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Time this week presents a perspective from Joe Klein titled Is Al Gore the Answer?. Three things: A. It looks today like Obama has it; B. It looks like Elvis will not (cannot) leave the building so maybe Obama doesn’t have it; C. It looks like one of those times in history when the Trickster is at hand and anything can (will) happen. In this environment Klein brings in a more or less classic scenario: A brokered convention in which a third individual appealing to all to some degree is bought in and in this case that could be (should be) Al Gore.

Klein writes:

Let's say the elders of the Democratic Party decide, when the primaries end, that neither Obama nor Clinton is viable. ... All they'd have to do would be to convince a significant fraction of their super delegate friends, maybe fewer than 100, to announce that they were taking a pass on the first ballot at the Denver convention, which would deny the 2,025 votes necessary to Obama or Clinton. What if they then approached Gore and asked him to be the nominee, for the good of the party-and suggested that he take Obama as his running mate? ... A prominent fund raiser told me, 'Gore-Obama is the ticket a lot of people wanted in the first place.

I think it was Emerson (or maybe Kerouac) who said that people don’t make history; historic events make people. The question we might ask ourselves at this moment is: What is the critical issue of our time? The war in Iraq? Oil? The declining dollar and the failing economy? China and India rising? Unification of the country and the crisis of authority in Washington, D.C.? Russian bombers circling Alaska? In that regard Gore might be considered. His name is singularly attached to the issue of global warming and if this becomes the paramount issue, he comes to the fore with it.

What is interesting about Gore in the current political climate is that as a Clinton Administration guy, he, almost alone among the rising fourth generation, has cache. His popularity transcends his own generation. His ratings here last year were sky high – somewhere in the 80% approval if I recall, while Senator Clinton’s hovered around zero. So he could, as Klein says, appeal to the broad spectrum.

But the issues should (and will) bring forth the best candidate to solve that particular problem. And one more fire season across the Southwest may bring us to the issue of supreme importance, global warming.

I feel that we are still in denial on this issue. We bring forth simple or inappropriate solutions like the "caretaker of the earth" one based on a Bible teaching (which is actually about investing money). But we are symbiotes with the earth and the earth cares for us. Or we rush into wrong directions like biofuel which makes things worse.

It is still snowing this morning outside my window here in the north country of New Hampshire and we tend to think about it more when it is hot. Perhaps we will need a Pearl Harbor to finally face up to this issue. Mark Lynas’s new book, Six Degrees, Our Future on a Hotter Planet, presents a picture that is now not unlikely. It brings a vision of danger that sends all of history’s villains into shadow. But here there is not Hitler, no Stalin; no bad guy to bag like Saddam. Here it is Pogo’s maxim:

We have found the enemy and he is us.

As The Guardian’s review of Six Degrees, titled Six Steps to Hell, puts it:

By the end of the century, the Earth could be more than 6C hotter than it is today, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We know that would be bad news - but just how bad? How big a rise will it take for the Alps to melt, the oceans to die and desert to conquer Europe and the Americas?

I am one of the people who thought that Gore was not always a great Vice President. The Clinton foreign policy initiatives which he fully endorsed and advanced were dangerous and naïve. He tended to listen to novelty perspectives and pop culture mavens. But I also believe that he has grown and improved as a man and as a public figure in the last ten years and that is a remarkable and rare transition for someone his (and my) age. He has earned the title of Elder as many who claim it now have not.

I hope for an Obama Presidency. My best scenario would be a post-partisan commission to face global warming featuring Mike Bloomberg, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jodi Rell, Governor of Connecticut, who have already made major strides on this issue which have left the federal government in the dust. And a hundred years from now I’d hope the names of those commissioners would be remembered as the names Eisenhower and Marshall and Roosevelt are recalled from the Second World War and its aftermath.

But a commission like this would work just as well with Al Gore at the helm as a transcendent leader.

Originally posted to Bernie Quigley on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 08:04 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Al Gore could be appointed... (3+ / 0-)

    Global Warming Czar as the special counsel to the energy task force...

    Obama/Richardson '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

    by dvogel001 on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 08:07:32 AM PDT

  •  It would be a painfully ironic (5+ / 0-)

    if at the end of all this we end up with a (very) white guy.

  •  So instead of having a president (4+ / 0-)

    for whom the majority of the people did not vote, we end up with a democratic nominee for whom none of the voters voted?  And it's the same guy.

    That would go over well .

    "2009" The end of an error

    by sheddhead on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 08:13:49 AM PDT

    •  it's important to note that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JekyllnHyde, sheddhead

      there is no evidence whatsoever that Gore himself is seeking any backroom deals out here. I don't see him stepping in except under grave conditions that are evident, in order to help the party. We need to ensure that those grave conditions (which IMO are being fueled by the negative campaign by HRC) do not come to pass and that, as we expect and hope, Obama is nominated and is in good stead for the general election.

      •  And you know, Neuvo (4+ / 0-)

        I am a Gore NUT.  A fanatic.  I asked him to run.  He is a great person, and would be a great president, if he had run again.

        But I'd be ticked if he ended up on the ticket, at this point.  Not as angry as if, say... Gravel did.  But either way - I'd be figuring out a way to Denver, to express my displeasure.

        "2009" The end of an error

        by sheddhead on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 08:19:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't worry (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JekyllnHyde, NeuvoLiberal, sheddhead

          He'll only accept if the circumstances are extreme, such as if both the candidates are simply unable to run in a general election for whatever reason. He'd probably say "Look, I didn't even run this cycle ... ask Edwards." in such a situation.

          •  In Other Words (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TLS66, NeuvoLiberal, sheddhead

            He'll only accept if the circumstances are extreme

            ... I believe that there is no way that Gore will put his own interests above the party's interests.  Ever!

            He isn't seeking the nomination, he didn't run for it, and the only way his name is even considered is that the Obama-Clinton fight has deteriorated to the point that polls show conclusively that either would lose to McCain in November and that no resolution can be reached prior to the Convention.  

            I do not expect that scenario to occur for one would think that the Democratic Party's interests are bigger than either Obama's or Clinton's personal ambitions.

            I'm hoping we resolve this nomination fight no later than mid-June.

            A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. America for Gore

            by JekyllnHyde on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 08:43:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  the way I see this (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JekyllnHyde, sheddhead, limpidglass

          Gore scenario is as a worst-case fall-back option.

          Clinton's tactic since after WI/HI has been to try and make Obama less electable (praising McCain and dissing Obama, the 3 AM fear mongering, stoking the Wright story once again early this week etc, are all seemingly aimed at that goal). Obama did take a hit vs McCain as a result, but on the positive side, the latest GE polls show an uptick for him .

          Obama has worked and still is working hard to earn the nomination. If he wins the pledged delegate tally, I expect and want to see him as the nominee. We also want him then to be strong vs McCain. In order to realize that scenario, we need to try our best to and ensure that Clinton's negative tactics (which they're tag-teaming with the RWNM on) do not pan out. Clinton has a moral and ethical prerogative to not go negative against Obama as long as she stays in the race (where she faces incredible odds against gaining a lead in pledged delegates anyhow).

          However, if Clinton's tactics work and Obama's unfavorables rise sharply (as will Clinton's; his are in the 45-50% now, and hers in the 50-55% range), then we'll be in tough situation for the GE.

          The moral of the story is this: we need to help Obama win the nomination AS WELL AS help keep his negatives down.

    •  AndersonCooper on Leno last night said re:Al Gore (0+ / 0-)

      or any other Convention Appointed Nominee flies in the face of the peoples' ballots. Cooper thought that would be a bad move on the part of the Democratic Party.  The Cooper-Leno interview had Anderson sounding almost reasonable and balanced. Of course Leno leans so far right, anyone would sound more centered.

  •  In my humble opinion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frostyinPA, drmah

    the only thing worse then the super delegates over turning the will of the voters is for the party to hand the nomination to someone who hasn't gotten a single vote in 8 years. I like Gore, but if he wanted in he should have ran.


    by Grant Caesar Peters on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 08:20:26 AM PDT

  •  Anyone see this new Gore poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    watch out for snakes

    from Rasmussen?

    Some pundits have recently floated the possibility of Al Gore as a compromise nominee to end the Obama-Clinton struggle. However, when Rasmussen Reports asked Democratic Primary Voters about a three-way race including Gore, the former Vice President attracted less support than both Obama and Clinton. The national telephone survey of 423 Likely Democratic Primary Voters shows Obama attracting 42% support while Clinton earns 26% and Gore is the top choice for 23%.

    Among White Male voters, Obama leads Gore 40% to 33% while Clinton trails with just 18% support.

    Among White Women, it’s Clinton 37%, Obama 30%, and Gore 25%.

    Among African-American voters, it’s Obama at 70%, Clinton with 14%, and Gore barely registering at 5%.

    The survey also found that 41% believe that Obama would be the strongest general election candidate against John McCain. Twenty-six percent (26%) say that Gore would be the strongest candidate while 23% named Clinton.

    Among White Women, 32% say Obama is the strongest general election candidate. Just 29% name Clinton and 26% say Gore would be the best.

    From the opposite perspective, 36% said Clinton would be the weakest general election candidate. Twenty-nine percent (29%) named Gore as the weakest and just 19% said that description applies to Obama.

    Just 4% believe it is Very Likely that Gore will emerge as the nominee of the Democratic Party. Another 9% say that outcome is Somewhat Likely.

    Don't Legitimize Fox News.
    "Democrats have the heart to care."

    by jeepdad on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 08:26:22 AM PDT

    •  A rather false equivalence (0+ / 0-)

      A better one might be asking if they could accept Gore as a compromise in the face of very extreme circumstances (one of or both the candidates unable to run in the general for whatever reason ... death, severe political damage, disability, sickness, etc.)

  •  Gore-stalgia dies hard. (0+ / 0-)

    Gore is about the only candidate who might do as badly as Hillary against McCain. This election is about one thing and one thing only: change.

    He's not running anyway. Too overweight.

    •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TLS66, limpidglass, GoracleFan

      "Gore is about the only candidate who might do as badly as Hillary against McCain."

      That's patently untrue.

      Gore opposed the war before any other major politician did. Advantage Gore over McCain.

      Gore owns the climate change issue, which is McCain's primary foray into independent/Dem voters. Huge advantage for Gore over McCain.

      Gore supports single payer HC. Advantage Gore over McCain.

      Gore actually knows a whole lot about the economy and helped deliver results. McCain is a a self-admitted dud on the economy. Huge advantage for Gore over McCain.

      Gore opposed the Bush regime every step of the way. McCain wants a third Bush term. Gore would beat McCain hands down. Case closed.

      •  All true, but Gore is not popular. (0+ / 0-)

        Just look at his favorability ratings and poll numbers. Jesus, he "lost" to a pipsqueak like Bush! How's he going to beat a popular guy like McCain? Remember, issues have nothing to do with presidential elections. It's all about who's well liked. Period. And the fact is Gore is not that well liked. He's perceived as a smarty-pants who thinks he knows what's best for everyone.

        I like Gore fine, but he's a blast from the past, and the injustice done to him in 2000 just makes people uncomfortable. People want to MOVE ON!

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

          Gore's most recent favorables are not bad.

          CBS: 46% fav, 29% unfav
          Gallup: 58% fav, 37% unfav

          "he "lost" to a pipsqueak like Bush!"

          We went over this sometime back Clinton scandal cost Gore the election by handicapping him to double digit deficits. Add media smears (they won't get away this time because of the netroots being here this time) and the Nader factor (which won't be a potent factor as he wasn't in 2004) to the mix.

          "How's he going to beat a popular guy like McCain?"

          Because he's better than McCain on almost all possible issues.  The situation is far better in terms of the political disinformation climate precisely because we are here to help minimize the impact of disinformation (as we are doing to help Obama).

          Obama should be the nominee because he's fighting for it (and hopefully he and us will beat back Clinton's negative campaign and tactics to leave him in good stead for the general), but you can't make the argument that Gore won't or can't beat McCain.

    •  That's a disgusting comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      more worthy of the Freepers. Take that shit to Redstate.

  •  Trying to sell magazines (0+ / 0-)

    Not a chance.

  •  This has been a right wing fantasy for awhile (0+ / 0-)

    They want the Dem Party to self-destruct, and come off as the same kind of drones begging for some appointed leader that they are.

    I've talked to many Repubs who have been making the same prediction as Klein, for awhile now.  Usually with a smirk, as if to say "you guys are as bad as us".

  •  Gore is Fantastic (0+ / 0-)

    I was out there getting petitions signed for Al Gore to run for President. He would be a very fine President. I also think Gore has tremedous politial acument and outstanding judgement.

    It was his judgement to not run. He shut down the petitions. He saw something that kept him out of the race, either inside himself, or more likely, in the political landscape. Now if he had had his name on the ballot in California, and other states, and gotten support as a "draft" candidate it would not be a stretch to see him as a compromise candidate.

    But he didn't. And while I think it is our loss, I think the hope and promise of Obama gives us something very powerful. Not the same as Gore, but more in keeping with the change that is needed. Gore will be there to help, because his help is needed, and I am sure Obama will gladly accept.

    Remember, THEY hate us for our Freedom! The freedom for the President to do as he damn well pleases.

    by Tuba Les on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 11:07:16 AM PDT

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