The nomination that could've been yours, Gore!
Finally...after a long primary season, former Vice President Gore makes a public endorsement when it's safe to do so. I have my theories on why he was more cautious this time around, and I don't fault him at all. He was smart about it, unlike in 2003. That's because after he endorsed Howard Dean for president in December, many pundits think that high-profile endorsement was what started Dean's fall from front-runner status. Suddenly, the knives were out on Dean as Kerry and Gephardt attacked him for this or that. Also at the time, the media still portrayed Gore as a loser who didn't know how to pick a winner. So, after getting so publically burned, why risk it once again?
I had a sneaking hunch that Gore has always been in Obama's camp. It's no secret that he and Hillary aren't the closest of friends (they were conflicted over the amount of influence each would have as a "co-president" during the Clinton Administration). But, I also believe that it was Hillary's ambition to run for president that kept Gore out of the 2008 race. Had she not run, I'm pretty certain that he most likely would have. So, if we lose in November because of racist voters and dirty tricks, we can all blame Hillary. Gore would've been a sure bet to win the presidency this year because of America's seeming desire to set things right over the disaster Bush has become for our country and world. It's the reason Republicans picked McCain this time, after passing him over in 2000. America wants redemption from the mistake of 2000 and Gore opted out of that chance.
Even though I had long dreamed of working as a political aide in the Gore Administration, I was actually relieved when he decided not to run because like Gore, I've lost my taste for national politics. I made the decision in 2006 to move to Portland, Oregon because out of all the regions of the country I've been to, the Pacific Northwest is the most beautiful to me and where I want to settle and start a family of my own. I have no desire to return to the east coast to live, as much as I love Washington, D.C. and Boston. Hopefully, I'll be able to visit frequently my favourite spots on the east coast, but I intend to stay on the west coast.
My disenchantment with national politics has been a boon to my increasing passion for local/city politics. Portland is a progressive city with a lot of innovative ideas (I think it's the only city or one of the few that has Voter Owned Elections for local races to limit big money candidates bought by corporations seeking influence in City Hall) and I want to be a part of it.
Now that it's safe for Gore to endorse Obama with enthusiasm, I hope that a President Obama will utilize Gore in some way in his administration. I doubt that Gore would want to serve as a Cabinet secretary, though. There's a lot he can do as a private citizen and even if he's just one of Obama's advisors on environmental policy, that's a good step up from what we have now (oil company execs writing Bush's environmental policies).
I'm sorry that I missed the entire speech and had to settle for clips, but I'm happy to see this endorsement, finally. I only wish that he had made it sooner so he wouldn't look like he was jumping on the bandwagon when it's safe to do so. The Clintons actions helped cost Gore a clear victory in 2000, so why he remains loyal to them can only be seen as a sign of his integrity, even though the Clintons don't deserve it. Gore stepped out of the way of Hillary's ambition and now the moment belongs to Obama. I can't help but wonder if what's going on in Gore's mind right now is "that could've been me!" Hillary wasn't the sure bet after all.
What an amazing year so far! Who would've thought?!?