Okay, so I'm calling this blog Decision '08 for a reason (and it's not just because Decision 2008 was taken already!)...I fully intend to spend the next four years building up a real resource for Campaign 2008. I realize there isn't much here yet, but hey, come on, it's the first day of the blog.
One of the things I intend to provide in this blog are candidate profiles from both sides of the aisle, where I'll handicap the serious (and not-so-serious) horses in the race. I'm gonna start off with our ol' buddy from Campaign 2000, Al Gore.
Albert Arnold Gore Jr.
Resume: Former Representative for Tennessee's 4th District, Former Senator from Tennessee, 45th Vice President of the United States, 2000 Democratic Nominee for President
(Unofficial) Campaign Website: Al Gore 2008
Good link for Gore's history
You may think I'm a little off to start with Al Gore, but there is a serious movement to consider him for '08 (however small that movement may be). Recently,
Richard Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post, started tongues wagging with a column endorsing a Gore 2008 candidacy. Cohen stupidly states that the Democrats need a good recession(!!! - that's the kind of optimism that'll win us back!), but "barring that, the party needs a candidate who can be comfy talking religion and who, once that's established, can go on to talk about other things." Cohen also points out that Gore is a Southerner who opposed the Iraq War and that he has a wife whose name is not Te-RAY-za.
Let's use Cohen's column as a starting point in handicapping Gore. How serious would a Gore candidacy be? Consider these points:
(1) Gore famously lost the Electoral College vote after winning the popular vote, then plunged the country into a month-long circus that culminated in the Supreme Court. Compared to that, Kerry was a gentleman. True, there are parts of the Democratic Base that STILL think Bush is an illegitimate president, but the majority of Americans look back at 2000 as a nightmare, notwithstanding Fahrenheit 911.
(2) Gore was initially thought of as somewhat moderate, in line with Clinton's New Democrat presidency. Unlike Kerry, he succeeded in defining himself...he wasn't just a faceless Senator getting rich and taking up space while accomplishing nothing. Sure, we all made fun of his gaffes and grandiose claims, but at least we knew what he claimed about himself. Unfortunately, a lot of that definition and perceived moderation has now flown away, thanks to Gore's intemperate remarks since his loss.
(3) Liberals such as Cohen miss completely the lesson of Election 2004. The fact that Al Gore is from the South and can talk comfortably about religion means absolutely squat. John Edwards (oh, we'll get to him) brought his cornpone "aw shucks ma'am" routine to town and was ridden right back out of town on a rail. You see, Richard and Al and John, we conservatives didn't support Bush because he was from Texas, or because he professes to be a man of faith, but because he shares our concerns and values. The "Religious Right" did not win this election for Bush, but rather religious, mainstream people (Nixon's "Silent Majority") who aren't necessarily against abortion, but just think it oughtta be rare, and aren't necessarily homophobic, but think marriage ought to be just the way it has been for thousands of years, and most of all, who like a President that recognizes that there is evil in the world. Ironically, Gore once knew this; he would do well to remember it.
CURRENT ODDS: 10-1
UPDATE 3/10/2005 9:19 pm central: See this post for downward revision.
CURRENT ODDS: 13-1
UPDATE 04/25/05 6:58 pm central: See here...
CURRENT ODDS: 15-1
UPDATE 04/25/05 5:33 p.m. central: Gore is doing nothing at all, that I can see, that makes him a viable candidate at this point. I'm dropping his odds considerably.
CURRENT ODDS: 21-1
UPDATE 07/04/05 10:26 p.m. central: Is there a reason to consider Gore a player? Not that I can see...
CURRENT ODDS: 30-1