Gore's the One

Steve Novick

Russ Feingold is a hell of a guy, but nobody knows who he is; nobody will give him lots of money that he could use to explain who he is; and even if they did, he probably wouldn’t take it. So who – really – should progressives support for President in 2008?

Well, let’s see. We need someone with a snowball’s chance of defeating Newt Gingrich’s new best friend, the warmongering front-runner. We need someone who was against the war from the beginning, but has credibility on national defense. And it would be nice to have someone with a whiff of Fate about him. For example, the last time an incumbent Vice-President lost a very close and possibly stolen election, he came storming back to win eight years later, in the midst of an increasingly unpopular war. So if you had someone like that lying around, he’d be an ideal candidate. Oh, and if you had someone with a real, big REASON to run, let’s say someone personally identified with one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced, something like, say, global warming, that would help, too …

Yeah, I know people think Al Gore ran a lousy campaign. As I recall, he started out about 20 points behind and won the damned thing, so I’m not sure how bad it really was. It’s true, certainly, that he shouldn’t have sighed during the debate and it’s true that (like Nixon) he failed to take full advantage of his ties to the popular incumbent.

But think about it. What do we need? To win on the war (and to energize progressives), we need a real anti-war candidate, not a “yes but” like the hapless John Kerry. But it has to be an anti-war candidate who’s reassuringly familiar, so voters won’t be afraid to give him the reigns during these internationally turbulent times. And we need someone with a chance of beating Hillary – and ONLY Gore has the stature to beat Hillary.

And it would be nice to have someone who actually believes in something. Russ Feingold believes in campaign finance reform; nobody cares. John Edwards believes in helping the poor, which is great; but I think the young-green thing really hurts him on the national security comfort-level front. (That said, I’ll happily support Edwards if Gore doesn’t run.)

Al Gore believes in fighting the threat of global warming
... which is, in fact, the greatest threat the human race has ever faced, with the possible exception of Hitler. If you caught his act at the Convention Center awhile back, you couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with his knowledge, his passion, his eloquence on that issue. And this time, he’d talk about it. I am convinced, watching him in the last few years, that Al really does have that “free at last” thing going. If he ran, he wouldn’t be overcoached; he’d say what he thinks. Yes, I know that global warming isn’t at the top of most voters’ lists – but it’s moving up there – and more importantly, as Lyndon Johnson said, “what convinces is conviction.” You get a guy who can talk articulately and passionately about something that voters at least vaguely know we’re all supposed to care about, people will say “Well, gosh darn it, his issue might not be my cup of tea but isn’t it refreshing to see a candidate who cares about something other than getting elected.”

I don’t agree with Al Gore on everything. Hated NAFTA. Don’t think he fought enough for Clinton’s investment agenda in 1993. (I was just reading Robert Reich’s book, “Locked in the Cabinet.”) He isn’t Paul Wellstone.

But he was against the war. Loudly, proudly, and early. He is the person, among all the people on earth, who is best suited to lead the nation that emits 25% of the world’s carbon dioxide in an effort to save the world’s coastal cities from drowning in the deluge from melted ice caps, save the world’s farmland from dying of thirst, save us all from a future of disaster and disease. And he is the only Democrat who can beat the over-calculating, pro-war, widely-hated (although I acknowledge much of the hatred is rather irrational) front-runner.

Gore’s the one.

Comments

  • Marge Bare (unverified)
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    I'm right there with you. I sat at the convention center for several hours waiting for a gracious Gore to finish his first speech. He had offered to stay for another since so many people waited in line but couldn't fit in the first time. That in itself speaks volumes to his passion and compassion. The whole time he spoke, intelligent, articulate, a sense of urgency for the peril ahead... all I could think was "he could be our President right now". I'm willing to wait! Keep up the support!

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Al Gore has been part of the Democratic Party oligarchy for most of his political life. That should be one strike against him. He was as phony as could be switching his position during his campaign for president with each new poll - a feat emulated by the phony the Dems gave us as the lesser of two evils in 2004. That makes two strikes. Gore's latest incarnation is an extension of the populist image he projected in his 2000 campaign. Read Ralph Nader's take on this in his book, "Crashing the Party." You may come to the conclusion this is strike three. Maybe Gore has changed and become honest, but it should take more than a few speeches to provide convincing evidence. In Gore's favor I would consider him to be the lesser of two evils when compared with Hillary, Kerry, Biden or McCain. As for Russ Feingold who has exemplary credentials for progressives, why not work to make sure that he and his record are made well-known? His problem, however, may be fatal to his chances. He is one of the few honest politicians in Washington while the American people seem to have a preference for phonies and crooks.

  • LT (unverified)
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    For Gore to run again, he needs to convince ordinary Americans that he can speak as passionately when he IS running for president as when he isn't. I say this as someone who has met Al, his Mom, his wife; who was involved in the 1988 Gore campaign. The next nominee needs to inspire people and connect with ordinary folks in the way Dean and Edwards did in their short-lived presidential campaigns. It has to be someone who can talk about solving problems rather than just being a wonk.

    Michael Moore gave a speech in his home town of Flint, MI recently televised on CSPAN where he said many people agree with much of the Democratic platform, they just don't like Democratic candidates. He said that Democrats need to nominate those who speak from the heart, are common sense down to earth people, know what they believe and how to explain it to ordinary people and are not afraid of Republicans.

    We saw more of that in Jan. 1996 when Gore came to Oregon to campaign for Ron Wyden than we saw in 2000 (he ought to be ashamed of how he treated Bradley and Bradley supporters--it has been shown time and time again that ruthless primaries, as opposed to primaries where candidates remain friends and keep their eyes on the prize of the November election, hurt the general election effort). And although this may sound minor, he needs a campaign song people can relate to--"You can call me Al" or something else people can sing along with and recognize as opposed to whatever that was in the fall of 2000---and just in general convince those who think politics is broken that his campaign in 2008 would be worthwhile. I wonder how he would do in a debate with Edwards.

    There was a joke in 2000 about the "dauphin" election--2 sons of famous fathers running against each other. Gore needs to dispel that impression if he is going to be successful.

  • Simp (unverified)
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    Agreed. I, for one, would love to see Al run again.

    Run Al, Run!

  • NJG (unverified)
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    You hit it right on the head. Al Gore is the ONLY one who can lead this country out of the mess George Bush has gotten us into, and he is the only one who can win (for one thing, he's already proven that he can). Al Gore's time has come. The country is waiting for a proven leader with intelligence, experience, wisdom, and a commanding presence to lead us out of the darkness we've been plunged into, back out into the daylight.

    We should all be working as hard as we can to see to it that Al Gore runs in 2008, and then we should knock ourselves out to get him in the White House where he belongs.

  • Jim McKenzie (Nagasakee) (unverified)
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    Gore in 2005 is not nearly the Gore of 1996. He's changed, is no longer the wooden campaigner run by handlers. He's a free man who now says what he thinks. And what he thinks is exactly what the country needs: he was opposed to the Iraq war from the beginning, he wanted to protect and save Social Security (we could use that lockbox now) and he's the unchallenged leader on Global Warming and the environment. He's not in the pocket of Big Oil and his populism is exactly waht progressives and liberals, as well as moderate centrists need now after 8 years of neo-con rule. Gore has the experience, leadership and dare I say it...charisma...that no other Democrat has. Compared to the baggage that Kerry, Clinton or even edwards has, Gore is remarkably untainted by any scandal over the last decade. About the other things you can throw at him (wooden campaigner, Chinse fund raising, "invented the internet", earthtones and Alpha male) are all old news and have no sting anymore.

    I think Al should run, and give us some sort of sign that he'd be open to a campaign if he felt the country wanted him. Run Al, run.

  • Becky (unverified)
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    The problem with Al Gore running again is that the voting machine manufacturers clearly do not want him in the White House. Why waste your time?

  • Karl (unverified)
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    Can Jim Mckenzie (or any one) tell me what Edwards baggage is?

  • Jesse O (unverified)
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    Nor did anyone know who Howard Dean was. And, well, he almost won. But I agree, Russ isn't the man. We need a southerner or a westerner, and Wisconsin, well, it don't count.

    Perhaps Brian Schweitzer?

    Edwards' baggage is that he's a rich trial lawyer. I think he can overcome that with charisma, and I supported him as the Pres. candidate in the last election. So he'd be fine too.

    That said, it's not clear that Gore will be able to rally the troops -- sure, he's a good speaker. But are people still mad that he lost his race (well, put it in a position that it could be stolen), despite the amazing economy, happiness with Clinton, etc.?

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    Edwards' baggage is that he's a rich trial lawyer.

    Actually, voters don't really mind. It's a net plus - people think that, well, if he fought like that for his clients, he can fight like that for us in DC. [Disclosure Note: I worked against the jury limits/malpractice cap, which was opposed by many trial lawyers, among others] Still, public opinion research bears this out, and in 2004, more time/energy was spent going after him for being a lightweight on foreign affairs and "not ready to be commander-in-chief." I don't think it's necessarily fair, but the trial attorney thing wasn't really that big of a deal.

    As for Gore, not only has he given some great speeches, he's really, genuinely funny. Did anyone see him on Saturday Night Live a while back? Did a great job.

    And America loves a comeback. As for the campaign, I know that he has publicly said (pre '04) that if he had to do it all over again, he'd "just let it rip." Judging from what he's been up to recently, I think it would be pretty interesting.

    LT - he was in a primary with Bradley, but I don't think it was nearly as brutal as Iowa was for Dean or S. Carolina was for McCain. They both fought hard, but I remember Bradley certainly getting over it pretty quickly. He hosted a HP on behalf of Gore a few months afterwards in Portland that was a lot of fun. (Also, they used "You Can Call Me Al" at the 92 Convention too, fyi)

    I really think one of the great political tragedies of my lifetime was not having Gore in the White House after 911 to yes, fight terrorism more effectively, but also to radically rework our dependence on foreign oil. It's not hard to look back at the direction our country has taken - including this historical blunder of a war - since Bush took office and think about how much better off our planet would have been if there had been a fair Florida vote.

    For all of Bush's failings, he has succeeded in at least convincing Americans that it DOES MATTER who gets in the White House and that our economy and foreign policy don't just run on autopilot.

    I don't know for whom I will be working/supporting in 08, but I would love to see Gore in the race.

  • Becky (unverified)
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    In my opinion, the biggest strike against Edwards is he has a baby face. Like Dan Quayle, he will never look "presidential." That may sound shallow, but I really believe it makes a difference. The problem with Gore is that people have the perception that he fell apart for a few years after having the election stolen from him. He grew a beard, dropped out of sight, etc. - not very "presidential" behavior. Dean has, unfortunately, been too candid - great for a populist leader, but again, not very "presidential." In short, the Democrats are in the same boat as the Republicans - no obvious candidates that people can rally around. God help us if we come up with candidates like John Kerry, Bob Dole, and many of the other recent duds. I really want to know where the real leaders are. Will we wind up as some have conjectured facing a Hillary-Condi run-off? I think the only way to avoid a monstrously dissatisfying election is for people to actively recruit good men, regardless of the old stand-by rules about which states they are from, and then begin to heavily promote them and educate the public. Because I believe the voters, who would love to be able to vote based on the man, are sick of having to vote based on the party - or rather, based on who the political machine puts forward. Can you imagine President Wyden, for example? Wouldn't that be fantastic?

  • a. gop lurker (unverified)
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    As a Republican I would relish a run by Al "the growler" Gore. I remember fondly his "alpha male" performance in the debates. I would love to see the ads showing a bearded Al railing like a lunatic after 2000.

    Al Gore is politically dead. If you want to pose a serious threat to the GOP try supporting Joe Liberman. (although US senators have faired poorly, maybe that former governor of Virginia...)BTW, Liberman has a great editorial in the Wall Street Journal today.

  • faye huppert (unverified)
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    Al Gore ran a lousy campaign???????. Yes it's true that he' won the damned thing', but let's not forget that he did so in spite of a press and main stream media that lied about him throughout his entire campaign. A whore press that made things up and twisted what he said to the point of absurdity. Remember when he made a mistake about who he was with during a FEMA incident. Compare that to Bush's sterling performance with FEMA during Katrina. I'd rather have a President that sighs than a Resident that doesn't know that Social Security is a Federal Program. But our so called journalists knew all this and just preferred to lie. After all, that's what they were getting paid for.

    As for not taking full advantage of his ties to the popular' incunmbent, every time Gore campaigned with Clinton, Gore's Poll numbers went down. When Clinton left office, though his job poll numbers were high, his personal numbers were abyssmal. Governor Glendenning of Maryland, wouldn't stand on the same podium with him during one of his rallies. That's just the way things were.

    Gore kicked Bush's ass. He won the popular vote, the Florida vote and got more democratic votes than any other President in the history of the Democratic party, in spite of the Presstitutes, and a boss that was impeached by the House. Oh, and lest we forget, he's been sensored by the Media for the last 5 years.

    So thank you President Gore for this wonderful Internet where people like me can know the truth in spite of the liers and pretenders.

  • faye huppert (unverified)
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    Al Gore ran a lousy campaign???????. Yes it's true that he' won the damned thing', but let's not forget that he did so in spite of a press and main stream media that lied about him throughout his entire campaign. A whore press that made things up and twisted what he said to the point of absurdity. Remember when he made a mistake about who he was with during a FEMA incident. Compare that to Bush's sterling performance with FEMA during Katrina. I'd rather have a President that sighs than a Resident that doesn't know that Social Security is a Federal Program. But our so called journalists knew all this and just preferred to lie. After all, that's what they were getting paid for.

    As for not taking full advantage of his ties to the popular' incunmbent, every time Gore campaigned with Clinton, Gore's Poll numbers went down. When Clinton left office, though his job poll numbers were high, his personal numbers were abyssmal. Governor Glendenning of Maryland, wouldn't stand on the same podium with him during one of his rallies. That's just the way things were.

    Gore kicked Bush's ass. He won the popular vote, the Florida vote and got more democratic votes than any other President in the history of the Democratic party, in spite of the Presstitutes, and a boss that was impeached by the House. Oh, and lest we forget, he's been sensored by the Media for the last 5 years.

    So thank you President Gore for this wonderful Internet where people like me can know the truth in spite of the liers and pretenders.

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    GOP Lurker inadvertently raises a really good reason why Al should NOT run again--through no fault of his own, he will forever be cast as the polar opposite of Bush--the blue to Dubya's red. Political polarization existed before 2000, but that election solidified it. Dems do not want to run with the one guy who can't win back a single Bush vote.

  • Steve Novick (unverified)
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    I don't think that washes. The 2000 campaign itself was not all that fierce. Many 2000 Bush voters already wish they weren't; only a minority of voters on either side are really that committed to either party. CNN had a poll in the LAST election showing that only a minority of voters would be "very upset" if their guy lost, which I think is a good indicator. John Kennedy was a saint in 1968 and Nixon -- who was widely regarded as a polarizing figure -- still won.

  • W. Bruce Anderholt IIb (unverified)
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    Didn't Albert Gore already lose to the weakest Republican incumbent since Hoover? What if he has to compete against a stronger slate (Powell/Rice anyone?) that offers greater racial diversity than the Democrats?

    The Republicans would love nothing better than to run against Ozone Al. Bring it on!

  • Patrick Allen (unverified)
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    Too many senators on list for me, and that includes Gore I'm afraid. I know it's an old saw, but it's been pretty reliable: senators are damn hard to elect as president. This century includes Kennedy and that near-miss for Mt. Rushmore: Warren Harding.

    Kerry's "I voted for the $80 million before I voted against it" is the classic illustration. Virtually everything a senator does is grist for mischaracterization or charicature, and the response does not fit easily into a soundbite.

    Better to look to governors, and there's a good crop of them right now, including Warner, Vilsack, Sweitzer, heck even Dean.

    OK, maybe not Dean.

  • Steve Novick (unverified)
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    What about Nixon and Johnson? They had both been Senators too. And the whole line of argument is fallacious because it forgets that we're dealing with such a small sample that it is not statistically significant. Since the last former Senator (Nixon) won, there have been eight elections. So we had four straight elections (Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Nixon) in which a former Senator won, then eight in which one did not, although in 2000 a former Senator got the most votes. Is that a basis for saying "former Senators never win"? That's like saying "George never eats Mexican food" if he didn't happen to go to a Mexican restaurant the last eight times he went out. Hell, George H.W. Bush wasn't supposed to win because no sitting VP had won since Martin Van Buren, but that random fact did not do much for Michael Dukakis.

  • NIcholas SMith (unverified)
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    I am just going to register my support for Vice President Gore in 2008. I agree that he for one did earn more popular votes than the President and in a more true "democracy", not led by those who are afraid of the average American person and has to institute an "electoral college", he should have been inaugurated President in January, 2001.

    I won't reiterate the previously stated points, but will rebut the frequent criticism over the "changing Gore's." For heaven's sake, look at this guy in the White House now. He misled this nation into a war and wants to "stay the course." Even Kerry is beginning to realize this by his saying "bring the troops home - in phases", which I support.

    The former Vice Commander-in-Chief is smart enough to know when and when not to put our young men and women in harms way - he was there. He is smart enough to know what policies to institute to really spur economic growth, that is outside of natural regression. He is competent enough not to have policies called "No Child Left Behind" that actually underfunds schools that need money the most, "Healthy Forests Initiative" that relax deforestation standards, and the "Clean Air Act," which drops regulations on pollutors.

    The Former Vice President should be inaugured President of the United States in January, 2009. I will vote for him.

  • Janet Massey (unverified)
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    Al Gore won the election, so actually he IS the President. And furthermore, he behaved more like a President during the post-Katrina Bushbeaten levy disaster than Bush did! I wish every American could have seen the picture of Gore that I saw on the Internet (but NOT, significantly, in the corporate-run national media. To the discerning eye, Gore looked magnificant! It showed a man who knew how to lead by example, as soon as FEMA allowed him in. Gore himself flew in with two planes, people, and materials to rescue some hospital patients and deliver much-needed supplies. So much for the notion that he wouldn't know how to cope in national disasters. He did better working on a shoestring budget than Dubya did with the Federal Government to play with. Remember when the media implied that Dubya would be more likely to know how to handle that? (For that matter, Kerry is also said to have done better working from a conference in Europe than Dubya did working from home, using his own money to order a plane-load of supplies sent to NOLA). The people currently in power in our country - including those in the national mass media - are guilty of vile slander (which, in case they didn't know, is a violation one of the ten commandments: Thou shalt not bear false witness against anybody)

  • Varner (unverified)
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    Steve Novick is wrong. Russ Feingold is no good. His campaign finance bill with McCain did more bad than good. Shame on Steve Novick for saying he's a hell of a guy.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    The speculation above about the next Dem for president is interesting but what we'll get from the oligarchy running the Democratic wing on the corporate bird of prey is the same as for most elections - a chance to vote for the lesser of the usual two evils. Heaven forbid they should be Hillary and Condi. How can anyone consider these two after their records of duplicity?

    After a typically erudite speech a member of his audience told Adlai Stevenson that every intelligent American would vote for him. Stevenson replied that wouldn't be enough. He needed a majority. Recent history has shown that a variation of Mencken's famous dictum still applies: No one ever lost an election underestimating the intelligence of the American public. So maybe we will get to choose between Hillary and Condi after all.

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    Before we pick our dream candidate, how about we pick a platform? How about a national single-payer health system to replace the disgraceful health insurance system we now have? How about abolishing or reforming the alternative miniumum tax that is screwing millions of middle class families? How about raising the marginal income tax rate on the top 10%? How about adopting a graduated tax rate for capital gains with a 20 or 25% tax rate for really big players? How about raising or abolishing the cap on taxable social security earnings? I spent a lot of time and money in 2000 supporting Al Gore as the lesser of 2 evils. I think that trick only works once. This time I want to see some substance and some progressive policies. Better to fight the good fight and lose than to continue to kiss the big fat white rear end of corporate America.

  • dmrusso (unverified)
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    I agree with BlueNote: We do need to solidify our platform. Now is the perfect time.

    As to Gore, I am neutral. I think that he is smarter than most people, especially Republicans. The problem was.. he knew it and showed it. Americans seem to want someone average to be President. That seems truly sad, but that is the way it is.

    I dislike Joe Liberman. He is not a true Democrat. He is right of center on most issues and if you want to talk about Charisma, he has NONE.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Before we pick our dream candidate, how about we pick a platform? How about a national single-payer health system to replace the disgraceful health insurance system we now have?

    Anyone see Michael Moore talking to a hometown crowd (Flint,MI) about this very thing? One of his comments was "We may not like Republicans, but everyone knows where they stand. Quick--what do Democrats stand for?" Someone yelled out HEALTH CARE and he asked "health care for everyone, or for maybe 80% of the population?".

    If there is a way to find that speech or transcript online, it is well worth it.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    How would Al Gore play outside some urban areas? Well, Baker County has 3500 registered Dems and while I'd be afraid to predict percentages, a lot of them would go anywhere else, including a Republican. If you wanted to make sure no Democrat could win dogcatcher in this County, you'd run Al Gore. How much ammunition do you care to give to Republicans? Guns? That ones gone. Lock up the woods? Some of us USE the woods, heck, some of us put nails in boards and call them houses. I've worked pretty hard at trying to get the Democratic Party to be a workable force out here, and I can name 2 poisons to that, Al & Hillary. If you want to ensure that rural areas will go Republican, you run folks like that. Sure some of their positions are real reasonable and attractive, but they're plain dead in the water with ones that'll drive those votes.

    Have you folks bothered to look at how voting has gone the last couple election cycles? Have you asked yourself why rural areas have voted against their economic interests? How can it not be understood that the birth land of Progessive politics and Populist politics is not the cities and that area has gone Republican which is about as far removed from Progressive as anything I can think of. Oddly enough, people out in the sticks have TVs, radios, and even computers and they do pay attention to what the "National" politicians say they stand for and "hey" they don't like GUN CONTROL, they don't like the USFS being turned into a Park, they don't like the idea of having their transportation used as an Enviro football. The way you get Florida deciding the election is by giving up everything except the NE and the West Coast, by not only allowing the Republicans to define you, but by being what they define you as.

    You aren't going to do a darn thing about Health Care when you cede 3/4 of our land mass to the other party. You don't do anything about economic or social justice when you propose to gut the 2nd Amendment, if it's meaningless, then what meaning does your "sacred cow" Ammendment have? Why shouldn't the 1st Ammendment get seriously messed with, once you're done with the 2nd, and the 4th is already whacked? You're fond of the 14th? Well, sorry about that.

    Global warming? For Pete's sake, just because you suddenly noticed doesn't mean that the conditions just occurred or are going to get fixed right away, IF it is a big problem, it's also a long term one. Hungry, sick people aren't a long term problem, they're that right now. Rights that go away aren't going to just come back, but they sure can go in a blink of the eye. If global warming is your big issue, you sure aren't paying attention to what's going on around you and you sure aren't going to win an election on THAT campaign promise.

    He was against the war from the beginning, what a sad state of affairs that so few can claim that.

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)
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    I believe several of the above posters are delusional or (worse) so willingly blinded by rhetoric as to render themselves incabable of critical thinking. To wit:

    Janet Massey wrote, "Al Gore won the election, so actually he IS the President" To Janet (paraphrasing LBJ): that dog won't hunt. It was a tight race; Gore lost. Get over it.

    Nick Smith wrote:

    I agree that he for one did earn more popular votes than the President and in a more true "democracy", not led by those who are afraid of the average American person and has to institute an "electoral college", he should have been inaugurated President in January, 2001.

    To Nick I say: President Bush didn't create the electoral college, it was created by the U.S. Constitution (you ought to read it). We don't elect the U.S. President "at large" (popular votes); rather, we vote by district (states, in this example). It's no different than how we elect Multnomah County commissioners: no vast right wing conspiracy, no sirreeee.

    Faye Huppert wrote, "Gore kicked Bush's ass. He won the popular vote, the Florida vote and got more democratic votes than any other President in the history of the Democratic party, in spite of the Presstitutes, and a boss that was impeached by the House.

    Faye is correct on the first point (popular vote), woefully incorrect on the second point (Florida vote), and willfully blind on the third point (more Democratic votes did lead to victory). Every Florida recount (including those undertaken by the New York Times and several other Third Estate institutions), showed Bush won with a razor thin margin. Deal with it.

    GOP LURKER IS RIGHT: IF Y'ALL WANT TO WIN THE NEXT ELECTION, YOU NEED TO NOMINATE A DEMOCRAT THAT A FEW PERCENTAGE POINTS OF REPUBLICANS WOULD BE WILLING TO VOTE FOR (LIKE SEN. LIEBERMAN). Hillary (by contrast) would simply polarize the electorate, and provide the greatest Republican fundraising advantage of all time. Lieberman/Obama scares the hell out of me, and I will be voting Republican whether it's Jeb Bush or Mr. Potato Head.

  • Jan (unverified)
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    Do you who didn't stand up in 2000 against the election theft by Bush and his cronies on the USSC and the Florida legislature actually think you deserve a second chance? I read so many people saying they support Gore and want him to run... Well, if he did would you all be there to cover his back this time? He was betrayed and trashed by his own Party in 2000, and told not to run in 2004, because if he did, bringing up 2000 would make him look like a loser and a whiner. Sorry, but from where I sit, this man is too good for the likes of a Party status quo that shunned him and wouldn't stand up to support him when the Bush thugs stole the election from him and us. I say there is plenty of atonement that needs to happen first by many of the very people who are now saying, Run Al Run.

    Especially now that DIEBOLD, ES&S, and Sequoia count our votes, and that very status quo that kept him out in 2000 and 2004 is still in power. It is so easy to say to run when you don't consider all he would have to face (and that isn't even considering the state of this country,) and the life he has made for himself now that he seems happy with. He is also a free and unencumbered thinker who would still be shackled in part by any candidacy. I would much rather see him continue to be an effective free thinking, free speaking advocate for the American people and this planet, than a boxed in Presidential candidate who cannot speak about climate change as he is doing now. So when someone finds a way for us to really do that, then maybe we can start speculating.

  • Ned Baldwin (unverified)
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    Lieberman?? Lieberman?? Give me a break. Its a wonder he is still a Democrat, he is such a lap dog for the Bush administration. Picking Lieberman as VP was one of Gore's biggest mistakes in 2000.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Why would a Democrat want to go out and campaign for Lieberman? I agree with Ned. I wonder how John Edwards would play in rural areas--just got an email from a friend (once GOP, now Indep.) asking about him.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    LT got to the important point:

    For Gore to run again, he needs to convince ordinary Americans that he can speak as passionately when he IS running for president as when he isn't.

    Gore's campaign rhetoric in 2000 was as flaccid as Kerry's was four years later. Although either could have won if voters were allowed to vote and their votes were accurately counted, that doesn't seem to be enough for a Democrat anymore.

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    Re: Rural voters comments from Chuck Baker

    I am looking for a candidate who 1) best represents my position on issues and who 2) can get to 50% +1. Votes vs. land mass is not my primary concern; the issues matter more to me. Just as the Republicans are not having a great debate about their inability to perform in urban areas, to my knowledge.

    Also, working against hunger and global warming are not mututally exclusive. Plus, the idea that global warming is not affecting life now is just not accurate. KATRINA, for example. It is a proven documentable fact that warmer temperatures increase the intensity of hurricanes. It's not theory - it's fact. This affects the real lives of hundreds of thousands of poor people.

    W. Bruce III: We don't elect the U.S. President "at large" (popular votes); rather, we vote by district (states, in this example).... Get over it.

    1) Sure, but if given a full and fair recount, Gore would have won the electoral college. That's the issue - more people cast their ballots in Florida for Gore 2) Republicans - for what it's worth - publicly stated their intention in late Oct. 00 to presure members of the Electoral College to switch their votes if Gore won the electoral college & Bush won popular vote. That's the Rs, not the Ds.

    We just asked that the votes be counted. And while you're "get over it" comment's not off the mark, the election still pisses me off just to think about. For rallying the troops, that's not the worst thing in the world.

    Also from III: Didn't Albert Gore already lose to the weakest Republican incumbent since Hoover?

    No, as you may recall, John Kerry ran against incumbent George W. Bush. Also, for all of his many faults (and his current problems notwithstanding), Bush is a truly formidable politician with exceptionally gifted political skills. The buzz in early 2000 was that Bush was "unbeatable." Not true, but that was the perception.

    I also echo Novick's comments about the folly of Dems seeking to nominate "a uniter, not divider" type of Dem. If each Dem just cast his/her ballot for their top choice - not who they percieve will win - I believe we'll end up with a strong candidate.

    Since this has become a debunking sort of comment, I'll go ahead and debunk another one that may come up: "Tennessee didn't vote for Gore."

    I'm from Tennessee - and love my home very much. But let's face it: Tennessee has two Republican Senators, and a Republican House and Senate, and is a tough nut to crack. Al Gore, while from Carthage, basically grew up in D.C. To call Tn. his "homestate" is a little simplistic. The Gore campaign made a strategic decision to put resources into Florida and to do the electoral math without Tenneessee.

    Their big strategic blunder really was assuming tthat getting a majority of Floridians to cast their ballots for Gore would produce - get this - a Gore victory.

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    No way. None. zip. Zilch.

    Put up Gore and I will be forced to NOT vote. I am not going to vote for THIS...AGAIN.

    If we can't find someone capable of reading the consitution plainly (on ALL the amendments, not just the first and second), we might as well pack it up and go home. Only a moron would look at 2 sentences and read into them: ID Cards! But that moron is what cost us elections, and continues to do so.

    So gimme a governor, a first term or second term congressional rep., or a no-name from somewhere in left field. That person must: 1. be pro-liberty...pro free speech, pro US involvement in international affairs, pro business, pro working class, and yes, pro constitution (How about stuffing "Gay marriage laws" in that 14th amendment pipe and smoking THAT, you sanctimonious prigs?).

    You know who would get elected in a heartbeat? Obama. If Obama came out as a sponsor of national concealed carry, pushing full faith on all the states, he would win in a landslide, closing the gaps between rural middies and urban blue-staters. He could win handily.

    Gore cannot.

  • Winston Wolfe (unverified)
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    I think Steve Novick should run for Prezy!

    Winston

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    Protect Freedom. Vote Novick.

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)
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    Al Gore had zero interest in counting all the votes. That's why he requested a recount ONLY in the three most heavily Democratic counties, which HE HAD ALREADY WON by a statistically signficant margin (having received more votes than there were registered D's in the county). If Gore had requested a statewide recount, I might find the above piffle to be persuasive. It's not.

    From Charlie Burr's citation (the Miami Herald)...I submit a direct quote, subtitled "QUESTION OF FAIRNESS" The analysis provides some evidence to bolster the Bush camp's claim that recounting some counties but not others is unfair to the Texas governor. For example, the analysis shows that if discarded ballots were to be reconsidered in Collier County, which Bush won, Bush might pick up about 1,000 net votes. Bush might also gain about 600 net votes in Lee County and about 500 net votes in Nassau County.

    Most importantly, we don't rely on newspapers or ideologues to count the votes. Instead, we rely on County registrars and elections officials, supervised by the Florida Secretary of State. They determined that Bush Won, and it was only subjected to multiple judicial tests because Al Gore lacked the nobility of a statesman.

    To whoever pointed out my transposition of Al Gore and John Kerry: you are correct sir! My bad. I have trouble distinguishing between LOSING PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDERS WITH MORE STYLE THAN SUBSTANCE. After a while, they all kind of look and sound alike.

    Yo' Janet Massey: Is Al Gore still the rightful President, or was he replaced by John Kerry the Anti-War War Hero? Perhaps the shadow Gore/Lieberman Administration -- existing within the generous confines of your imagination-- was succeeded by a shadow Kerry/Edwards Administration. If not, then I believe Al Gore would be precluded from running again, have served two full terms in office.

    I'm beginning to feel like the late Admiral Stockdale on debate night. Who am I, what am I doing here? And Kari: thank you for letting a little free speech sunshine back into Blu-O...I'll try to limit my guffawing to one post per day.

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    president wyden? i have enough problems with him as senator. first he proposes an excellent tax plan, then he votes against 800 years of basic human rights. he's almost as crazymaking as hillary has become (someone should send her a copy of "it takes a village" so she can remember what made her special back then).

    gore is intriguing. no one of that prominence has spoken progressive and democratic truths as forthrightly, except for howard dean, of course, and jimmy carter. i would love to see him run just to make sure the others did not go flying to the so-called middle (aka gop lite), where their fear of losing will drag them. i don't think gore would give a damn about losing. hell, after the way he won in 2000, a real loss would taste just fine.

    one advantage we will have in 2008 that we did not have in 2000 -- the grassroots & netroots. the press's treatment of gore, and the way they let bush absolutely skate, was, along with florida, the deciding factor. an honest presentation of both bush and gore, and we'd be deep into al's second term. we did a pretty good job of fighting that shit last year -- too bad kerry didn't help us. in 2008, we'll be able to communicate our messages effectively. we'll be able to undo the kind of damage done to gore, no matter who the candidate is.

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)
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    Charlie Burr: thank you for the correction. I should have written that Al Gore LOST to the Weakest Republican Governor ever to run against a sitting Vice President. John Kerry lost to the Weakest Republican Incumbent President (WRIP) since Herbert Hoover.

    Funny how history seems to erode the prominence of failed presidential aspirants. Remember the old "Dewey defeats Truman" headline...I'll bet nobody on this threat can remember Dewey's first name without researching it. If you can, I bet you can't name the office he held at the time of the election. Yet the man was the Republican candidate for President, not once, but twice. Al Taliaferro, the Disney comic strip artist and creator of the Huey, Dewey and Louie ducklings, named Dewey after Thomas Dewey. Governor Dewey (three terms, of New York) defeated Harold Stassen in the Oregon presidential primary by attacking Stassen's proposal to outlaw the Communist party. Not a small thing for a Republican back then, but history has nearly forgotten him. Doesn't bode real well for Al Gore's second time around candidacy.

    Yet the man almost won the Presidency. And that was before those black helocopter Republicans started stealing elections, and torturing aliens at Area 51.

    Howsabout Hillary/Lieberman vs. Condi/McCain. Powerful women on the top (of the ticket), of course.

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    Republicans trying to steal elections and supress minority turnout. Yeah... that's crazy stuff.

    You're reading too much Dick Morris. 2008 is not going to be a Condi/Hillary match-up. And with performances like this, don't hold your breath for Lieberman to be on the ticket.

    Novick's original point was who should progressives be looking at for 2008, not Republicans or 'Stay-the-Course' Democrats.

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    Maybe the Republicans should run Lieberman, since every one I've seen post here suggests that we should do it. It'd be more comfortable for everybody: the Republicans would get a champion of their positions and values, the Democrats would get (in really, any other candidate) a champion of their positions and values, and Joe wouldn't have to pretend any more that he has very much in common with the people who provide his infrastructure.

    I'm hoping Dean has the fortitude to buck the establishment and make another run, but if he doesn't, Gore would be a President I could vote for.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Whoever becomes the Democrats' candidate for the lesser of two evils in 2008, Howard Dean will most likely be the front man for the party. Trouble is he has now convincingly proved himself another naked emperor: http://www.counterpunch.com/frank12012005.html. Clearly, the Democratic party at the national level is not anything progressives want to be associated with. The best this nation can hope for from the Dems is more people in Congress like Henry Waxman, George Miller, Peter de Fazio, Earl Blumenauer, Barbara Jackson Lee, Cynthia McKinney, Russ Feingold and Dick Durbin.

    As for Gore in 2000, the problem is not that so many people voted for Nader. The problem was so many people voted for Gore instead of Nader. Check their platforms and records for talking straight. President Al Gore would have had nothing to do with Citizen Al Gore. Of course, if Nader had become president both parties would have been after him like Brutus and company after Julius Caesar.

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    OK, so now we've established that Al Gore is not the preferred candidate of the Republican or Pacific Green Parties. Any more BLUE Oregonians care to chime in?

  • Steve Novick (unverified)
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    In response to Bruce's comment, everybody remembers Thomas E. Dewey, crusading Manhattan District Attorney prior to becoming Governor of New York. Dewey remained a major figure in Repubilcan circles for many years afterward and was, in fact, a close adviser of Richard M. Nixon, the incumbent Vice-President who lost but was then elected President eight years later.

  • GreenOregon (unverified)
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    Steve: your knowledge of Dead Republican minutia is comprehensive and kind of scary. You're not a red-state mole are you? Would you rather vote for Dewey or Gore in a fictional Presidential race (assuming they weren't both dead, politically)? How about Eliot Spitzer vs. Dewey?

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    bill bodden: are you kidding me? did you read that article before trashing dean? he certainly defends israel's right to exist, and to attack the terrorists who attack it and its people. but he also attacks israel for its treatment of palestinians. one of the great problems of israel/palestine is that both sides are right and both sides are wrong. israel is a democracy, and as such, deserves american support. but the palestinian people are pawns in the power games being played by both israeli and palestinian/arab leaders. they deserve our support as well. seen anybody with any kind of answer since clinton?

    howard dean is the only national leader of prominence i can think of who has even hinted that the palestinians deserve equal treatment with israel. he got bitch-slapped for it, too. it's like the old gary larson "ginger" cartoon: dean said "decent treatment for palestinians" and everyone heard "he hates israel!" jayzus.

    the closest i can find to joshua frank's closing statement, which is unsubstantiated by the article, is that dean did not call for the elimination of israel to create a palestinian state on the same soil. i guess that might count as being against palestine.

  • Californicator (unverified)
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    It's my first visit here. Is this a satirical site? If so, good one.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    T.A.: This isn't the first time Dean has indicated a leaning toward Israel's right-wing. I almost got off the Dean bandwagon when he was running for president because of a statement he made then. If he was making nice with AIPAC then Palestinians would be justifiably skeptical about any good words he might have for them. Like Dubya, AIPAC has a motto: You're either with them or against them. Judging by excerpts quoted from Dean's AIPAC speech, I wouldn't be surprised if Lieberman helped write it.

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    nice try, bill, but read what you want into dean's speech -- you, like joshua frank, are merely extrapolating based on your own inclinations. perfectly normal & human thing to do, but dean also spoke for palestinian justice. granted it was not from the roof tops -- and someday we progressives in america are going to have to do just that, and not in scattered little groups -- but it was more than just about anyone else has done. i have no doubt that he's fully committed to justice and a homeland for palestinians. unfortunately, as chair of the dnc, he has to keep his mouth shut or watch millions of needed dollars disappear. one of the ugliest parts of politics.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    TA: Dean was quoted as saying Ariel Sharon is a man of peace. This is a quote from Ramzy Baroud's article on ZNet today (www.zmag.org): "The U.S. media almost immediately accepted, with little scrutiny to speak of, Sharon's announcement that he -- a 77-year-old leader with extensive history of political extremism and a longer history of war crimes -- has become a "centrist."

    "The depiction of Sharon as a moderate, risking it all to salvage the peace process, is a misguided, if not embarrassing, inference to say the least."

    You can reread the above and replace "U.S. media" with "Howard Dean."

    Dean gives every indication of having joined the oligarchs in the party and is no longer the independent he appeared to be when he broke on the national scene. AIPAC is a powerhouse in American politics and the Democratic oligarchs would like to get a piece of that market that has lately be GOP territory. Hopefully, I'll get some time today to learn what Uri Avnery (or similar) might have to say on Dean and AIPAC. If Dean were supporting Avnery instead of Sharon I would feel much better when Dean talks about support for Israel.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    When war criminals becomes "centrists", war crime becomes routine.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Well said, Tom: "When war criminals becomes "centrists", war crime becomes routine." And crowding the centrist position are Hillary, Kerry, Biden, Bayh and all Democratic senators that voted for the war and who are now shifting positions to avoid admitting they reneged on their pledges to uphold the Consitution by giving Bush power to go to war. Watch them spin their line more and more as we approach 2006 and 2008. There were more than enough reasons to question the Bush Administration claims about WMD before the October 2002 betrayal.

  • Nicholas Smith (unverified)
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    To W. Bruce Anderhold II

    How is it that the statement that I wrote actually rebuts your rebuttal?

    Again: "I agree that he for one did earn more popular votes than the President and in a more true "democracy", not led by those who are afraid of the average American person and has to institute an "electoral college", he should have been inaugurated President in January, 2001."

    What does this say? Do you think that "those" meant George W. Bush? Vast Right Wing Conspiracy? Good gracious, I'd consider actually rebutting the entire post if you want to score lame point.

    Oh, but cheap "arugmentative" points don't matter to me. So, your post is a moot point.

    lol

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)
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    Nicholas Smith wrote:

    I am just going to register my support for Vice President Gore in 2008. I agree that he for one did earn more popular votes than the President and in a more true "democracy", not led by those who are afraid of the average American person and has to institute an "electoral college", he should have been inaugurated President in January, 2001.

    I can only infer that those who are afraid of the average American person and has to institute an 'electoral college" refers to the Republicans, or George Bush.

    Nick: if you were aware the electoral college is the constitutional method of counting votes, why would you suggest that V.P. Gore should have been inaugruated President in January, 2001? He lost the electoral college vote count, as adjudicated by the Supreme Court.

    You're not making a cogent argument, unless you prefer to fall back on "George Bush stole the election and the Supreme Court covered it up." If you're still hanging onto that thin reed of logic, you might feel more comfortable watching cartoons on Saturday mornings, instead of blogging.

    George W. may not be your President, but there is only one Supreme Court.

  • Nicholas Smith (unverified)
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    Mr. Anderholt II,

    If you think that it is the modern Republican party who instituted the electoral college, then there is absolutely no reason for me to respond at all because you simply couldn't handle any reason.

    But, I presume from your "rebuttal" posts that you do not. Therefore I will answer you this way:

    Apparently I,the majority of Americans, and many election / constitutional experts disagree with you when you say that Al Gore did not win the 2000 election. You absolutely, and completely ignore the obvious data that has been revealed regarding the election. Since it is obvious, I won't bother. Google it yourself.

    "George Bush stole the election and the Supreme Court covered it up." Take off your Republican "conservative" blinders for a second.

    The Majority of American's belief is simple: Yes, George Bush did steal the Presidential Election of 2000 in alliance with the right-wing supreme court, and the ruling of EX-Secretary of State Harris. The point is that w/out the ridiculous intervention of the SC, the SOS, the Governor, and with a full statewide recount, Gore won the election (Hence my introduction of the term "true democracy," does that phrase ring a bell?)

    Constitional scholars say that it was unprecedented for the SC to intervene where the Florida Supreme Court has and had clear jurisdiction over the electoral case.

    The Supreme Court did not "cover it up," they stopped the right of the Florida Supreme Court to decide their state's election rules. You are faimilar with federalism and the seperation therein, yes? Great.

    And, "thin reed of logic"? Thanks for the lesson to someone who didn't decode my simple initial post.

    BTW: Do you actually like what has happened to you over the last four years? You appear to want to discredit the Vice President because you are clearly a Republican. Do you know what destruction your party has done to America domestically and internationally? You seriously want to challange me (and thus the majority opinion of America) on your party's merits and successes? Please.

    Since we're quoting here, "...cheap "arugmentative" points don't matter to me. So, your post is a moot point."

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