Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Al Gore not running in 2008?

MSNBC's Chris Matthews is reporting in Hardblogger that former Vice President Al Gore will not seek the Democratic Party's nomination in 2008:
The 2008 Presidential campaign will not include Al Gore. I'm reporting tonight that the former Vice President and 2000 Democratic Presidential nominee will not run for President. I've been given this scoop from a perfect source who informed me that the purpose of this disclosure at this time is to end speculation about a campaign that will never occur.

What do you all think this means for the primary battle two years hence?


At March 08, 2005 2:10 PM, Blogger Gilbert Martinez said...

There are going to be lots of primary candidates for '08. Probably good that Gore is not going to be in the running. I have my favorites, but that's a secret at this point :o).

At March 08, 2005 5:27 PM, Blogger Eric Z said...

Maybe it's just because the 2000 campaign was how I got hooked on politics, but I have a soft spot for Gore. I see him as a brilliant guy who probably would have been a great president, but was misunderstood.

At this point, even if Gore did run I don't think it would clear anyone out of the field. No one is going to defer to the failed nominee of 8 years ago.

So far, it looks like Edwards, Bayh, Richardson, Vilsack, Hillary and Warner (gov of VA) are the likeliest candidates, with Biden possibly running as well.

So far, my favorite is Biden.

At March 08, 2005 10:34 PM, Blogger Gilbert Martinez said...

I hope Vilsack does us all a favor and skips out. He makes Kerry look extremely charismatic.

At the 2004 CDA convention, I saw Biden give the best speech I've every heard. But when he was speaking at the DNC convention, he was horrible.

I'd throw in Kerry and Wes Clark as other potentials. And I've been hearing a lot of buzz about Russ Feingold.

At March 08, 2005 10:59 PM, Blogger Paco said...

I've been hearing a lot about Feingold too. What does everyone think about Clark's chances? Think he'll make a better candidate this time around?

At March 09, 2005 11:17 PM, Blogger Eric Z said...

Well, it'd be hard for him to get any worse. Feingold seems like more of a typical VP candidate: clean government, no baggage, swing state. He isn't top-of-the-ticket material, however, in my opinion.

At March 10, 2005 4:10 PM, Blogger Gilbert Martinez said...

My problem with Democratic and progressive activists is that they try to choose a candidate who they think is "sexy" rather than make the eventual candidate sexy--whomever it may be. Republicans are great at this; George W. ran horribly as a candidate, but his party/supporters rallied around him.

In 2004, Kerry was painted as the "anti-Bush" even by progressives who should have been more excited by Kerry than Dean based on their records (gun control, environment, economy, ...). As I browse through history, the Democratic candidates who people got most excited about--McGovern and Mondale--got trounced. Nixon wasn't terribly exciting and Reagan wasn't the sharpest pencil in the pack, but they both won decisively because conservatives rallied around them.

I'm not advocating for Feingold, but I think he can generate more excitement than Bayh or Vilsack. (I think Warner can generate excitement amongst places we need to win). But we should be privvy to the evolving political landscape. Wisconsin is creeping toward "red" but Feingold won decisively. He could generate some excitement in the Dakotas (we need some for Senate races there), Iowa and other plains states.

I would rank Feingold in the top half of viable candidates, maybe even ahead of Richardson whom I'd love to see become president (but I'd LOVE a Clark-Richardson ticket also).

OK, so my bias is out in the open now :o).

At March 14, 2005 2:56 AM, Blogger Bobby Lepore said...

Feingold is going to be a great primary candidate, I think, which actually could end up being a problem. Feingold is a genuinely resonable fellow--liberal and with strong ideals, but just exuding bipartisanship and common sense. He also somehow manages to be a guy who doesn't seem to be playing politics, yet still never does anything that gets him in political trouble.

Still, Feingold is a Senator, and while I never used to buy the whole "governors are better bets than senators," I think after 2004 was said and done I saw a lot of truth to it. Senators just don't have a much leyway to position themselves given their record. And every instance of perfectly reasonable compromising and bargaining Feingold has ever engaged in in the Senate is easily portrayed as flip-flopping in a 30-second spot even though its patently untrue to anyone with any clue about how a bill becomes a law.

I am also a Richardson fan, although I wouldn't rule out Bayh just because he's mildly unexciting. As a former guv, Bayh might get some of the governor vibe, although I fear as he tries to position himself for a run with his votes in the senate he's going to ultimately face the same problem Kerry did. Bit I still can't help but be optimistic that a democrat that wins elections in Indiana with 60+% of the vote would trounce anyone the republicans could throw at him.

I agree that Vilsack is a non-starter, which is sad since he's a good guy. I suppose the same could be said of Gore...


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