I was actually hoping for a Gore candidacy; I haven’t really gotten all that fired up over the current crop of candidates- Clinton’s too divisive, the Republicans will hit Richardson with Los Alamos, if he’s the nominee, I don’t think that a plurality of voters are ready for Barack Hussein Obama (if you thought that the “call me” ad that the RNC used on Harold Ford was bad, wait until the presidency is at stake), and I’ve never personally been much of a fan of John Edwards. (Maybe because his name makes me think of the “psychic medium” guy. Maybe because he talks like Joel Osteen. I really can’t quantify it).
My hopes for a Gore candidacy wasn’t based so much on picking a presidential candidate on a progressive vs. centrist ideology argument or on his work on environmental issues- I haven’t even gotten around to seeing “An Inconvenient Truth” yet. I saw in a Gore candidacy a historical parallel with the 1968 election of Richard Nixon.
To simplify it and boil it down some: Both candidates were vice-Presidents under two-term Presidents who presided over periods of relative peace and prosperity. Each lost their election to a less experienced but more “personable” and more telegenic opponent. However, in the earlier instance, by 1968, the electorate had had enough of Johnson’s war in Vietnam as well as its effects- the civil unrest that came with it, and a faltering economy. Nixon came in to office in part because enough of the electorate was looking for a return to the “normalcy” of the Eisenhower administration, and the former VP in some way represented that. (There obviously were other factors such as the re-alignment in the South due to Johnson’s support of the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s; however I would suggest that the white vote in the South for Nixon was another manifestation (albeit one based in racism) of the “return to normalcy” attitude of the national electorate.)
I think that in 2008, a Gore candidacy could have worked similarly. The 1990s saw the greatest economic expansion in human history, as well as a period of relative peace, and relative diplomatic good-will from other nations. The past six-and-a-half years have brought war, an economic slump, $3.50 Gas, and resentment and distrust from nearly every country that doesn’t speak English. Gore, as Bill Clinton’s vice-president, would have been in a position to take credit for being part of the team that brought us the successes of the 1990s; as the “losing” candidate of the 2000 election he would represent the direct opposite of the administration that has brought us the failures of this decade.
A Gore candidacy for 2008 was an improbable hope, at best. Maybe it would be time to draft Schweitzer, if it wasn’t for that pesky liquid coal thing he supports.