Saturday, February 17, 2007

When Should Gore Get In?

Interesting Al Gore story, that outlines his new appeal and future possibilities. For argument's sake, assume that Gore will make another run at the Presidency. Does Gore need to enter soon, or is he better served by waiting? Some points raised in the article:
By some inside estimates within the Democratic party he could likely raise $200 million (U.S.) over the Internet....

Al Gore could enter the race tomorrow, September or November," said Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, his 2000 campaign manager.

"Anything after November would be a mistake. A lot of candidates got in early for name recognition, or because they need the time to raise money.

100 acts who will appear at Gore's Live Earth, 24-hour concerts in July to raise awareness of global warming.

Gore believes some 2 billion people could attend or watch concerts in China, South Africa, Australia, England, Japan, Brazil and the U.S.

The American show is expected to be in Washington...

He will readily assemble a campaign, and right now he is riding a wave of adulation which is giving him far more positive coverage than any politician could glean from a weekend of town hall meetings in Iowa.

The issue of fundraising isn't really an issue. Timing will not be a factor in Gore's ability to raise money. If Gore enters late, there will be a feverish push that would make the Howard Dean fundraising bats of 2004 look like toothpicks. If Gore can raise anywhere near 200 million, it gives him instant ability to compete with the likes of Hillary.

Gore is on a positive publicity wave that shows no signs of waning. The future affords many high-profile events that can't help but put Gore in a glowing light. The Academy Awards have the potential to ignite the smoldering flame. In the more distant future, Gore's Live Earth concerts in July will be nothing but pure gold publicity wise, with the potential to be a watershed moment. As the article points out, it might be better politically for Gore to stay away from the scrutiny that is bound to come from a bored media and simply bask and grow on the outside. In terms of momentum, it seems like a no-brainer that a late entry has all the intangibles.

A couple cautions on a late entry. Obama is the wildcard. In many ways Obama appeals to the same constituent as Gore. The internet crowd, the progressives, the anti-war crowd, young voters. Waiting affords Obama the ability to solidify his hold as the anti-Hillary, leaving little room for Gore. If Obama proves himself credible, stands up to the inevitable scrutiny, secures key endorsements, Gore might face a steep climb.

Iowa. You can create an instant organization with a huge influx of money, but Iowa is a unique animal. People will remember Wesley Clark's late 2003 entry, which included some fast money, key Democratic insiders and strong support. Clark's handlers decided to bypass Iowa, because the nature of the caucuses work against a late entrant- it cost him dearly. Gore is quite different in many respects, but he would face real challenges competing with candidates who have been on the ground for months, if not years. Iowa isn't necessarily critical, but it sure can be and a late entry puts Gore at a disadvantage.

On the whole, I think Gore would be best served by an October entry. Pretty late in the game, but not late enough that all the endorsements have been carved up. A nice lather of speculation in the late summer, early fall, that distracts everyone from the other hopefuls and then a passionate entry, with the rabid faithful in tow that will make everyone take notice. I can hear the chants of "four more years" already.

3 comments:

Frank said...

So is Al Gore staring a production company to become the new Bill Graham Presents: ?? I'll be up front waving my carbon-free pseudo lighter wearing a Global Warming shirt yelling for ENCORE!

pogge said...

There's another interesting Al Gore story:

""I have no intention to run for president," Gore said in an interview conducted in Los Angeles and broadcast Thursday by the BBC.

"I can't imagine in any circumstance to run for office again," said the former Democratic vice president under then-president
Bill Clinton."

Steve V said...

Pretty vague answer if you ask me :)