(guest blog by Taylor Marsh)
Okay, I’ll bite.
The news is out. Via Chris Bowers we find out that Al Gore is not only back but has hired Roy Neel, one of Howard Dean’s key aides in 2004, to help him get the message out on his global warming information mission. Gore’s been out promoting his new environmental movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," which was received so warmly at Sundance. But does he have larger ambitions to go along with it?
Bowers of MyDD isn’t convinced Gore should be put in any straw polls he does on the 2008 election. Bowers is also prepared to hear a lot from Al Gore’s fans, encouraging his inclusion in his polling. Count me among them.
Gore still contends he’s not focused on ’08 and isn’t thinking about running right now. But come on, what does that actually mean in political speak? The only thing I haven’t heard from Gore is that 2008 is a lifetime away in political terms.
… … You cannot see this film and not think of George W. Bush, the man who beat Gore in 2000. Bush has been studiously anti-science, a man of applied ignorance who has undernourished his mind with the empty calories of comfy dogma. For instance, his insistence on abstinence as the preferred method of birth control would be laughable were it not so reckless. It is similar to Bush’s initial approach to global warming. It may be that Gore will do more good for his country and the world with this movie than Bush ever did by winning in 2000.
Gore insists his presidential aspirations are behind him. "I think there are other ways to serve," he told me. No doubt. But on paper, he is the near-perfect Democratic candidate for 2008. He won the popular vote in 2000. He opposed going to war in Iraq, but he supported the previous Gulf War – right both times. He is much more a person of the 21st century than most of the other potential candidates. Gore could be a great President. First, he has to be a good candidate.
There are so many reasons Al Gore would be a great candidate for 2008, not the least of which is his stance on the Iraq war and his belief in muscular diplomacy first. He also, having been freed from political and election constraints, is a man who has clearly found a way for his passion to come out of his mouth. Sure he’s on a global mission to raise awareness on the environment. But there’s real thirst in the progressive ranks for Gore, most believing he would have a real chance to make a come back, if he but makes the decision to run.
"I am Al Gore. I used to be the next president of the United States of America. (laughter) I don’t consider that particularly funny." – Al Gore
Once the self deprecating, fire and brimstone politician Al Gore showed up, after his presidential dreams had been dashed on the front steps of the Supreme Court, it was as if a new man had emerged. The stage fright that made him so wooden was gone. His reluctance at political humor now used to great affect. Then of course there is that other thing.
Today, Al Gore looks like a political god compared to the incompetent and weak president currently presiding at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Right now, polls show that if the 2004 election were held today, John Kerry would win by ten points-plus. Imagine what would happen if you put Al Gore’s name in the ring.