It’s pretty well known that I’m an Obama fan. I think he’s the new way that politics in America should go: more to the centre, more inclusive, and more ‘honest’. He’s the sort of person I’d vote for.
But not in the place of Al Gore. Gore is a fantastic politician, and one who has always been of interest to me since the early days of me getting into US politics (which can’t be said for Obama, who didn’t burst onto the scene until 2004 at the Democrat National Convention). And in my theorising and dreaming about the’08 race, I’ve always wondered what would happen if Gore threw his name into the hat.
Polls suggest that he would defeat Clinton in a snap if he announced. Even unannounced, he lead polls early in the days, and still figures in the top three or four for some polls. So he’s still, as a non-racer, a force to be reckoned with. And a few of us had toyed with the idea that maybe there was the slightest, faintest sliver of a chance that he would announce at the Academy Awards last year. It didn’t happen, and made for quite a funny joke in the evening’s events.
And then the year went by, and nothing was heard except for rumours and rumblings that maybe he still would, when, at the same time, eight people have been debating the country over. But, regardless, all the publicity and popularity that he experienced certainly looked something reminiscent of a political campaign. He released his film and was on a thousand and one television shows. He had a book hooked with that film. His latest book has only just come out (which I brought yesterday), and he’s doing the tours and signings, all about American politics (at the same time as Democratic debates are happening do note).
And, amongst this all, it might have gone without notice that Gore is a hot favourite to win the Nobel Peace Prize. And, certainly a somewhat-valid theory, if he were to win it, he’d have more publicity and coverage than ever before. Which is why, as the theory goes, he will announce his running there and then.
It’s appropriate timing I guess: the first few debates have gone and people know what everyone else is about. Which only helps Gore because everyone knows what he’s about. He was V.P. and presidential hopeful in 2000. He’s been doing the circuit and had exposure since then, and he hasn’t said anything that’s a shocking difference from his politician days either. Now that all the other candidates have formed their base and have set into routine of Q&A. Everyone knows that Hilary’s quite left, that Edwards is running on a left-ish campaign, and Obama is in the middle (though only by the fact that he doesn’t have as much non-spotlight voting experience, nor has he been subject to the lengthy examination that Clinton and Edwards have been).
Gore is Gore. He’s the V.P. to Bill Clinton’s presidency. You know what he’s running on if you’ve been alive for the past year. And if you’ve been paying attention for the past ten or more, then you have a good account of him. The only question about Gore is when, or if, he will throw his name into the mix?
For a good article, and I thank St. Ives Correspondent for the link, read this.