CILLIZZA (1/7/07): As the Democratic field for 2008 takes shape, one big remaining question is whether former vice president Al Gore—winner of the popular vote in 2000, an almost-candidate in 2004 and now the public face of the movement to address global warming—will be in it.According to Cillizza, Gores public image has now become cool. And it isnt just liberals who have taken to Gore! Indeed, Gores renewed popularity has stoked speculation that Gore may enter the White House race.
Over the past six years, Gore has become a heroic figure for the party's liberal left, thanks in large part to his early and steady opposition to the war in Iraq. And it's not just liberals who have taken to Gore. "An Inconvenient Truth," the film detailing Gore's lonely quest to raise awareness of climate change, is one of the most successful documentaries of all time and, as important, has transformed Gore's public image from cold to cool.
That renewed popularity has stoked speculation that Gore just may have another national race up his sleeve. "He's the Rocky Balboa of 2008," said Chris Lehane, a former Gore adviser.
MATTHEWS (1/7/07): Before we go to break, the Academy Awards are still almost two months away, but Al Gore is out there campaigning hard for his movie on global warming. He's been hitting the talk-show circuit. And last month, he hosted 1600 Inconvenient Truth house parties.Nothing on earth could be dumber than saying that Gore would be president today if hed only campaigned more about global warming. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/18/06, for a fuller discussion of this laughable point. (Its drawn from Kleins hapless book, Politics Lost. Matthews was throwing a well-scripted softball.) But again, they key point is this: This cohort never admits to what it has done, and it always comes up with alternate stories. Campaign 2000 was all Gores fault! These laughable losers will never stop saying it, disappearing what really occurred.
Now it looks like Mother Nature's giving a helping hand. Believe it or not, we just learned that a huge ice shelf, measuring 25 square miles—it's been in the same place for 3,000 years—has broken off in Canada and started floating out to sea. And here in Washington, it's cherry blossom time. The only problem is it's January, and that is a scene taken by NBC cameras this week on Connecticut Avenue.
Joe, would Al Gore be president today if he had really gone out and fought on this issue when he had it in his gut but kept it secret back in 2000?
KLEIN: Yes, because he would have sounded like a human being instead of a robot.
SWEET (12/21/06): If were kind of spinning scenarios here, thats the big question mark. If Gore got in, that would change everything—According to Matthews suggestion, Gore didnt reach the White House because he lacked a sense of humor. But then, thats how it is with this millionaire cohort. Theres always another way to explain away their own vast, destructive misconduct.
MATTHEWS: I mean, the strongest ticket would be Al Gore and Obama. I think that would be an awesome ticket.
SWEET: I get tons of e-mail with people wanting that because that is what seems to make sense and that would make up for the big rap on Obama, his inexperience.
MATTHEWS: Al Gores got to run and get a sense of humor.
SWEET: And what about the Academy Award?
MATTHEWS: I think a sense of humors more important. Anyway, I think it`s all interesting and I think its too early to say.
MCMAHON (12/15/06): I think Mike [Murphy]s right about what the big questions out there are: Does Al Gore get in? Because Al Gore has a story, a great story.Mind-reading brilliantly, Matthews said that Gore was bitter at the way hed been treated by people like Matthews. (Note again the unflattering framing.) But this was a rare suggestion from this laughable talker about what really drove the campaign which put George Bush where he is.
MATTHEWS: Would you work for him?
MCMAHON: I would love to work with him. Id work for any nominee in the Democratic Party.
MATTHEWS: Have you had lunch or breakfast with him, to lure him into this thing? You could do it!
MCMAHON: He is going it make his own decision. He talks to people he trusts. And Im not—
MATTHEWS: But he is so bitter, I think, at the way the press treated him, the way I treated him. Because so many people were so tough to Gore last time around, does he really want to get back into the maul?
MCMAHON: Well, I dont know if he does or he doesnt...
MCCASLIN (7/4/00): In every race, there's a winner and a loser. So what happens to the loser in the 2000 presidential race?Sidak—clearly a script-reading robot herself—had her Gore lines down cold. (Gore was like Eddie Haskell. Gore was robotic. Gore talked down to average people. Gore would do and say anything to become president.) But she almost surely referred to Matthews with her story about the well-known Washington pundit who told her that Gore would get down and lick the floor to be president. Matthews simply luvved reciting this insult, sometimes specifying that it was the bathroom floor which the appalling Gore would be willing to lick. In September 2000, with Gore seeming to pull away in the polls, Matthews apologized for having directed this serial insult at the man who would rule (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 8/14/02). A weak little thigh-rubber went on TV and tried to get right with emerging power.
"With the relative normality of George W's Bush upbringing, he seems like a regular guy who would very much like to be president, but it won't be the end of the world for him if he doesn't make it. He'll still have his family and he'll still do the fun, normal things he likes to do," opines Washington writer Melinda Ledden Sidak in the Women's Quarterly.
"Gore, however, is another story. There is something eerie about his robotic, mechanical speaking style and smarmy Eddie Haskell effect. He speaks as though his audience consists solely of dim souls who are hard of hearing—each word carefully enunciated with every third word emphasized," she observes.
"Worse, he seems willing to do literally anything in order to become president. As one well-known Washington pundit told me, 'If you told Gore to get down and lick the floor in order to be president, he'd unhesitatingly drop to the floor. If you told Bush the same thing, he'd tell you to get lost.' "