Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Gore’s Bold Calculation

Here is Karen Tumulty’s piece in Time magazine on what Gore is up to. This is one of the many pieces in print and on TV that you will be seeing about Gore. He has made a strategic decision to be the topic of conversation for the next many months before he declares his candidacy. It is clear to me that he is campaigning already, and that he is acting and talking according to a pre-conceived plan established before the election debacle. And it is also clear that he is going to be on the attack from now on. He means to make clear where he stands, and he will not want any ambiguity about it. He wants to present a clear alternative to Bush and the GOP. He wants to give direction to the Democratic Party, and will not want Pelosi to get in his way. Indeed, he is forcing her to jump on his bandwagon as early as possible. He wants to make sure there will not be any other Demo candidate to his left. The fact that his poll numbers are so low is entirely to his advantage; they can only go up. (See this LA Times poll from today which claims that only about a third of the Democratic insiders want Gore to run again). This strategy may assure him the nomination of the Democratic Party, yet it will also surely assure him a defeat in the general election. Among other things, Gore calls Bush’s foreign policy "horrible," his environmental stance "immoral," and his economic policy "catastrophic." At one point in the interview he makes the amazing claim that our foreign policy is now "based on an openly proclaimed intention to dominate the world." I believe that this bold calculation to move to the left and to craft a new unabashedly liberal Democratic Party will serve him well. If he keeps it up--which I believe he will--he will act like a magnet to the various left/liberal parts of the Demo Party and will end up shaping the party for years to come. He is right, this maneuvre will be clarifying. So much for the possibility of moderating the Democratic Party. Maybe Pelosi should become his running mate. The Democratic Leadership Council is now dead. Unless, of couse, Hillary revivifies it after 2004, at which time--after the massive Gore defeat--she will pretend to move the party back toward the center and become the moderate Democratic candidate in 2008. Isn’t politics fun?

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