I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around,
and don't let anybody tell you different

-Kurt Vonnegut

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Friday, June 09, 2006

The Un-Hillary

Fascinating article in The New York Magazine on the man I'd like to see elected (finally) as the next US President: Al Gore.

The burst of enthusiasm for Gore owes much to his emergence, since 9/11, as one of the Bush administration's most full-throated critics. On state-sanctioned torture, wiretapping, and, crucially, Iraq, his indictments have been searing and prescient, often far ahead of his party.


What Gore has said about 2008, repeatedly, is that he does not intend to run, that he does not expect to run, that he has no plans to run. All of which, as every politically sentient being knows, is thoroughly meaningless. What Gore has not said — the magic words — is that he will not run.

I was leaning towards getting off the Hillary bandwagon already, and this article just made me jump. The two candidates (if indeed Gore decides to run) couldn't be more different, and if the Democrats want to provide a real alternative to Bush and his policies - and one that people will actually vote for - they need Gore.

More interesting quotes from the article:

Having loudly and steadfastly opposed the war, he could challenge [Clinton] from the left. Yet on national security, he could simultaneously run to her right, given his long-held expertise about bombs and bullets and his advocacy of intervention in Kosovo and Bosnia; as a putative commander-in-chief, his credentials are beyond reproach (no small thing in an age of terror). Similarly, Gore's anti-global-warming jihad would stand him in good stead with the greens and other liberals, while his long and demonstrated history as a moderate on countless other issues (from the deficit to "reinventing government") would allow him to score with centrist Democrats who fear that Clinton is a once-and-future lefty.


The speech, a blazing attack on Bush's march to war in Iraq, centered on the argument that an incursion against Saddam Hussein would undermine the struggle against Al Qaeda. Gore read a draft of the speech to a friend before delivering it. "I said, 'Holy shit, this is powerful,' " recalls this friend. "And nobody else is saying this."


Does he, like many Democrats, think the election was stolen? Gore pauses a long time and stares into the middle distance. "There may come a time when I speak on that," Gore says, "but it’s not now; I need more time to frame it carefully if I do." Gore sighs. "In our system, there’s no intermediate step between a definitive Supreme Court decision and violent revolution."

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