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Why Gore? Why Not?

April 14, 2008

I never thought I'd have anything good to say about Al "Forrest" Gore, let alone that he looks far and away like the most attractive Democrat candidate for president. For Gore to look good is revealing of how pathetic the top two current contenders really are. But to me, he also looks good because he may ultimately be the most beatable.

It would seem that sensible Democrats (I know, an oxymoron) would be searching for a Plan B given the real possibility of a deadlocked convention in Denver. As the convention approaches, there is a sense of increasing desperation as Democrats realize that Hillary Clinton is going to push this campaign to the limit and beyond, if that's what it takes to win. To her and her operatives, the numbers aligned against her simply don't matter. And now that the drive-by media have, to use the current vernacular, "thrown her under the bus," Democrat leaders are fearful that her chances of beating McCain are fading.

On the other side, there are more questions arising about Obama's associations with questionable figures and how his beliefs and propulsion into politics have been shaped by them. As these questions continue to buzz around him, they will continue to drain the luster and charisma from his campaign.

The Draft Gore web site is imploring people to join the cause and, in a brief article entitled "Al Gore to the Rescue?" claims that there is a "buzz everywhere" about a potential Gore candidacy. The article goes on to argue that "with the battle between Clinton and Obama becoming increasingly acrimonious, many Democrats are beginning to consider the possibility of reaching out to a candidate untainted by the primary fight who could unite all Democrats and lead the party to victory in November." Enter Algore, stage left on a white horse, to thunderous applause.

It's true that in the experience category, Gore wins hands down against either Hillary or Obama. He actually was the vice president, not some unelected and trumped-up "co-president." And although the claim by his supporters that Gore was "the most activist" vice president in the nation's history is questionable, he still held the office for 8 years as well as 16 years in the House of Representatives and Senate.

One of the most disheartening aspects of the current campaign is that none of the remaining candidates-Democrat or Republican-offer any challenge to the myth of "man-made global warming." This may raise a legitimate question as to why any right-minded conservative would then want the high priest of the environmentalist whackos to enter the race. I guess my answer is, at this point what do we have to lose?

Gore is the one candidate whose environmental views are so extreme, that even McCain's pandering to the environmental lobby looks tame in comparison. Therefore there might actually be some perceived contrast between the two. Gore is the one candidate, with his smug, self-righteous style, who could ignite the infamous McCain temper that the latter has implicitly promised would not be lost in this campaign. However, this might actually work to McCain's advantage, as long as he doesn't completely lose it.

For one thing, some fire from McCain would show the voters that he's human and that he's passionate about his beliefs. For another, it would enliven what is shaping up as perhaps one of the most banal, PC-constrained campaigns in history. Let's face it: McCain would feel more freedom to go after a fellow Caucasian male than either of the two current candidates based on their race or gender.

Finally, for all his notoriety stemming from his devotion to Mother Earth, Gore remains as dull as dust as a political candidate. There's no way that he could ever win on charisma the way that Obama or even Hillary could. On those rare occasions when he's exhibited emotion besides the "I invented the Internet" smugness, it's clearly backfired-the lingering kiss with his wife at the 2000 Democrat convention, and the rabid "He betrayed this country" rant against Bush in 2004 are two notable examples. If Gore had any realistic thought of getting another crack at his nemesis Bush, his embarrassing tirade put that to rest, despite his undoubted desire to avenge his 2000 defeat.

So the irony is that, while Gore may appear to be the savior the Democrats seek as a graceful way to ditch Hillary and Obama at a deadlocked convention, he may in fact be more beatable than either of them if McCain becomes the tougher candidate that he won't allow himself to be against the two lesser opponents.

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Copyright ©2008 Phil Perkins