Sunday, May 21, 2006

Gore in '08?

The drumbeat continues with a major article by Ezra Klein in American Prospect. If the possiblity of a Gore comeback intrigues you, as it does your CaliBlogger, I strongly suggest you read the whole article. But in the meantime here are the concluding paragraphs:

It’s hard to believe that Gore doesn’t wish to correct the record on himself, rewrite his legacy. In a sense, that’s what he’s been doing since 2000. Andrei Cherny, a former close aide of Gore’s interviewed for this piece, protested that “Gore was never a prototypical New Democrat. He never thought of himself that way. ... There were a lot moments of overlap, but he always had a much more populist streak than the DLC did. Partly his father’s son, that old southern populist tradition.”

Since his loss, that old populist tradition has burst through the membranes of caution and ambition that once constrained it, and Gore has exploded back into the Democratic consciousness. In the late 1980s, his reputation as a New Democrat propelled him to the party’s vanguard; in 1992, it netted him the vice presidency. Today, his leadership as a New New Democrat, enabled by his disintermediated communication strategies, has begun restoring his reputation among liberals and allowed him to step forth from the wreckage of 2000 as a progressive statesman. The question, of course, is whether he could retain that standing in the chaos of a presidential campaign. The Internet may well have reinvented Gore, but for Gore, the issue may be whether it’s done the same to politics.

Now I realize it's way too early to be thinking about 2008. But the more I ponder the Gore question, the more I want to ponder it.

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