Saturday, April 22, 2006

Daily Howler: Will they axe our Gore again?

I've noticed the whispers about the possibility of Al Gore running again. I love the idea of having a bona fide environmentalist in charge, and the post-2000 Gore is passionate and fiery in a way not seen in a lefty (Al Sharpton excepted) in decades. But Somersby reminds us of the problem:

Is Al Gore “the near-perfect Democratic candidate for 2008,” as Richard Cohen said in Tuesday’s Post? In a rational world, it would seem that he should be—and Dems could use a near-perfect hopeful; it’s hard to spot a White House winner among the projected Dem field. As Cohen noted, Gore was right on Iraq—the day’s leading issue—and he was right-from-the-start on global warming, which is achieving consensus status as uber-issue of the future. But no, Gore isn’t currently perfect—because of two things which Cohen omitted from his column. For one thing, Cohen omitted those dismal numbers—Gore’s Cheney-like favorable-to-unfavorable ratio (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 4/19/06). And oh yes—the pundit also omitted the reason for Gore’s ugly numbers. Wouldn’t you know it? Richard Cohen forgot to mention the endless, crackpot press corps war which produced those horrible numbers for Gore—a war which was staged by Cohen’s colleagues and oh yes, by Cohen himself. And no, it isn’t just Cohen’s past work which leaves Gore less than currently perfect. If Gore ran again, we know what would happen. Alpha male pundits would start to churn their thousand-and-one brainless anti-Gore scripts—and betas like Cohen would curl up and die. Cohen praises Gore today—but he’d surely turn tail tomorrow. Dems who fail to grasp these points are living in a fantasy world.
Why isn’t Gore currently perfect? Because his numbers are amazingly bad—the legacy of that disgraceful press corps war. It’s utterly silly to say “Run, Al, run” unless we’re prepared to tackle this problem. How many times—in how many elections—do we plan to play the poor, hapless fool?

THOSE STUBBORN FACTS: Again, here are the numbers from that Roper survey, conducted in February (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 4/19/06). For each person, we list “favorables” compared to “unfavorables.” It’s absurd to call Gore near-perfect without discussing these unfortunate numbers—and without discussing the recurring press conduct which explains where these numbers came from:

John McCain: 40 percent favorable; 18 percent unfavorable
Rudy Giuliani: 49-15
Hillary Clinton: 42-40
Al Gore: 27-46
George W. Bush: 36-49
Dick Cheney: 29-50
Bill Clinton: 49-33
Condoleezza Rice: 44-27

I skipped over a long and dead-on indictment of Cohen and his cohort for creating this problem. Go to Daily Howler and read the whole thing.


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