Friday, September 23, 2005

Comeback Kid? 

I've said it before, but keep your eyes on Al Gore:
Is former vice-president Al Gore gearing up for another run at the White House? Rumors are swirling in Washington that Gore plans to take on New York's Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2008. He's recently launched his new television network, Current, and is back on the speaking circuit. In fact, he'll be the keynote in D.C. next week at a huge Democratic National Committee fundraiser.

He's got a real shot here folks. For one thing, he's been against the Iraq war from the get-go. Hillary Clinton voted for it, as did Senators Joe Biden (D-DE) and former 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry (D-MA). All three will surely vie for the '08 nomination. The latest polls show that a majority of Americans want the U.S. to bring home the troops now. This growing anti-war fervor will be a major factor in the next primary election, and can bode very well for the former veep.

Additionally, Gore is Mr. Environment, and has been preaching the global warming gospel for 20+ years. Most recently he preached to the proverbial choir at the World Environment Day conference in San Francisco, a five-day U.N. gathering to promote pro-environment practices. A growing chorus of scientists believe the recent frequency of strong Category 4 and 5 hurricanes such as Katrina and Rita may be linked to global warming. They believe that rising global temperatures warm the oceans, which in turn fuel hurricanes and intensify their power. On this issue, Gore just might have a groundswell of very interested listeners for a change.

Another strong factor is his underdog cult-hero status among many Democrats stemming from the highly controversial 2000 election against Bush. Let's not forget that he won the popular vote and, to many of us, the election (does anybody really still think Karl Rove and Jeb Bush didn't rig Florida?!). As a result, he could be dubbed The Comeback Kid and ride the momentum that goes with it. Remember, Nixon lost to Kennedy in 1960 then returned in '68 to squeak past VP Hubert Humphrey by a 43.2% to 42% margin (Alabama Governor George Wallace picked up 13.5%) to become president.

Since 2000, Gore's become an extremely passionate and rousing speaker. He's dropped the stiff wonkish routine and found his mojo. Plus, he's rested, he's confident and his prescience on a number of key issues and events is now clear. He's also squeaky-clean, with no skeletons in his closet, as 2000 proved.
It makes a lot of sense to me. Gore would play the Nixon role. Don't forget, after Nixon lost in 1960, he then went on to lose the California Governor's race. A 2-time loser. Look at Gore's numbers in Kos's straw poll. There just might be something there...


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