March 30, 2008

All this talk about Al Gore as a compromise candidate...

It's crazy, isn't it?

Meanwhile, Obama is saying Hillary can stay in the race "as long as she wants." Now, I'm sure he really only means that he's not the right person to tell her to quit. He should maintain his magnanimity. Let surrogates pressure her. But, whatever. He's right.

It's just a tight race and we need to "count every vote." That was the battle cry for Democrats the last time Al Gore came near the presidency. Anyone who thinks that playing out the process to the bitter end is too chaotic and divisive is sounding the anti-Gore theme from the year 2000.

27 comments:

Mortimer Brezny said...

You should link to my polling from earlier in the year, at www.mortimerworld.blogspot.com.

Middle Class Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Middle Class Guy said...

Despite Bill Clinton’s saying it was “a bunch of bull” that his wife should drop out, Democrats are trying to sneak up on Hillary, throw a burlap sack over her head, carry her off the field and stick her in a Saddam spider hole until after the Denver convention.

AllenS said...

What if they had a primary between two candidates, and nobody won? Then they had another with three candidates, and nobody won? Maybe this will never end, and the Supreme Court will have to pick the candidate for the Democrats.

ricpic said...

Though I doubt Al Gore will be a compromise candidate I don't doubt for a minute that he would dearly love to administer the coup de grace to the Hillary candidacy.There's a huge load of payback Gore is itching to unload on the Clintons. Not that either Gore or the Clintons are worth spit. Just sayin'...

Middle Class Guy said...

First Al Gore has to save the planet, that is if he can keep finding larger sized tights and masks for his expanding girth and swelling head.

Kev said...

Gore has name recognition but no network, and we all saw how that didn't work for Thompson. He would essentially have to co-opt one of the existing campaigns to get an organization, and would all those people switch allegiances so quickly? Especially after working so hard for so long and then being told to stand down right at the finish line.

This is nothing new. Every election year when it becomes obvious who the last one or two candidates are, someone always floats the theory that a white knight will emerge to rescue the party. It never happens, because the people who have spent years of their lives toward the goal just aren't going to turn it over to an outsider.

George said...

Weird stuff happens....

Before the 1960 Dem. convention, The Wall Street Journal spiked a story about Joe Kennedy's W. Va. vote buying via payoffs to sheriffs because its publisher did not believe his paper should decide the Dem. nominee.

New California Governor Reagan secretly allowed party activists to rouse support for him at the 1968 Miami convention and would have bested Nixon had kingmaker Strom Thurmond switched sides. (Thurmond preferred Nixon because he thought he'd more strongly defend segregation.)

At the 1968 Chicago convention, future Dem. party chair Texan Robert Strauss told columnist Robert Novak that if Humphrey softened his stand on the war, LBJ would fly to Chicago, announce his candidacy, dooming Humphrey. (Years later, Strauss told Novak that LBJ only wanted to frighten Hump into following the LBJ line.) Result: HHH loses because he can't shake his i.d. with LBJ.

And Wallace might have pulled enough votes from Nixon to give Humphrey the election, had his running mate former SAC chief LeMay not made unfortunate remarks about nuclear war in his first press appearance.

....From Novak's autobiography "The Prince of Darkness."

Hector Owen said...

Gore's building a database right up in the right-hand corner: "The Alliance for Climate Protection is a nonpartisan non-profit organization founded by former Vice President Al Gore focused on stopping global warming." The ad, if you click it, is just a sign-up sheet. At the moment, "1,056,053 people have joined so far." That's a lot of names and emails, and they all belong to people who think highly enough of Gore to associate themselves with him at all, who think "global warming" is real and worth making an effort to stop, and who are looking direction. From Al Gore.

Hector Owen said...

who are looking for direction.
Previewed, still missed it.

Ann Althouse said...

Let me say that I've never rejected an ad, and I encourage all the candidates to buy ads on my blog.

tjl said...

In this videocentric age, could America take Gore seriously as a candidate? He'd be the fattest president since William Howard Taft, a porker who required specially-reinforced seating in the White House.

rhhardin said...

Remember that when the race is close, it doesn't matter who wins, from the point of view of democratic rule. People are close enough to 50/50 so that either way is fine.

What does matter to democracy is that the result be determinative.

Nothing underhanded suspected.

Which is what Gore did in 2000, against a fairly long tradition of shutting up for the good of the country. That is, act as if the result is determinative, if you lose, for the good of the country.

I don't know of a way to automate good character, however.

dbp said...

Crazy as Gore is and yes, I do think he is a nut; he is at least reasonably qualified for the presidency. Senator, VP, various business and ngo ventures; the guy knows how to make things happen.

I would be willing to bet that Gore would do far better against McCain than either Clinton or Obama would.

I just don't see a clear or smooth way to get him the nomination. It would have been easier had Edwards stayed in the race. Edwards would have been a distant 3rd, but would have had enough delegates to keep either of the front-runners from getting 50%. He could have been a king-maker and asked for something big like AG. Hindsight 20/20 etc...

Kev said...

Hector, I've seen the ads, but a mailing list isn't the same as having people on the ground that are effectively organized and know how to get their vote out. It takes ten seconds to put your name on an email listing. It takes months and years to set up a campaign. If online activity was all it took, the Republicans would be getting ready to nominate Ron Paul.

SteveR said...

Portends an early winter in fall 2008, me thinks.

M. Simon said...

It's just a tight race and we need to "count every vote." That was the battle cry for Democrats the last time Al Gore came near the presidency.

Ann, Ann, Ann. Democrats should never be held to their word. It was expedient to say that. Now it is expedient to say something else.

What I find so totally amusing is that the Ds are using tactics normally reserved for Republicans on each other.

It's so unfair. Har.

And he fact that 1/2 the Ds are accusing Hillary of the same thing the Rs accused the Clintons of?

Priceless.

Martin Gale said...

In the past conventions actually chose the candidate based on a mixture of corruption, a best estimate of elect-ability, an objective assessment of qualifications, and the passions of the moment. Primary results were just a small input to the process. Under this old system Gore would almost surely be the nominee and, given the mood of the country, would likely win the general. Instead we now have two candidates that essentially tied in the primaries competing on the basis of who can pad their own resume the most while simultaneously debunking their opponents. Why not let the parties act like parties and weigh the best candidate based on a multidimensional set of criteria ?

Fen said...

Lets be frank. Al Gore tried to steal a Presidential election. And he had absentee military ballots thrown out on hyper-technicalities.

He's not going to be elected President.

Jay Smooth said...

I agree the calls for Clinton to drop out are misguided, but this comparison is inapt:

"Anyone who thinks that playing out the process to the bitter end is too chaotic and divisive is sounding the anti-Gore theme from the year 2000."

The issue of divisiveness is relevant in 2008 because this fight is within a single party that needs to unite behind their candidate in Nov.. Lingering ill will from on ongoing dispute raises concerns that are not comparable with the 2000 dispute. There's no hypocrisy in wanting to Hillary to drop out after calling for Gore to fight on (though I don't share the sentiement re: Hillary)

John Stodder said...

The "division" in the Democratic Party is basically a very competitive beauty contest. Unlike '68, '72, '76 and '80, it's basically free of ideological meaning. So uniting the party after it's decided won't be nearly as difficult--unless the winner is Clinton and it is perceived that she "stole" it, which could alienate blacks. But the schneid Obama's on now probably reduces the saliency of that issue. The question will become, is he still electable? If the answer's no, I think that will be apparent to everyone, including African-American leaders.

The loser's political mob will carry a grudge for awhile, but it'll be hard to sustain. I don't think McCain should count on the votes from 19 percent of the losing candidate's supporters.

Certainly, McCain's odds have improved significantly, but that's because both Democratic candidates are shrinking under scrutiny. They're not doing it to each other; they're doing it to themselves.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elliott A said...

Sorry, Gore isn't qualified to be dogcatcher. He is certifiable. How good is it to have a president who has been called insane by a friendly European president? He is a laughingstock, and will ultimately be regardedasone of the biggest fools and scammers of teh early 21st century.

Hector Owen said...

I agree on all counts, Elliott A. But none of them rules out the possibility that he might be the one on the ticket in the fall. Remember that Time Magazine cover story from last May?

Al Gore—the improbably charismatic, Academy Award–winning, Nobel Prize–nominated environmental prophet with an army of followers and huge reserves of political and cultural capital at his command.

I don't want to see him run. But the time taken for campaigns has become so long that all the early candidates have time enough to fail. That's another reason to shorten the campaigns, just to improve the odds of actually having a candidate left by election time.

Middle Class Guy said...

tjl said...
In this videocentric age, could America take Gore seriously as a candidate? He'd be the fattest president since William Howard Taft, a porker who required specially-reinforced seating in the White House.



Talk about pork barrel spending!

jaymcdonough said...

from swimming freestyle:

"That said, one of the Democrats biggest problems is their hell bent insistence on looking backward for solutions. The Clintons counted on exactly this tendency when Hillary Clinton began her campaign: she was absolutely convinced she was a lock for the nomination because she knew dutiful Democrats would fondly recall the 1990's and just assume all we needed to do was elect another Clinton and voila - it's the 90's again (well...maybe not everything about the 90's - just the good stuff)."

http://swimmingfreestyle.typepad.com

Laura said...

You could look at this conversely, and say that Gore has some claim to legitimacy because he was already elected president.

I'd be okay with Gore as a compromise nominee, but only if he makes Obama his VP.

Purple State Pundit