Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Al Gore: Referee or Nominee?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 9, 2008 at 11:44 AM

Here's more speculation that Al Gore will referee the Obama-Clinton fight if it remains undecided as June approaches. But would he make a better nominee than either of them?
In his book, Politics Lost, Joe Klein recalls conversations he had with senior advisers to Mr. Gore’s 2000 campaign. They told him of the pressure they put on Mr. Gore not to talk about environmental issues, given the problems it could cause him in Rust Belt states like Pennsylvania and Michigan. Mr. Klein reasonably suggests that one of the reasons that Al Gore seemed so uncomfortable as a candidate was that he was forbidden to discuss the public policy challenge that served as one of his primary motivations for running for office. Eight years later, Mr. Gore is more comfortable in his own skin and more confident in talking about the issues that are important to him. Like Senator Clinton, he evokes positive memories of the 1990s, but without the divisiveness that has hampered her campaign. Like Senator Obama, he opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, but with much more authority and consistency than a speech from the Illinois Legislature. He has avoided the mud that has splashed on both of them as the primaries have gotten nastier. And he has more experience in politics and government than the two of them combined, a handy attribute in a contest against John McCain. In short, he’s a fairly major asset for the Democratic Party to leave on the shelf during such a critical election season. Wonder if he’ll stay there?

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