Just when you thought the Democrat presidential primary couldn’t get any more entertaining, the folks over at Salon are trying to kick off a “draft Al Gore” campaign.
From Salon’s article It’s time to draft Al Gore, with the subheading, “Hillary’s flailing. Biden’s grieving. Bernie’s a longshot. Gore bridges the party’s establishment, progressives”:
Sure, the GOP field is studded with unserious candidates, but they still have a relatively deep bench of big-state governors and prominent senators. To win, therefore, the Democrats need a nationally viable candidate.
Enter Al Gore: the one person on the left, apart from Clinton and Biden, with the cachet to bridge the establishment and progressive wings of the party. Here are 10 reasons why a Gore candidacy makes sense, both for the Democratic Party and the country.
Let’s look at these ten reasons:
1. Stature. Gore is a superstar with impeccable qualifications.
Gore is a superstar on what planet? He’s a polarizing figure whose bizarre exploits as a masseuse’s “crazed sex poodle” while still married hardly warrant superstar status, nor do they speak to his “impeccable” qualifications. His biggest “superstar” achievements are in his role as a proponent of global warming/climate change.
2. Vulnerability. As the new AP poll shows, Clinton’s unfavorability ratings are rising among Americans overall and among Democratic voters in particular.
Hard to argue with this one. The Democrat field is weak, and even Salon acknowledges that the GOP field is stronger. Urging Al Gore to run makes the point all the more clear.
3. Besides Hillary Clinton, no one running as a Democrat is likely to challenge Republicans in a national election. Sanders is a regional candidate at best; he shouldn’t be, but he is, and that’s not changing next year. The other candidates scarcely warrant mentioning: Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, Lincoln Chafee – these guys are political ornaments, running for reasons known only to their friends and families. Gore is a national figure, however. He can rival any GOP candidate in terms of fundraising prowess, party support, organizational acumen, experience, and name recognition. He’s also become something of a rock star post-politics, winning a Nobel, an Oscar, and an Emmy. Gore, in other words, is the perfect package, both politically and professionally.
Again, hard to argue this point. Al Gore could be a national election draw to many on the left, but able to win a general election?
Sure, Gore won an Oscar for his “documentary” An Inconvenient Truth, but as it turned out, the film was littered with errors, and a UK judge ruled that if shown in UK schools, “it can only be shown with guidance notes to prevent political indoctrination.”
As to the Nobel, Obama won one in his first year in office . . . having done nothing to earn it. I’m not sure the Nobel carries the weight it once did.
4. Independents. Gore, justifiably or not, is less polarizing than Clinton, which means he can appeal to independents.
“Less polarizing than Hillary” isn’t a hearty endorsement. Almost everyone is less polarizing than Hillary.
5. Foreign policy. Hillary Clinton is right about a lot of things, but foreign policy isn’t one of them.
Gore on foreign policy? Not so much. Salon argues that his absence from politics during the recent blunders of the Obama administration is a strong position for him to be in because, unlike Clinton, Gore cannot be directly blamed. The famous “I wasn’t there, so I don’t know” strategy.
6. The corruption of the political process by Wall Street is — and should be — a major issue in this election. Everyone knows already how much influence the financial industry has in Washington.
This is a progressive issue that is bound to rally the base (we see this with the growing interest in Bernie Sanders), but Gore is hardly divorced from, much less standing against, Wall Street. He’s a “multimillion dollar investor” who owes much of his immense wealth to Wall Street . . . not that progressives seem to have a problem with that for people on “their side.”
7. Climate change. As Ezra Klein argued a few months ago in a column about Gore, “Income inequality is a serious problem…But climate change is an existential threat.”
This is something the left simply won’t let die, no matter the evidence to the contrary, so let’s look at some of Gore’s statements about climate change:
I’d love to see him run on climate change. Love. It.
8. Gore has nothing to lose. Having been out of politics for so long, Gore is liberated in ways no other candidate is.
True enough, but again, not exactly a ringing endorsement.
9. Vengeance. If we’re stuck with a rerun election (Clinton vs. Bush), most would prefer to see Gore get his vengeance against another Bush.
It just wouldn’t be a progressive argument without some element of vengeance, I guess.
10. Democrats need a spark. Gore may not be new, but his candidacy would feel that way.
Monotonous, droning, dull Gore will be a “spark”? He’s got more personality than Hillary, I guess, but again, that’s not saying much.
Al Gore explains in 2008 why he doesn’t intend to be a presidential candidate “again. Ever”:
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