IS GORE CONTEMPLATING A RUN FOR 2008?
Ben Smith's piece in Monday's New York Observer was part tantilizing gossip and part sobering truth on the state of the Democratic party come 2008.
The opposition party usually gears up its possible and perennial candidates during this point of the election cycle. The sitting president's party is typically hampered by respect for the current commander-in-chief and therefore somewhat murky in buzz over which person may take the party's mantle.
Hillary Clinton is a definite yes and everyone's front-runner. Then you have the rehashed candidates--John Kerry and John Edwards. The up-and-comers who lack gravitas but nonetheless serve the sole purpose of pushing along the dialogue of the race. In 2004, Howard Dean played this role. In 2008, Russ Feingold may well take that role with pet issues such as campaign finance reform and a desire to end the war in Iraq.
Then there's Al Gore who fits into every category. He's been a frontrunner. He's a rehashed good ol' boy of the Democratic Party and comfortable advancing a specific agenda--global warming and, of course, a diatribe against everything that is Bush.
Smith's article contains the ubiquitous citation of denial that Gore is even contemplating another run for White House all the while illustrating a fiery orator and issues-orientated vision. The middle ground between whether Gore runs or doesn't is camped out easily and allows Democrats to think, "should we or could we allow our hopes into the hands of this man, again?"
The post 2000 election Gore, or the "New Gore" is hands down much more comfortable, thoughtful, honest and far more brutally honest than the infamous Gore made of wood.
Is there a single individual who encapsulates the exact feelings of torture, embarrassment and raw fire of the American people more than Al Gore?
Gore is the symbol of newly disenfranchised and divided America. He personally stood humiliated as the Supreme Court stole his bid for the Presidency. He went into hiding, grew a beard, ate a whole lot and returned anew with a unique and dead-on view of the destruction thrust upon America during the past six years.
He's the personification of a metaphorical America in darkness only to rise again under sunny and safe skies. He's lived our doubts, our fears and our frustrations ever day since that fateful weeks in November and December of 2000.
The question is: Do we risk it?