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Re: [prezveepsenator] Al Gore, Unleashed

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    Interesting. Expect to hear more about values from the Dems, I caught 2 press conferences today and and values came up a lot. The best line of the day came
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 11, 2005
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      Expect to hear more about values from the Dems, I
      caught 2 press conferences today and and values came
      up a lot. The best line of the day came from Nancy
      Pelosi (paraphrasing): " I don't know just what
      children have done to the administration to be
      punished like this" speaking to regard to a rotten
      (and dead in the water) budget.


      --- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:

      > Al Gore, Unleashed
      > Tell A Friend
      > by David Michael Green
      > If it's not too early - 37 months before the
      > election - I'd like to
      > make an endorsement for president in 2008.
      > It is an endorsement I could not have imagined
      > making in 2000, and
      > certainly not in 1988. But it is one I make today
      > with only a slight
      > degree of trepidation. I've had my heart broken in
      > political love
      > affairs more times than I can count, but somehow
      > this one feels like a
      > keeper.
      > I call for Al Gore to run for president in 2008.
      > He is, within the limitations of the possible,
      > precisely what America
      > requires in this hour of need, and perhaps just what
      > American
      > progressivism requires as well.
      > The rap on Gore is as long as it is broadly known,
      > so there's no use
      > reiterating all his failings as a politician.
      > Besides, some of these
      > accusations were always just plain unfair. While he
      > admittedly
      > electrified no one in 2000, I think many of the
      > charges against him
      > regarding, for example, strategic decisions made in
      > that campaign, are
      > unwarranted. Given the conditions under which he
      > ran, and given his
      > political commitments at the time, I would have
      > advised many of the
      > same choices.
      > My biggest complaint against Gore has always been
      > his politics, not
      > his personality or his reputed woodenness as a
      > candidate (another
      > exaggerated accusation, I'd say). If, like me, you
      > wanted your
      > Democratic nominee to have the politics of an FDR or
      > a Paul Wellstone,
      > in Al Gore you got instead a Joe Lieberman - that
      > is, essentially
      > moderate conservatism masked as centrism. Like Bill
      > Clinton, minus the
      > charisma.
      > But that was the old Al. If you've been following
      > the guy over the
      > last couple of years you know that what has emerged
      > is not just a new
      > politician with a new political incarnation, but
      > something bigger than
      > that, what I take to be a truly new man. Or, perhaps
      > more accurately,
      > the original man, now unpackaged.
      > Of course, this was precisely the central complaint
      > about the old Gore
      > - that he kept remaking himself so many times that
      > you never knew who
      > he was. And who wants a politician who is just a
      > chameleon, constantly
      > prostituting himself by pandering for every possible
      > vote? But, again,
      > I always believed that this charge was more clever
      > and effective
      > opposition framing than reality, just like the
      > garbage about Gore's
      > inflated sense of himself as inventor of the
      > Internet, or as
      > inspiration for "Love Story". Much of this was the
      > 2000 election
      > equivalent of the `flip-flopper' thing they did to
      > Kerry in 2004, only
      > with far less relationship to reality. Republicans
      > desperately needed
      > to turn Gore into something laughable in order to
      > keep people from
      > bursting into guffaws at the patently ridiculous
      > Bush instead, and a
      > biased press went along, with Gore facilitating the
      > ride by failing to
      > make nice to the boys in the back of the bus.
      > In truth, Gore's fundamental mistake to date has
      > been the Democratic
      > Party's fundamental mistake for a quarter-century
      > now. It is the
      > mistake of replacing cleverness for conviction,
      > personality for
      > politics, calculation for courage. When was the last
      > time progressives
      > had a Democratic presidential candidate they could
      > vote for with
      > genuine enthusiasm, as opposed to just avoiding the
      > eviler of two
      > lessers? Dukakis? Please. Carter? Jimmy's been a lot
      > better former
      > president than he was president. Clinton? Better
      > than the alternatives
      > of Herbert Walker or Dole was about all I could ever
      > say about him.
      > Dukakis (oops, I mean Kerry)? Don't get me started.
      > I'd say it was
      > George McGovern, over thirty years ago, and I wasn't
      > even old enough
      > to vote then.
      > Al Gore today strikes me as a man unleashed. I sense
      > that he is
      > someone with nothing to lose anymore, someone who
      > has thrown off the
      > straightjacket of a lifetime's grooming and
      > aspiration only to now be
      > able, Zen-like, to achieve what he has always wanted
      > simply by not
      > trying so hard. If Gore runs like he has been
      > speaking and writing
      > while in exile these last five years, I think
      > America is going to see
      > a Democratic candidate the likes of which it hasn't
      > since perhaps Give
      > `Em Hell Harry Truman did his number in 1948.
      > Why Gore? There are a number of reasons, beyond the
      > obvious ones of
      > resume (including having been the second-most
      > powerful vice-president
      > in American history), name-recognition, campaign
      > experience, fully
      > vetted background, and an existing campaign
      > infrastructure.
      > The most important reason is conviction. I have
      > written and said this
      > countless times, but I will do so again, at the risk
      > of being
      > redundant, because I believe it is one of the
      > central axioms of
      > American politics (and indeed of human nature
      > everywhere). Simply put,
      > people want to be led, and - within limits - they
      > don't care quite so
      > much where you want to lead them as they do that you
      > the leader know
      > where you're going. Both Reagan and Young Bush (till
      > lately) have
      > proven this, it seems to me, by being leaders who
      > were popular chiefly
      > on the basis of their leadership, not because of,
      > and even despite,
      > public policy preferences and ideological
      > dispositions often quite
      > contrary to theirs. This is especially true in the
      > short-term, and, of
      > course, the entire life of any non-incumbent in a
      > campaign is in the
      > short-term.
      > If Al Gore can resist the temptation to yield to the
      > inevitable
      > gravitational forces yanking any candidate towards
      > becoming some
      > Malt-O-Meal mushy political porridge of the
      > unseasoned center, he can
      > be an extremely formidable candidate. The issues are
      > on his side. He
      > need only to present them forcefully, consistently
      > and with
      > conviction, and the voters will follow. The
      > alternative is disaster.
      > Voters can smell insincerity and pandering, and they
      > rarely reward it.
      > The popularity of John McCain (quite possibly the
      > Republican nominee
      > in 2008), and his distinction from garden-variety
      > politicians in or
      > out of his party, is based almost entirely on his
      > perceived persona as
      > a rare politician of conviction. In my judgement he
      > wasted a lot of
      > that with his bear-hug of Bush in 2004 (which any
      > smart Democrat would
      > use in 2008 to dismantle this persona, and hence his
      > very raison
      > d'ĂȘtre as a candidate), but the point is that John
      > McCain is John
      > McCain almost entirely because of this perception of
      > him as a man of
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