I was thinking it would be a bad idea for Democrats to nominate Al Gore. The right-wing hate machine would go into hyperdrive, much as it will if Hillary Clinton is nominated.
Gore also failed to carry his own home state in 2000, otherwise the theft of the Florida election wouldn't have mattered and we wouldn't be in the mess we are in today.
The winds are shifting, though. The most recent MTSU poll showed a slight shift to a bluer shade of Tennessee purple. In the 2006 elections, The People sent Washington a message that was loud and clear: we are mad as hell and we're not going to take it any more.
(And even though Corker won in Tennessee, his unimpressive 3 point margin over a black man from Memphis named Ford despite the fact that national Democrats abandoned their hand-picked candidate down the stretch could be chalked up as a symbolic victory for Democrats and further evidence of a shift in Tennessee politics, not to mention that the GOP had to shift resources here which probably helped Webb defeat Allen in Virgina among others.)
But what's really got me thinking about Al Gore for President is this editorial in today's Knoxville News Sentinel.
Judging by their pathetic record on presidential endorsements, their admonition for Gore to stick to the global warming crusade and leave the presidency to someone else amounts to a ringing endorsement for a Gore candidacy as far as I'm concerned.
If the KNS is against a presidential candidate, it's a pretty safe bet that's the candidate you ought to support. Besides, when are Democrats going to stop taking advice from right-wing conservatives about who they should run for president? In 2004 they wanted Dean, and when he self-destructed they wanted Kerry. Look what happened. Now they want to run against Hillary and/or Obama, and hope Gore stays out of it. That should tell you everything you need to know right there.
The KNS says the "the presidency offers a gigantic bully pulpit, it might not be the one that is most effective for the environmental challenge posed by global warming." They are essentially saying that the President of the United States can't effectively promote or enforce environmental policy.
History in their world begins in January of 2001, so they come to this conclusion based on the Bush administration's incredibly harmful neglect of the environment. Which, if you think about it, negates their point. This president has had a huge negative impact on environmental policy.
They also insult the intelligence of not only Al Gore but all Americans. Do they really think Gore is so narrow-minded that he would focus all his attention on climate change and ignore every other issue if he were elected president? Do they really expect people to believe that?
The editorial has another interesting remark regarding global warming, saying "there remain many skeptics, and that is altogether not a bad thing, given the diversity of opinion about most everything in the nation." Memo to the KNS: Skepticism based on blind loyalty to a failed ideology is not an altogether good thing, and opinion is not science.
Anyway, the fact is, for good or ill, Al Gore is the most experienced and most qualified person being talked about as a candidate for president in 2008. He has vision and proven leadership abilities on everything from inventing the internet to raising worldwide awareness of climate change. He is an accomplished policy wonk on par with Bill Clinton in his ability to speak intelligently on any issue.
America could do a lot worse. We already have for the past six years.
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