Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Al Gore for President...

I am clearing up what must be a burning question for vast hordes of Club Lefty readers. I endorse the (yet to be announced) candidacy of Al Gore for President in 2008.

There has been noise that Barack Obama is interested in making a run at the office. I fully believe that one day Obama will be President, but I would like to see him get some political seasoning. I also am not keen on seeing another Democratic candidate carrying the standard of the party straight from the Senate. Governorships seem to be a nice platform for launching a candidacy so maybe Obama could run Illinois for a while and then run for President.

Senator Hillary Clinton is married to one of the best Presidents this country has ever had. The only factor that keeps him from the pantheon of the Greatest Presidents is that he never did face a crisis of huge magnitude. However I fear that Ms. Clinton and the people that surrounded Bill as he progressed have taken the wrong lesson from his rise to power and success in governing. The lesson of Clinton is not that Democrats should lean to the right in order to be elected. Clintonism was based upon a persona that people instinctively liked with a nearly bottomless intellectual interest in the political minutiae that Clinton made a part of his Presidency. We still see this when Clinton gives a speech that goes on at length on the details of global poverty, while making the subject interesting for the lay person to follow.

Hillary needs to find her likability factor in order to capitalize on the lessons provided by her husband. I'm afraid at this point she has lost that affability factor in a drive to appear tough and lean to the right. One issue in which she must... simply MUST evolve her thinking.... is the Iraq war. There simply is no way in the world that a pro war candidate will ever win the nomination for President on the Democratic ticket.

If she were to gain the Democratic nomination for President I would absolutely support her against the Republican candidate. I rather suspect however I will be supporting a different candidate in the primary.

Another possible candidate is Senator Russ Feingold. He is a very attractive candidate at this point in the game but I fear he will simply become another name in a big field of candidates whose overall message will be dissipated and his candidacy will dissolve with a stretch of mediocre showings in the primaries. I also have the dislike of him going into the race from the Senate... which I believe is a prime target for opposition research based upon votes on obscure subjects which can be made to appear very damaging on a case by case basis. 'I was for it before I voted against it' is just such a case, which anyone who cares about the minutiae of Senatorial procedure understands perfectly well, but which was devastating to Kerry in the larger scheme.

Al Gore on the other hand has already won. He beat Bush in 2000 in the popular vote nationwide, and the majority of voters in Florida intended to vote for him as well. What Bush won was the vote of Supreme Court Justices and that was it. His message is cogent for the circumstances we as a nation face today. His speech in response to the revelations of the NSA spy program last fall was an absolute primer on the subject of political opposition in the face of a lawless administration. His stand on global warming, even as the Bush administration continues to try to keep our nations collective head in the sand on the issue, is scientifically sound and alarming in the implications of continued inaction. Gore appears passionate about the issues that are most important to our nation at this time. Calling the administration out whenever he is given the chance, even as Hillary seems determined to triangulate her base away, makes Al Gore the clear choice for those who see things as I do for President in 2008.

Now we just have to convince him to run.

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