December 08, 2003

dean gets gored. joe pouts.

hrm, looks like the man who invented the internet is going to endorse the man who used the internet to propel himself to frontrunner status:

Former Vice President Al Gore will endorse Howard Dean for the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday, Democratic sources said Monday, a move that could cement Dean's position in the fight for the party's nod.

GORE, WHO LOST to President Bush in the disputed 2000 election, will endorse Dean, the former governor of Vermont, in New York City on Tuesday and then travel with him to Iowa, the site of the Jan. 19 caucuses that kick off the nominating process.

well, that's big news. everybody knew clinton wouldn't endorse anybody until after the nomination was all but sealed up. but gore, the slain democratic martyr in 2000, has been acting very edgy in the past couple of years, so it's not at all surprising that he endorsed somebody other than his former running mate. what is surprising is how early the endorsement came.

we're still a little over a month away from the first primary, after all.

there's been a lot of talk about how this is either gore's powerplay move within the dnc to rebuke clinton (ala clark is the clinton's darkhorse candidate) or a setup move for a run in 2008 (he supports the crazy frontrunner who will lose to the bush juggernaut, which garners him ideological support in the base but doesn't hurt him politically since he's not giving into an established political figure such as kerry, which would cause people to say he's a two-time loser when kerry loses).

i don't really buy either of these theories. if gore wanted to be president, he would be running right now. he won the popular vote, remember? and from all of his appearances since 2000, his tone has gone from one of 'let's all get along and the logic of my policy is sound, so it will prevail in the end' to a very righteous anger. it's very apparent that he's learned from the way that he faltered during the 2000 campaign, and i'm pretty sure he could pull it off this time.

my thinking: he doesn't really want to be president now. and frankly, after going through the horrid media machine that distorted nearly everything he said and played nice with bush, i wouldn't blame him.

i also think al gore understands how imperative it is to get bush out of the white house now.

but why not lieberman? well, lieberman can't win, for one, and nobody likes a loser. and lieberman isn't exactly all that thrilled with this, either, even though he's being very polite:

Lieberman issued a statement saying, "I have a lot of respect for Al Gore - that is why I kept my promise not to run if he did. Ultimately, the voters will make the determination and I will continue to make my case about taking our party and nation forward."

'b-b-but i did it for you, al. i waited.' etc, etc. we're counting the days until joe drops out.

what does this mean for dean? well, this is pretty much the biggest single endorsement you can get besides that of the two clintons. many of gore's supporters, still feeling jilted from 2000, are now a bit more likely to jump on the dean bandwagon. and with al gore making this announcement this early, he's going to have a bit of behind the scenes push if dean gets the nomination (and the cw is starting to turn around to not if but when). i don't think this is a gore/clinton inside baseball fight, but i do think it's gore's way of trying to push the dlc back a bit and let the left have a shot this time.

the appeasement bandwagon didn't work out too well in 2002, after all. and with gore endorsing this soon, he's sending a message that the democrats need to play a hard and uncompromising game, and the only one that's been doing that since the beginning is howard dean.

Posted by kilgore at December 8, 2003 09:01 PM | TrackBack
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