Archive for Sunday, May 28, 2006

Gore may be better choice than Hillary

May 28, 2006

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As Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton cruises toward likely re-election, she enjoys an almost inexhaustible supply of funds and weak, divided opposition.

A big victory this fall, some supporters believe, is just step one toward a Clinton presidential restoration. Indeed, the former first lady is spending much of her time positioning herself for 2008 on issues from abortion to Iraq.

But behind that optimistic picture are some signs of Democratic discomfort over her prospective candidacy and the first signs she may yet face a formidable foe, former Vice President Al Gore.

A recent Newsweek poll showed that, by a 19-point margin, Americans favor a Democrat as their next president. But Mrs. Clinton regularly trails Republican Sen. John McCain in one-on-one match-ups, and surveys show significant numbers of Democrats hope she won't run.

Gore, meanwhile, is re-emerging in public as narrator and producer of "An Inconvenient Truth," a powerful though heavy-handed film that warns of impending environmental doom. He has yet to change his stance that he won't run again, but some close friends think he ultimately will.

Gore, who for years has quipped that "I used to be the next president of the United States," recently told the AP's Ron Fournier he was "a recovering politician on about Step 9." Last weekend, he told reporters at the Cannes Film Festival: "I don't plan to be a candidate again for national office. I don't see any circumstances that would cause me to change my mind."

At this point, though, interest in a Gore candidacy comes less from the former vice president's camp than from Democrats who fear Mrs. Clinton can't beat McCain, the early GOP front-runner. Recent national match-ups showed her from 4 to 11 points behind the Arizona senator.

In New York, a recent Marist poll put her lead over McCain within the margin of error. And 57 percent of Democrats thought it unlikely she would win the presidency, while 30 percent said she shouldn't run.

Beyond concern about her chances, Mrs. Clinton's biggest handicap could be her vote for the war in Iraq - and continued defense of it. Democrats overwhelmingly oppose the war, and their field seems certain to include one or more anti-war candidates.

Of the most likely possibilities, Sen. Russ Feingold, of Wisconsin, is little known, and 2004 nominee John Kerry is well known for his inconsistency on the issue. Gore is well known and consistently has opposed the war.

In the past week, both Gore and Mrs. Clinton made high-profile appearances in Washington. In some ways, the similarities were greater than the differences.

Both the former vice president, in his movie detailing the threat from global warning, and the former first lady, who discussed energy at the National Press Club, gave serious, detailed expositions of vital issues facing the United States.

"This is probably a more wonkish speech than any of you anticipated," Mrs. Clinton quipped after setting out a comprehensive, well-reasoned long-term program for reducing U.S. dependence on oil.

The biggest difference was that Gore spoke about a subject on which he has a long history of personal commitment. As Mrs. Clinton noted, he has been "a committed visionary on global warning for more than two decades."

Indeed, it underscored the fact that, should he run in 2008, Gore could stress the kind of consistency that he lacked in both prior bids, especially on Iraq.

For the most part, political factors are driving growing talk of a Gore candidacy: Mrs. Clinton's weakness vs. McCain, the fact that Gore is an established figure who polled a majority of votes in 2000, a stature beyond those of most other Democratic hopefuls and the likelihood that only he has the fundraising potential to counter Mrs. Clinton.

On the other hand, he, too, has negatives: He was an uninspiring campaigner, showed poor political instincts and angered many Democrats by bungling the 2000 campaign and then abandoning the political arena without thanking many who worked hard for him.

Current polls show him even weaker against GOP rivals than Mrs. Clinton, though some Democrats believe he won't inspire as much negativity as she does.

"Campaigns are about choices," Republican Rep. Tom Davis noted this week. The main impetus for the Gore boomlet may be Democratic disquiet about choosing Mrs. Clinton.

Carl P. Leubsdorf is Washington bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News.

Comments

Richard Heckler 8 years, 12 months ago

Do not underestimate Al Gore. One lesson he likely learned on his bid for presidency it would be best to run his campaign as Al Gore. It seemed to me that those managing his campaign wanted him to be like Bill Clinton.

What was missing from the Al Gore campaign was the "fire and brimstone" side of Gore. Hillary should stay as a New York Senator.

If Gore runs he should pick Governor Kathleen Sebelius as his running mate and allow her to be a vice president of substance.

Senator John McCain is not this maverick as he is portrayed. The way that the Bush campaign destroyed him and his wife was irresponsible and unacceptable campaign behavior. McCain should have made an issue of that alone and publically supported his wife and her right to privacy on very personal issues which certainly were not the business of GW Bush or the general public. Instead in the interest of party unity McCain more or less joined Bush which also was unacceptable.

The republican party needs to concentrate its' efforts on dumping the Christian Coalition Neocons from the party. They need to clean house.

xenophonschild 8 years, 12 months ago

At least you're consistent.

Republicans are through. Even their own base is shying away from their incompetence. And Merrill hit the nail on the head: the Republicans need to cleanse their party of fundamentalist Christians. The questions begs, though: without the FCCR's, who is left in the Republican mix?

I'm one of the liberal Democrats who hopes Gore does not run again. He got as far as he did in '00 because of his ties to the Clintons; without them, he would go nowhere fast.

No, we need Hillary and Bill Richardson of New Mexico. Don't care about perceived negatives: we need a leader who can lead without being told what to do by special interests.

I think Hillary will surprise people by how well she performs. Think a smarter, better-organized Margaret Thatcher.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 12 months ago

When Hillary was stumping for Bill and she dropped by to deliver a speech on the hill I was impressed and wondered why she wasn't running instead of Bill. Hillary is a bit too hawkish at this point in time for me. And she will bring a lot of unfair baggage with her courtesy of the Christian Coalition neocons who concentrate on character assassination rather than the issues.

I also believe it smart to keep someone such as her in a New York senate seat who would be a supporter of the next democratic president. Members of the house and senate have more power than a president if they chose to exercise such.

We need to dump special interest financing and pay less attention to the press who seem to pushing McCain and Hillary.

beatrice 8 years, 12 months ago

How about a Gore/Clinton ticket? Face it, the Republicans are cooked -- they fight too hard to retain wealth for the wealthy without giving a rat's a@@ about the average American. The war is their biggest mistake, and when combined with the overall corruption of this administration, the tax cuts for the wealthy during times of runaway deficits, war profitering by the oil corporations (the best friends of this administration), along with the torture chambers, the unwillingness to accept scientific facts on any number of things, there is no way that they will get back into office. McCain's recent pandering to the "Christian" neocons is proof that he has no real backbone as a politician, and people will see through it. The Democrats will first take back the Senate from those who talk Christian but walk corporate, and then it will be the White House.

I agree with rightthinker, however -- there is a chance that he could be wrong.

xenophonschild 8 years, 12 months ago

Arminitwit:

Verily, thou art a few bricks shy of a load. Is it possible for you to enter a thread without villifying William the Great?

Two words. Bert Nash. No doubt there's someone on staff there who can help you with your . . . fixation.

Or, you can volunteer to work on Hillary's campaign here in Kansas and cleanse yourself of your sickness.

If you choose the latter, advise me and I'll get you in touch with the right people.

Repent!

xenophonschild 8 years, 12 months ago

Just a few parting shots:

"Most people believe Bill Clinton raped Juanita Broaddrick." Nope. More of your fruitcake fantasies. Please don't post your bogus or fringe-lunatic websites; remember, there are myriad websites who proclaim that Hilter was actually a saint and that he didn't actually kill any Jews. And their viewpoints are just as valid as your brand of right-wing fringe lunacy.

And as for your Contract With America - or was it Contract On America - wasn't quite a lot of it quietly killed by the very Republicans who touted it so vehemently prior to the '94 elections? Like the zero base-line budget; limiting the terms of committee chairmen, and the Citizen Legislative Act (term limits), which, if Wikipedia is to be believed, your Republican Congress voted down 227-204.

Face reality, Kevin. Republicans have shown themselves to be charlatans of the first water: cruel, greedy, and insensitive. They serve only their super-rich masters. They casually sell out the interests of their constituents to curry favor with same. They're even worse on a regular basis than Democrats were occasionally over a forty-year period.

BTW, while you no doubt will ignore the substance of this post, try this on for size: $8.4 trillion dollars. That's the most lasting legacy of your conservative buffoons, one the next two generations will spend their entire lives paying off. There are those - you're probably among them - who pooh-pooh the national debt as a trifle, a minor inconvenience. But when we have to shell out 700 billion dollars annually, every year, without fail, just to pay the interest on the debt, then go ask capital markets around the world if America's debt is merely a trifle, not a minor inconvenience.

BTW, William the Great left a balanced budget, and a budget surplus.

xenophonschild 8 years, 12 months ago

Not odd at all. William the Great was persecuted by Republicans for his assault on their wealthly patrons. His dalliance with Ms. Lewinsky, and even his attempts to cover it up, was amusing.

Do you actually read holygrailale's posts? No doubt they are a trial for you by now, what with how you bleed all over your keyboard after she slices and gouges your various inanities. But she did - quite plainly - point out that your Ms. Broaddrick, in a 1997 affadavit that she swore was the truth, denied that William the Great raped her. Perhaps you should request access to the affadavit - I'm sure holygrailale will provide it - and you can digest it while you consider your next campaign of lies and slander against William the Great.

xenophonschild 8 years, 12 months ago

This really is a tribute to William the Great's - well, greatness. He's been out of office almost six years and those he almost effortlessly checkmated during his stay in Washington still seethe at their many defeats.

Then too, the looney's on the right are gearing up to fling mud at Hillary, and trying so very hard to reignite this Broaddrick nonsense. And they will pursue their lies and innuendoes whenever and wherever they see a chance to hurt Hillary, for that is their only compunction.

Hillary will be elected despite the looney's best efforts, Kevin. I suggest you prepare yourself for eight long years of Hillary and liberal Democratic administrations . . . with William the Great as her chief advisor. It amuses me greatly to imagine your chagrin.

xenophonschild 8 years, 12 months ago

holygrailale:

Really? He was kicked off a website for being unprofessional?

Shocking.

No doubt it was Bill Clinton's fault.

xenophonschild 8 years, 12 months ago

Eeeyah! But we can suggest why ol'Kevin declined to participate, can't we? Can it be that he lacks the perspicacity, the native intelligence required to address (that means either attack/defend) core issues?

And what happened at Larryville.com? I'm on pins and needles.

criddic2 8 years, 12 months ago

Obviously "rapist" is the wrong word to use in Clinton's case, since the sexual activities he engaged in were consensual. However, to dismiss his actions in front of two legal expeditions as a simple matter of sex, is irresponsible. He lied under oath in a civil deposition and again to a grand jury. That is perjury, although he was aquitted of this charge by the U.S. senate in 1999, after being impeached (perjury was 55-45 and 50-50 on obstruction of justice). A 67 vote majority is needed to convict, which would have made Al Gore president for about a year and a half. [Similarly, if Democrats persue impeachment for Bush after the 2006 elections, the possibility remains for a President Cheney to emerge from that action -- although no president has ever been removed from office, while only two have even been impeached].

Hillary Clinton is unlikely to succeed in the general election. She has a high profile as a former first lady and as senator from NY, but her qualifications remain questionable. What has she done as senator that warrants electing her to the presidency? In addition, her husband is a real detraction for her. If elected, what role will Bill have in the White House? Hillary was given huge tasks, like the failed Health Care bill of 1993-4. If he is just a first gentlemen, will he cause yet more scandal with his affairs? I think having Bill back as co-president should be the bigger issue. He served his eight years, was impeached and some of his policies led to the slower economy of 2000, when the bubble burst.

No Hillary should be happy and feel lucky she was elected to office in the first place.

xenophonschild 8 years, 12 months ago

criddic2:

Of course, you are entitled to your opinion . . . even when it is wrong. For a better understanding of Hillary's record as the junior Senator from New York, I suggest you scan:

http:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Rodham_Clinton#Political-views/

Godot 8 years, 11 months ago

The prospect of Algore competing with Billary is exhiliarating. This could make the election worth watching.

Bob Forer 8 years, 11 months ago

I've never voted for a Republican for national office, but if that carpetbagging opportunist Hillary runs against McCain, that could change. Gore is no solution. I saw him speak in Denver days prior to the 2004 election. Wooden as ever. Although he's made a commendable transformation since 2000, he simply lacks the "charisma" the voting public demands of a presidential candiate.

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