Gore for President

There have been appreciative articles about Al Gore in the print media (David Remnick, in his Talk of the Town piece in the New Yorker last week) and some prominent points in the blogosphere (Kottke and Weinberger).  With some luck and with some planning, maybe it will turn into a movement to draft Gore in 2008.

Remnick asks in his piece:    

If you are inclined to think that the unjustly awarded election of 2000
led to one of the worst Presidencies of this or any other era, it is
not easy to look at Al Gore. He is the living reminder of all that
might not have happened in the past six years (and of what might still
happen in the coming two). Contrary to Ralph Nader’s credo that there
was no real difference between the major parties, it is close to
inconceivable that the country and the world would not be in far better
shape had Gore been allowed to assume the office that a plurality of
voters wished him to have. One can imagine him as an intelligent and
decent President, capable of making serious decisions and explaining
them in the language of a confident adult. Imagining that alternative
history is hard to bear, which is why Gore always has the courtesy, in
his many speeches, and at the start of “An Inconvenient Truth,” to
deflect that discomfort with a joke: “Hello, I’m Al Gore and I used to
be the next President of the United States.”

We live in a dangerous time — easily the most dangerous in half a century. There have been terrific op-eds by elder statesmen in the past few days that underscore this notion: one today from Max Kampelman, a former Reagan arms negotiator, and another from Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., JFK’s historian-in-residence and aide-de-camp. This feels like a momentous pivot point in our nation’s history, something not unlike 1860 or 1932. We were fortunate then that we had leaders who were principled, with strong convictions, but also able and willing to think through problems, not just apply ideology to them.

As I look at the current crop of potential leaders — both Democrats and Republicans — the choices are pretty meager. We have no shortage of candidates who are interested in power for power’s sake, and most willing to compromise their principles to get it (McCain and H. Clinton), and a whole crop of others we know won’t be up to the job (George Allen, John Kerry, and the list goes on).

Gore seems principled and strategic, qualities in short supply in the current White House.