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View Diary: Al Gore's Last Chance (285 comments)

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  •  Instead of running (2+ / 0-)
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    decembersue, PBCliberal

    and coming in as a "white knight"--like Goldwater in '64--he might be able to play a more meaningful role in terms of advancing the overall progressive agenda and movement--which in the long run is far more important, I think, than who's actually going to become the next Democratic president--by gently pressuring and manipulating the current candidates into more openly advocating for progressive causes (and even practicing it in their day jobs for those of them who are still in office), and perhaps dangling his endorsement as a possible prize for complying--and his criticism as a possible punishment for those who don't.

    Hell yeah would this be "unfair". But so is life, as Gore all too well knows. And by playing the role of kingmaker from the sidelines as a respected elder statesman, he might serve a more useful purpose than he would by actually running. I.e. he could "shape" both the primary and general election to conform to a more progressive direction, and in doing so also move the national consensus closer to one as well. There would have been no Reagan or "Conservative Revolution" without all the hard work that was done by the right's (less intelligent, sane and/or principled) versions of Gore back in the 50's-70's.

    Sure I want him to run. But he might actually be more helpful if he did this instead--especially if he focuses on getting Obama fully onboard the progressive bandwagon.

    •  People do politics for the power. (0+ / 0-)

      How many of them would let Gore tell them what to do?  Once they get the nomination, it's a no holds barred fight to win the general.  Once they win the general, we can expect half of their campaign promises to be promptly forgotten.  (See Nancy Pelosi's Jan 2007 grand declarations.)

      What influence could Gore really have?  A symbolic position as Environmental Czar?

      No more lies - IMPEACH!

      by Fabian on Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 05:52:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The kind of influence that might help determine (0+ / 0-)

        who the Democratic nominee is, and how far to the right or left they go as the nominee in the general election. Do you really think that Hillary or Obama or Edwards want the highly respected and admired winner of the 2007 Oscars, Emmys and Nobel Peace Prize and leading environmental advocate--and probably the most admired person in the country if not world right now--to get on their case about being too weak on ending the war or doing something about global warming? His words may or may not make the difference, but do they really want to take a chance?

        Look, if Hillary maintains a commanding lead, there's little that Gore could say or do to change that, and he'll realize this and stand back. He's not an idiot and won't try to stop a political tsunami that could only hurt her in the general. But if Obama or Edwards close in on her, he could certainly either throw his support behind them to make the difference, or send a backchannel message to Hillary that if she doesn't move more to the left, he might do this. And in the general, while he'll certainly campaign for whoever the nominee is, he can still modulate how active he would be doing this based on how progressive the nominee is willing to be. And if they win, he can play the role of the "voice of conscience" if they stray too far from the progressive agenda.

        Basically, he can use his moral stature to push or pull politicians in various directions, in a carrots and sticks manner--do the right thing and I'll enthusiastically support and fight for you, do the wrong thing and you're on your own, and I might even speak out against you. The right has had its own gadlflies playing such a spoiler role for years, so I don't see why we can't have ours. Carter's been doing this, Bill Clinton's started to do it, and Gore might follow in this pattern too. I'm not saying that he's the man behind the curtain, but he can certainly pull a few strings and influence which way the party and its leaders go in the years ahead.

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