Clinton vs. Gore?

Posted: Jun 29, 2007 12:02 AM
Clinton vs. Gore?

According to a recent poll of New Hampshire likely voters, if Al Gore entered the 2008 presidential contest, he would beat Hillary Clinton 32 to 26percent, as well as easily beat all other Democratic candidates. Rumors arefloating around that Gore is seriously considering another run.  I would love to see Al Gore get into the race if for no other reason than to see how the Clinton campaign would react. 

The Washington Times quoted David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research center, which conducted the survey, saying "Gore is the only Democrat, including Hillary, who can instantly melt the field."  Wow. Gore could instantly “melt the field.” The global warming puns could write themselves.

I don’t mean to make light of the impact Al Gore would have on the race.  Al Gore would be a formidable opponent.  He is not the same Al Gore that ran in 2000. Commenting on his “$100 million makeover,”Ellen McGirt recently wrote, “At 59, he's an Academy Award winner, a bestselling author, a front-runner for the Nobel Prize, and a concert promoter who turned out to be a bigger rock star at this year's Grammys than the rockstars themselves.”

A contest between the “unbeatable candidate,” as Hillary Clinton was recently dubbed on the Today Show, and the “rock star” Al Gore would be apolitical junkie’s dream come true.  

Al Gore could provide all kinds of entertainment with great quotes like this one from the opening of the Tribeca Film Festival in April: “Art, music, film, dance, poetry — all the arts — have long been our greatest tools to explore the regions of imagination that defy our efforts to think rationally about subjects that our emotions tell us are too painful to contemplate.” Mmmm.  Deep stuff.

The real source of entertainment, though, would come from the Clinton –Gore contest.  Just think of all the potential for fun.  We could watch Al Gore’s black preacher persona (“the truth shall rise again!”) battle it out with Hillary’s fake southern accent and her talk about the House of Representatives being run like a plantation.

It would also be amusing to see Clinton and Gore battle over the anti-war left vote.  Quick -- who said this in September of 2002? “We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country" and "Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power"  If you answered Hillary Clinton, you would be wrong.  Those were Al Gore quotes.  Don’t plan on Clinton using them against Gore in an effort to woo the anti-war left though.

Hillary has a tougher row to hoe with the anti-war crowd than Gore, not only due to her vote on Iraq, but due to past statements of her own like this one made by Clinton in October, 2002, "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort,and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear,however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."  Those quotes could just as easily have come from George W. Bush or even the boogeyman in every liberal’s dream, Dick Cheney.

It would have to be pretty frustrating for the Clinton campaign to go up against Gore.  Due to Clinton’s need to prove herself to the anti-war left of her party she can’t even point to some of Gore’s most outrageous conduct.  For example, last year when Gore spoke to the Jeddah Economic Forum in Saudi Arabia he said something many on the right labeled as traitorous when he accused the U.S. government of committing "terrible abuses"against Arabs after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.  He told the mostly Saudi audience that Arabs in the U.S.had been "indiscriminately rounded up" and held in"unforgivable" conditions. Unfortunately for Clinton,it is statements like those that have made Al Gore a favorite of the party’s now very liberal base.

There are many other aspects of a Clinton – Gore match up that would make it interesting spectator sport, including the issue of their past. There will no doubt be some friction there.  Remember that Gore was widely criticized by many Democrats for distancing himself from Bill Clinton in the 2000election.  Would Gore, having been BillClinton’s vice president for eight years and having been through two campaigns with him, have a big advantage knowing how a Hillary Clinton campaign would be likely to operate -  including their use of private investigators?  Does Clinton know any embarrassing secrets about Gore considering all their years together? 

Most interesting though, would be to see which candidate emerged as the bigger of the two bona fide stars of the Democrat party.  Would the Academy-award-winning Goreacle beat the Grammy-award-winning woman some Democrats hail as the smartest woman in the world?  It might be fun, and telling, to find out which candidate most Democrats would choose as their standard bearer.