Saturday, September 16, 2006

Apocalypse, Now?

I've spent the last few days wondering if it Pat Buchanan practically urging Al Gore to run for president in 2008 and Christopher Buckley saying that it maybe it was time for a time-out for Republicans could be a sign of the apocalypse. And in June, George Will basically said Al Gore should run, that the Presidency would be the best way to influence the debate on global warming.

Of course, there are some blatantly political reasons for wanting the Democrats to at least take the House: Give the Republicans time to regroup while the dems, though in power, would not be able to move an agenda with the Senate and White House still in Republican hands. The Democrats then become the do-nothings, completely focused on the sure-to-be-launched investigations of the run up to Iraq, illegal wire-tapping and torture issues. Republicans could then just sit back and watch as the American public became increasingly disgusted, returning both houses of Congress and the White House to Republican hands in 2008. Brilliant. Sick, but brilliant. Not that I'm feeling cynical about all of this.

So is it too late for Al Gore? Can he come back and take what so many feel was rightfully his? He's come a long way in the past six years. But does he want to do that to himself again?

I like Hillary, but I don't think she can win a general election. I think she would be more effective staying in the Senate.

I like Joe Biden, but he still has a little baggage and really, really likes to hear himself talk.

Russ Feingold--like him, but don't know that he has the name recognition that he'd need.

Did Gore get a dose of humility large enough to make him come across as himself this time and not some stuffed shirt who knows he's the smartest guy in the room? (Biden also suffers from this but still manages to make you think you might want to grab a beer with him anyway. Just throwing that in since so many people find it an appealing quality in a presidential candidate.)

And did Gore learn enough to let the Clinton machine do it's job this time? Has he made his peace with Bill? Yes, yes, Bill has some personal issues, but the man knows politics. He knows America and he knows how to get elected. Also doesn't hurt that he's playing nice with Bush I. Not that I'm feeling cynical or anything.

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