Saturday, February 03, 2007

Al Gore Needs To Run

I watched Gore's documentary again and the answer seemed obvious, he needs to run for President. The entire premise of the movie, a man and a mission, city by city, making the case, giving the issue exposure. If you don't fixate on the question of winning or losing, it seems like a no-brainer that Gore's cause is best served by a high-profile run.

At the very least, Gore in the mix demands that the issue of the environment doesn't get lost in the primary debate. The pre-occupations with Iraq and terrorism set the stage for a Democratic race that puts the environment as afterthought. Of course, we will hear some ideas, desperate language, urgency, but only Gore will bring serious debate, possibly forcing people to go farther than they would otherwise. Gore advances the agenda, speaks to wide audiences, has the ear of the media, all of which serve his "mission".

I honestly think Gore could win, it is a realistic scenario. Primary voters tend to be more "progressive", this constituent a natural ally for Gore. Gore is already the online darling, ala Dean, minus the shortcomings. Gore is polished, newly passionate, articulate and intelligent on every issue. Gore entering the race isn't predicated on winning, but it could happen, which affords him ultimate exposure to mold the American political debate. Al Gore as President, the environment has arrived.

Gore's cause is best served by a run, it gives him all the elements he needs to make the case. If Gore fails in his bid, he may still have exerted some influence in pushing others and raising the profile. A quick scan of the other contenders, you really don't sense a passionate advocate that really understands the need for bold, radical change. The environment needs Gore to sharpen his opponents and possibly capture voters imagination. All the polling tells us, that despite no intention of running, Gore still has sizable support- that is independently impressive. In other words, there is an audience and Gore's conviction would only expand it. I see Gore running as a win-win, the only unknown the degree of influence.

14 comments:

Dana said...

I hope he doesn't.

The only thing I have ever observed with even a slender chance of being as certain as death and taxes is the collective lack of awareness of what their best interests are that's displayed by the American electorate at election time. Ask them for 4 years whether they want a national health care program and massively they say YES. Campaign for it in a presidential election and lose by a land slide. Name almost any other socially related issue you like and the outcome will be the same. I'll call it unconscious because the alternative is to call it stupidity.

Every right wing tank in existence and some that will be thrown together specially will manufacture brand new lies about Gore which will be obediently repeated by every news outlet in the country. They'll be doing that no matter who the Dem candidate is but their determination will be uniquely focused if Gore is the guy they get to gut.

If out of some self-destructive tendency he does? Run as an Independent.

Olaf said...

First of all Steve,

I don't know if you've visited my site today, but I've posted a video that pokes substantial holes in Al Gores entire thesis, and heavily damages his credibility on the environment.

Secondly, I know you're not predicting Gore will run, but rather intimating your hopes and wishes that he will. Well I am here to crush your hopes and wishes. Simply, it costs a lot of money and SO MUCH effort and dedication to run well. I doubt he'd make the commitment just to get his message out.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Well he did win the first time, didn't he?

knb said...

Olaf, LOL! The music was interesting though.

dana, what a sad commentary. I think what you are saying though, it is not for lack of want or desire in the electorate, simply that the propaoganda machine is too big.

Isn't it time to work at taking that down? What has given it it's strength? I'd suggest apathy in part. I'm loathe to see that here, though it's happening. What AM station has all day call-in that is left leaning? Not all, but most think tanks here are "right" on the spectrum. Why? Because they want equal voice time, problem is, they are not equal in numbers to the rest of us. So they develop ways to be relevant and we need to show this for what it is.

Sorry Steve, I just went off on a tangerine, (tangent)! Didn't mean to go off topic.

Steve V said...

dana

Valid points for sure. I guess it boils down to how he can reach the most people, I see potential here.

The right wing will go after anyone, particularly Clinton. Important to remember that Gore is also clearly on the right side on Iraq, no fuzz.

olaf

Great video! I don't think Gore would have any trouble raising funds, because he could tap into the online donations in an unprecedented way.

tangents are welcome :)

Jason Townsend said...

Really, really wish he'd win.

IMO he may be both the most electable AND the best candidate. But it's getting damned late in the game.

Steve V said...

"But it's getting damned late in the game."


Jason, in some ways I agree, but Gore may be unique in this regard. Even James Carville acknowledges that Gore can pull off a late bid because he has star power, the ability to raise funds quickly and a track record.

We already know who the big names are, the rest are trying to get some ink and be the longshot to breakout of the pack. Gore could slip in late, even mid to late summer, and have ample time to get an organization together.

In some ways, a late entry could be politically astute. You have the buzz, then the seismic shift as Gore throws the whole process off. Gore comes in with momentum, dominates the press coverage and almost looks the underdog, always a plus. If there is one candidate that can pull off a late bid, I would suggest Gore possesses all the intangibles.

knb said...

jason, in a conventional sense perhaps, but all this early entry stuff can backfire too, especially if you have someone like Gore come in later.

Early entry has to deal with rising and declining opinion. They need to be seen not to vacillate or shift. A late comer can go strong on conviction and if he/she is a known commodity, all the better.

Richardson kind of intigues me too, we'll see.

In the end, I'm a bit deflated by the whole process. See this post by catnip. Depressing state of affairs.

Mark Dowling said...

The problem with Gore is whether the Democratic Party will be willing to threaten its links to Auto Labour by making Gore the candidate - not unlike the CAW-NDP tension.

The other problem is that while there is no front-running Republican candidate it is difficult to see the GOP running a Haliburtoner in the current climate, negating some of Gore's advantage. If the GOP strategists have any clue they are looking for an Arnold Schwarzenegger with a US birth cert. Gore would probably beat Bush, if Bush was running again - but he isn't.

Steve V said...

mark

That is a good point about the CAW, although their influence is clearly on the wane. Dean had a great deal of union support, which was supposed to translate into good organization, but it never really materalized.

Jason Townsend said...

I know he could still get into it - thus late in the game as opposed to out of the question. There'd even be the crazy excitement factor of a surprise bid if he chose to orchestrate it that way.

Got the bad feeling he's out of the Presiding business though. It'd make my political year to be wrong and I'd be in severe danger of flying south.

Miles Lunn said...

I hope he doesn't run. While I like much of what he stands for, as someone who understands American politics more than most, I hate to say this, but a Liberal cannot win in the United States. You need someone who is a moderate in the US or slightly right of centre by Canadian standards. The fastest growing communities are all in the Sun Belt, which are mostly Republican areas, while the Northeast which is the most liberal region is declining in population.

I want the Democrats to choose someone who can win and I just don't think Gore can win. Yes he did win the popular vote in the US in 2000, but since then he has come out with more liberal views in his movie, which I think would have hurt him in 2000. As Michael Ignatieff said in 2005 at our policy convention, being a liberal is a rarity and frowned upon in the US, in Canada they are government (or were then) and it is a badge of honour. While the word Liberal has positive connotations for most Canadians, it has negative ones for most Americans.

Steve V said...

miles

"Yes he did win the popular vote in the US in 2000, but since then he has come out with more liberal views in his movie"

That is true, Gore, once seen as a moderate, is now a capital L liberal and this would hinder his chances. I guess there is a danger that he could win the Democratic nomination, where the big L can be a plus, and then jeopardize a longer Republican run. I would argue that winning is almost secondary here, Gore would be presented a platform to make the case and force others to sharpen their agenda. I've heard Hillary, some of Obama, plenty of Edwards, and I don't sense the understanding that Gore brings. If you accept the premise that we are at a critical stage, then only someone like Gore can bring the largest polluter in line. The only chance to have that power is too run, so despite the pitfalls, I want him too.

Miles Lunn said...

I think Gore does need to put more pressure on making the environment a higher priority, but he needs to do it amongst the general public since until you have the public onside, there is not much the government can do. Here in Canada the public is onside and in some states like California they are, but in many others they aren't yet.