Friday, February 8, 2008

Al Gore on the Horizon?

Will the presidential sun rise on Al Gore? If the Clinton versus Obama shoot-out continues with neither emerging as the party's presumptive nominee before the Democratic National Convention, Al Gore could emerge as the Party's standard bearer. Put another way who better than Al Gore to serve as a consensus nominee to unify a potentially deadlocked Convention? Here are the reasons why Al Gore may be on the horizon.

1. Healing Political Wounds.

Because Republicans have already begun the healing process of rallying around John McCain well in advance of their September 1-4 Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, they could have a decided advantage over Democrats, who face the prospect of a protracted struggle, ending in a heated fight at their Convention on August 25-28, 2008 in Denver, Colorado.

The Democratic Convention could produce a donnybrook of contested issues and possible law suits, including whether to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations, which could postpone the healing process until well into the fall campaign season, when the Party would desperately need unity to compete against John McCain, who runs well against both Clinton and Obama in early head-to-head polls.

2. "Super Delegates" and a Bill Clinton versus Ted Kennedy Showdown.

The Democratic Party's 796 "Super Delegates" may want to sidestep a showdown between Clinton and Obama, which would require them to choose sides between their principal heavyweight sponsors, Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy. Compromising on Al Gore might give them "the out" they need to keep from making a really tough political decision.

3. Rectifying "The Stolen 2000 Election."

Because Democrats firmly believe that Republicans stole the 2000 presidential election from Al Gore, they could seek to rectify history by rallying around him as their 2008 nominee. N.B. He is more popular today than he was in 2000.

4. Merits of the Al Gore Candidacy.

Al Gore has at least two assets today that he did not have in 2000:
  • A Nobel Prize, and
  • The successful launch of a popular movie, "An Inconvenient Truth."
He has earned, particularly among Democrats and many of our nation's opinion leaders, the status of statesman. Wisely he has generally kept out of party politics and burnished his image, thereby lowering his "negative ratings" in the polls.

5. Countering the Liabilities of Clinton and Obama.

Although Senator Clinton offers significant experience as a candidate, she has high "negative ratings," often the death knell of a political candidate. Meanwhile Senator Obama does not have high "negative ratings," but he lacks experience. Both advocate change, today's political calling card. Al Gore could combine the best of both worlds, low "negative ratings and substantial experience in a campaign touting change, for which he is particularly well suited, given his Nobel Prize and leadership of the "green" movement.

6. Electability.

After eight years of George W. Bush, Democrats desperately want to win the White House. To achieve that most coveted goal, Al Gore may well offer them the best opportunity. So the presidential sun may yet rise on Al Gore.

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