When Al Gore “lost” the presidency in 2000, the Supreme Court and even Ralph Nader were responsible but in some large sense, the Court’s actions and Nader’s unfortunate popularity in Florida also were hallmarks of a troubled Gore campaign. This was a campaign that never found its footing; that ran a DLC style campaign with populist rhetoric; that ran on the economic successes of the previus 8 years while keeping the man largely responsible for these successes under wraps. In short, the Gore campaign didn’t deserve to win (his opponent REALLY didn’t deserve to win). It was a weak campaign that routinely fell into the tactical traps laid out by Gore’s opponent and smear support staff.
The principles that set Mr Gore apart from his peers in 2008 were simply not readily apparent in 2000. The political courage that now places him in the rarified airs of folks like Mandela, was deeply hidden by the expedient choices he made while running a presidential campaign against a wily and unprincipled opponent. sounding disconcertingly familiar to me.
Fast forward to 2008 and Barack Obama. The same threads of character are showing some wear. Obama has been seduced by the nomination and by the likely prize that awaits him at 1600 Pennsylvania ave. His rhetoric is almost stridently principled, but his campaign tactics are potentially self destructive as were Gore’s.
Look no further than the way he has handled FISA and Wes Clark. Rather than setting a progressive frame that might place a road weary McCain on the defensive, the Obama campaign has let the Roves and Blacks inside the McCain camp devise the frame, for which Obama is now painting a nice picture that has him wearing lapel pins, voting for legislation to give the telecoms immunity, and sacrificing his own potential veep a war hero with real executive experience in order to be seen playing nice with a former POW with no executive experience.
I suggest Obama forget about the Gore of 2000, and get back together with the Al Gore of 2008; the one whose rhetoric matches his actions; whose words match his courage. Barack, please show us your agenda that will change the structure of our dying rust belt economy into a green one; show us an agenda that speaks truth to the impeachable evils of the past 7 1.2 years.
This is the winning formula. Had Gore stayed on this track back in 2000, he would now be completing his second term