whose vision for America is apparently a nation drowning in a sea of its own jealousy.
    As someone who holds what is essentially a blue-collar job, I find it appalling that almost no politician, left or right, ever suggests that the difference between the “Two Americas” may just possibly have something to do with how the people in those Two Americas behave. I’ll bet you a lot of rich “fat cats” don’t call out of work sick an average of 5 times a month and make comments like “the power company is going to shut me off because THEY SAY (emphasis mine) I owe them $300” after spending their bill money on liquor and weed. Amazingly, some of us watch our standard of living improve while our co-workers who have been handed the same job by “life’s lottery” with the same opportunity to make money continue to be left behind. Amazing how that works out. I guess I just must live in the Good America. What we really need is a president who encourages them to believe that it’s The Man keeping them down, and the solution is to punish those of us who made good choices.

  49. How is Obama with relation to libertarian issues?

    Is he a complete socialist? surely he would be better than Gore and Hillary?

    Joe, you support Obama over Gore? Why?
    I dislike Gore and Hillary, but I am ambivalent about Obama, but that is probably because I know nothing of the guy.

  50. Khan, I used to hate him too. But now I see him as one of those American Idol losers, so I pity him instead. Anyway, Gore, and Democrats like joe haven’t yet been properly chastized for challenging an election that was within the margin for error, jeopardizing the elective process forevermore.

  51. kwais:

    Obama is anything you WANT him to be. Get with the program.

    Gore is getting so much more love now than anytime in his life. Why are they even fucking pretending having a “competition” for the Academy awards? Just fucking mail the award to him already. He owns the damned thing… even though I guess they need to have the official coronation (“award show”) where all those left-coasters can have a collective orgasm.

    And the Peace Prize? His. And won’t that piss Bill off (hey, there’s gotta be a silver lining here).

    So the Gorebot 2000 is unstoppable. He’s here to save us, people. He’s Superman. So what’s keeping him from strolling into the White House? I doubt even Billary would be able to stop this wave.

  52. “How is Obama with relation to libertarian issues?”

    “Is he a complete socialist? surely he would be better than Gore and Hillary?”

    The ADA has given him a 100% rating just like Hillary. From a libertarian standpoint, none of the three, Hillary, Gore, and Obama would be any good.

  53. If I were a betting man my money wold be on Al. When the dust clears and the donkey kicking is done he’ll be the one left standing with no hoofprints on him.

    And if I were a voting man he’d probably get my vote too, considering that all the elephants seem to be able to come up with is McCain.

    Hell I’d vote for Hillary before I’d even think about voting for McCain.

  54. And besides, now he’s a movie star. 🙂

  55. MNG,
    I really don’t understand most of what your wrote.

  56. I thought all the candidates were white men? They sure seem like it.

  57. but wasn’t Gore the number two man in an administration that used to talk all the time about how Saddam was building WMD’s? Doesn’t that make him a Giant Lying Liar Liar Lying Liar?

    Now now kwais. You just need some good therapy.

  58. That was my quote, not Kwais’.
    And did Gore or did Gore not say pretty much exactly what Bush has said about Iraqi WMD, up until the point where Bush started to say it and then it was a “lie”?

  59. I know you were being sarcastic, but really: What planet are we living on that Gore is allowed to pretend he didn’t used to talk about Iraqi WMD and call for the removal of Saddam, right up to the point when Bush said it? I guess that will just vanish now, just like the records of the Democrats who were criticizing our troop levels as too low….right up to the point where Bush said it.
    What the hell is the next Democrat prez going to do when they need to make a decision about anything, call up Bush to go take a stance on TV and then rail against it?

  60. From this article, I wouldn’t classify Obama as a traditional socialist in the sense that he is advocating that the government directly solve problems of the underclass through redistribution of wealth. He seems to be advocating the creation of new wealth which is quite different.

    While he does reject what he calls the “individualistic myth” that entire communities can change on the actions of individuals working alone, he is not calling for the government to hand out welfare. He instead is promoting the idea that communities need to come together to produce or enact their own change.

    He sees his role in the government as that of an “organizer” helping to stimulate grass roots collective improvement:

    “What if a politician were to see his job as that of an organizer,” he wondered, “as part teacher and part advocate, one who does not sell voters short but who educates them about the real choices before them? …… We would come together to form concrete economic development strategies, take advantage of existing laws and structures, and create bridges and bonds within all sectors of the community.

    more

    “Now an agenda for getting our fair share is vital. But to work, it can’t see voters or communities as consumers, as mere recipients or beneficiaries of this change. It’s time for politicians and other leaders to take the next step and to see voters, residents, or citizens as producers of this change. The thrust of our organizing must be on how to make them productive, how to make them employable, how to build our human capital, how to create businesses, institutions, banks, safe public spaces–the whole agenda of creating productive communities. That is where our future lies.

    more

    Just as holding hands and singing ‘We shall overcome’ is not going to do it, exhorting youth to have pride in their race, give up drugs and crime, is not going to do it if we can’t find jobs and futures for the 50 percent of black youth who are unemployed, underemployed, and full of bitterness and rage.
    “Exhortations are not enough, nor are the notions that we can create a black economy within America that is hermetically sealed from the rest of the economy and seriously tackle the major issues confronting us,” Obama said.

    “Any solution to our unemployment catastrophe must arise from us working creatively within a multicultural, interdependent, and international economy. Any African-Americans who are only talking about racism as a barrier to our success are seriously misled if they don’t also come to grips with the larger economic forces that are creating economic insecurity for all workers–whites, Latinos, and Asians.

    (of course this article is way old, being written in 1995 )

    Not saying that he is a libertarian by any stretch, not even saying that he is not solidly within the spectrum of mainstream Democratic thought…. just some data points.

  61. Dave,

    “Not that facts matter, but wasn’t Gore the number two man in an administration that used to talk all the time about how Saddam was building WMD’s? Doesn’t that make him a liar?”

    Try to follow me here: saying Iraq had WMDs when Iraq has WMDs is not a lie. It is telling the truth.

    Saying Iraq has WMDs when Iraq does not have WMDs is a lie.

    Iraq had ongoing WMD programs prior to 1998, when Clinton and Gore were talking about it. After Operation Desert Fox, the Iraqi military shut down their program and destroyed their stocks.

  62. kwais,

    You misunderstand – I’m supporting Obama or Dodd unless Gore gets in, in which case I’m supporting Gore.

  63. “After Operation Desert Fox, the Iraqi military shut down their program and destroyed their stocks.”

    This, btw, has been confirmed by the Iraq Survey Team, and was told to people in the Bush administration by Iraqi defectors and sources in the years leading up to the war.

  64. joe:

    “After Operation Desert Fox, the Iraqi military shut down their program and destroyed their stocks”

    And Saddam also kicked out the UN inspectors and ignored about a hundred UN reprimands.

    But you libs knew all along the man was hiding nothing. That’s why a vast majority of lib Congressional leaders voted for the 2nd invasion.

    Okay, I know what kwais is talking about. I am having a really hard time understanding what I just wrote.

  65. There’s no point talking about any of this because Hillary holds all the purse strings. And unless she shows up in a YouTube video smoking crack and having incestuous relations with Chelsea, nothing can stop her from becoming the Nominee.

    Hillary Clinton’s campaign and nomination will raise more money than any politician in history, for the Republican Party. The “Anyone but Bush” movement will be nothing compared to “Anyone but Hillary.” People on both sides will drag themselves over broken glass to vote against her. I’m not sure even “showing up in a YouTube video smoking crack and having incestuous relations with Chelsea” would make her less attractive than she already is to too many people.

    And the Demo big money knows it. AlGore could do well on that playing field.

  66. MNG,

    “But you libs knew all along the man was hiding nothing.”

    Not quite.

    We liberals, most of us anyway, suspected that there was some low level of WMD program activity going on, but did not think there was any reason to believe it posed a threat, or would for a long time.

    We liberals, most of us anyway, also knew pretty much as soon as he opened his mouth that Bush was lying when he said otherwise.

    “That’s why a vast majority of lib Congressional leaders voted for the 2nd invasion.” Very few liberal Congressional leaders voted for the resolution. Did you mean Democrat?

    Nice job with the oily phrasing, btw. I almost forgot that a majority of Democrats, and a huge majority of those who could be considered liberals, voted against the AUMF.

  67. And Saddam also kicked out the UN inspectors and ignored about a hundred UN reprimands.

    No, actually the UN withdrew the inspectors because they thought they’d be in danger when Clinton began bombing.

    I hate defending the UN or Bill Clinton but I do like to have my facts as they really were.

    And while after Operation Desert Fox, the Iraqi military actually did shut down a lot of their programs they kept Saddam believing that the programs were up and running. And furthermore there was no certainty among the US (or any other country’s) intelligence and military that Operation Desert Fox had, in fact, shut down the WMD programs. In fact everyone, including Richard Butler, believed that Saddam was still getting his fix of exotic weapons in a big way.

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