Democratic Underground

A Case for Gore
July 30, 2001
by Orwell Thompson

It's 2004.

The United States' economy is in shambles.

Unemployment is at an all-time high.

Private investment and savings are down, and President Bush's tax cut that was passed in 2001 had to be revoked to pay for spending shortages.

Social Security and Medicare remain on precarious financial footing.

Due to the continuing skyrocketing costs of prescriptions, the nation's senior citizens still are forced to choose between purchasing food or the medicine that keeps them alive.

The president maintains his devotion to the "Star Wars" missile defense system. The project has soaked taxpayers of billions of dollars and has caused the rest of the world to look upon the U.S. with a wary eye and, amazingly, has yet to show any promise of actually being able to work.

Faith-based initiatives are exposed as a fraud after churches turn down the government hand-out when they discover that, in order to qualify for funding, they must adhere to the same anti-bias laws such as those which prohibit discrimination against homosexuals that govern the rest of the country.

Welcome to the World That Bush Made.

But there once was a man with a vision for the future, a man who had ideas and plans to keep the country's economy growing. He had a track record in domestic and foreign policy and would have maintained the United States' place of respect and leadership on the worldwide stage. In the last election, most Americans agreed with his vision and proved it by giving him a majority of their votes. And he is the only Democrat who has any chance of defeating Bush in the next presidential election.

That man is Al Gore.

The case has been made on this Web site and in other media outlets that Gore doesn't deserve another chance. Some people within the Democratic party seem to want to ignore the fact that Gore won the popular vote, this despite running in a three-candidate race and being forced to carry a lot of baggage from a scandal-riddled administration. Take those factors out of the equation, and Gore would have beat Bush in a landslide.

In 2004, the Clinton years and the sleaze that they wrought will be long forgotten, and, if Bush tries to make them a campaign issue, he will look petty and irrelevant. Gore won't have to worry about walking a fine line between respecting his former boss and distancing himself from Bubba's numerous moral and ethical lapses. The focus will be on Bush's four ineffectual years in the White House.

One of Bush's biggest strengths during the previous campaign was that he was an unknown commodity. He used his outsider's status to his benefit. (It's amazing that he was able to pull this off. How many "outsiders" have a former president for a father?) Gore's attacks on Bush's record in Texas didn't carry much weight because an uninterested media seemed more intent on playing up Gore's latest verbal faux paux, such as the incorrect allegation that he once claimed he created the Internet. Bush dictated the tone of the campaign by making character Bill Clinton's character - the primary issue. But Bush won't be able to run from his record as president, and you can be sure it will be a poor one. Simply being a nice guy won't be enough in 2004.

To make the case for Gore, one need to look no further than the current list of potential Democratic candidates being floated around.

Tom Daschle is a nice guy, but too mild-mannered. The Senate Majority leader from South Dakota was brilliant in pulling Jim Jeffords away from the Republicans, but Daschle still just seems like a homely country bumpkin from a really big state where no one lives.

John Kerry would have a tough time touting a working-class agenda when he has reaped the benefits of marrying into the family of a multi-millionaire. The Republicans would portray him as a rich, liberal Fortunate Son. And that tag would probably stick.

John Edwards doesn't have a high name-recognition factor. Despite teaming up with John McCain on a proposal for a patient's bill of rights, the senator from North Carolina is a virtual unknown. He has the Kennedyesque good looks and charm, but he's a former trial lawyer and, to many Americans, that profession is highly unpopular.

Hillary Clinton says she is committed to learning the ropes as a neophyte senator from New York. She's saving herself for 2008.

That leaves Gore. Clinton fatigue will be a thing of the past and the next election should be about what really matters the issues that effect a majority of Americans. Gore, although often times rather clumsily, can speak to the issues and has a track record working in a successful presidential administration.

Gore is expected to reemerge into the public spotlight in the upcoming months following his long self-imposed exile. How Gore and the public - reacts to this coming out will tell much about whether he is ready to take up the fight once again. Like the boxer who is wrongly stripped of his championship belt because of faulty scoring by corrupt judges, Gore deserves another shot at the title.

He clearly is the Democrats' No. 1 contender.

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