Thursday, July 31, 2003

Starting Lineups: Arnold will run. No, he won't. Al Gore will sit out 2004. Well, maybe . . . This story says that he's under some pressure to step back in. And this (obviously biased) unofficial site pushes an intriguing line:
Gore's spokesperson denied that there was any change of plans, but a former Democratic National Committee official close to Gore told The Hill he believes the former vice president may enter the Democratic primary this fall...

The former DNC official, who was active in Gore's 2000 campaign, said his prediction of another Gore campaign is based on more than a hunch. But he declined to offer specific evidence.

He believes, as other Gore confidants do, that the political climate has changed significantly since December, making Bush more vulnerable to defeat in his bid for a second term...

Jesus, you can't tell the players without a scorecard of their illegal campaign contributions. As the resident Democrat, Razor, your opinion is called for: What's time is it for Gore?

I for one don't see him enthusiastically coming off the bench to help the team -- the team that spent most of 2001-2002 bad-mouthing him for the loss. Clinton, on the other hand, would love that kind of shot, called up in the clinch by the team that sent him down. Gore, it seems to me, would be more likely to say, "You had your chance." I don't rule out a Gore run, obviously, but it seems improbable, mostly because of the people he would alienate:

1) He would piss off the Deaners, who are pulling the party to the left. They would no doubt see this as an establishment response to the Dean threat.

2) The New Democrats, on the other hand, and particularly Lieberman, would see this as a betrayal. Al steps back in to rescue the center-left from the failure of the JV squad. It's bad form; it's technically a slap to Lieberman, who waited politely for Gore to make his decision before announcing; and it says to dues-payers like Kerry and Gephardt, "Back off. You can't cut it."

3) Most importantly, a Gore late-run -- if it does in fact suck the money and oxygen from the other candidates -- would be a disservice to the entire Democratic party, since it would kick down the road an argument that the party desperately needs to have. Namely: How long can the future of the party be mortgaged to disparate interest groups like socially conservative union members, the gay lobby, the NAACP, the AARP. Honestly, what does the party stand for, other than goodies for their constituent groups?

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