Sunday, August 19, 2007

Democrats Need Gore

I've argued before that Al Gore should run for President, primarily because he could actually win. Polls still show Gore running a solid third, despite completely denying any interest in a run, which speaks to some viability. However, after listening to several debates, keeping track of the candidates, over the past few months, I've now come to the conclusion that winning or losing is irrelevant- the Democrats need Gore.

I realize America is obsessed about Iraq and terrorism, but the environment is barely on the radar screen, and the Democratic candidates have done little to focus the debate, apart from a few tertiary soundbites. A far cry from polls in Canada:
CBS News Poll. Aug. 8-12, 2007. N=1,214 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

"What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?"
War in Iraq 34
Economy/Jobs 8
Health care 8
Immigration 7
Terrorism (general) 5
President Bush 4
Gas/Heating oil crisis 3
Poverty/Homelessness 3
Other 23
Unsure 5

The Harris Poll. July 6-9, 2007. N=1,003 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

"What do you think are the two most important issues for the government to address?" Open-ended
The war 27
Health care (not Medicare) 19
Immigration 13
Iraq 10
The economy (non-specific) 10
Education 7
Terrorism 7
Foreign policy (non-specific) 7
Taxes 5
Gas and oil prices 5
Employment/Jobs 5

I'm not suggesting the Democratic candidates are stiffs on the environment, the League of Conservation Voters gave the following ratings:
Obama 98%
Biden 95%
Clinton 83%
Edwards 37% (ouch)

What I am saying, Gore would sharpen the debate, bring the issue to the fore and get people talking. As it stands now, the issue is discussed, but not to the extent it should be, given the scenario. Gore has much to say, on many issues, and lately he is being characterized as the "soul of the Democratic Party", but for the sake of the cause, a run for President would accomplish a great deal, beyond any personal ambition. Gore should run as an extension of his awareness campaign, I can't think of a better vehicle. Whether Gore secures the nomination is secondary at this point, his presence would clearly light a fire under the Democratic Party, which appears to be lacking at present.


Anonymous said...

Gore ran a terrible campaign last time and was a mediocre at best VP. They dont need Gore. What's wrong with Hillary? She's a woman? Her numbers are even better than Bills at this point in the race and she is the best bet the democrats have of ever retaking the whitehouse. Again why not Hillary? I'm pretty sure I've already answered that question.

Steve V said...

I'm not arguing Gore as nominee, but Gore as a vehicle to get the environment on the radar screen.

Anonymous said...

Well, whoever wins could appoint Gore to a cabinet position dealing with the environment.

Gore didn't lose the election. Judge Renquist (sp?) was a drugl addict and a friend of the Bush family and he made the decision that Bush won - figure it out.

Also, Florida was the key state for the win - Rove spent his time in Florida during the election and Bush's cousin, Elliot, was in charge of the voting booths/machines. Why even Ralph Nader said Gore won and he said there was evidence.

wayward son said...

ogtf"Gore...was a mediocre at best VP."

Can you name someone who was a great VP? I can't.

"What's wrong with Hillary?"

1) Her position (historically and currently) on the war in Iraq. 2) her environmental record makes me fairly certain that if she is President, then the environment will be an after thought.

As for the US and getting the environment on the radar screen, I don't really know if anyone can do it. Gore was a well known environmentalist when he ran in 2000. He had written one of the first books on global warming (Earth in the Balance, a book which scientists still consider very accurate 16 years later) and he had an environmental record in the senate second to none. Yet when he ran in 2000 he didn't mention the environment - thought it would kill his campaign. Same thing with John Kerry - he had the best senate environmental record when he ran in 2004, yet he didn't mention the environment either. Those two are not stupid, and they believed that promoting environmental protection would kill their chances. If the US happens to be in a recession come election 2008 time, I suspect that "environment" will be a very dirty word. The economy is number 1, and number 2 there.

Anonymous said...

How about John Edwards on the environment?

Steve V said...


They all talk about it, but it seems like a secondary issue, in terms of time devoted to the topic.