There are two takeways in this Ryan Lizza interview with Al Gore.
1) What an insufferable, elitist scold he is. (Gore, not Lizza.)
2) How much he sounds like Newt Gingrich.
"I don't want to be critical of the candidates. That's not my intention," he says. "I don't think the modern campaign process facilitates a genuine exchange of ideas. It's multiple overlapping games of gotcha, and who can read the polls and the focus groups most skillfully and discern some new manipulative option that can be quickly parlayed into a couple of percentage points in the next poll and parlay that into greater fund-raising totals by the end of the next reporting period." It's almost as if he feels sorry for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and the others, as if they are hamsters locked in the cage of a broken political process, a cage that Gore is all too familiar with and does not seem to miss.
Compare that with what Newt Gingrich said in North Carolina.
"We have shrunk our political process to this pathetic dance in which people spend an entire year raising money in order to offer nonanswers, so they can memorize what their consultants and focus groups said would work," Gingrich said.
In a speech to the John Locke Foundation, a conservative think tank, the prospective Republican candidate said he will not consider running until he has created a wave of reform.
No wonder Gingrich wants to modernize our health care system: He needs immediate medical attention on that grotesquely swollen head. "Our politics are too small and petty" is the most trite, tired possible critique you can make of a presidential election—the doctrine of whiners who know they can't win. Did Gingrich think this way about politics when he was building a GOP platform based on what polled above 70 pecent? When he was sheparding the impeachment of Clinton I because he thought it would win the party House seats? Did Gore think politics was too small when he was egging on Ed Koch in the battle to set New York Jews against New York black voters? When he promised Al Sharpton that the "first civil rights act of the 21st century would be a law outlawing racial profiling"?
Enough already with pretending Gore and Gingrich are prophets or above politics. They wouldn't know straight talk if John McCain's bus ran them over.