Five months ago, his team said he was out, but just when you think you’re out … they pull you back in. Maybe, that is, as Al Gore’s advisers aren’t actually saying he’s even thinking seriously about a presidential run. However, since the other relic from four terms ago isn’t faring well these days, suddenly a progressive nation turns its lonely eyes to the man who couldn’t clinch the gimme in 2000:
Gore, 67, won the popular vote in the 2000 election, and has been mentioned as a possible candidate in every contested Democratic primary since then. He instead spent much of the 2000s focused on environmental campaigning and business ventures. He has largely slipped out of public view more recent years.
But in recent days, “they’re getting the old gang together,” a senior Democrat told BuzzFeed News.
“They’re figuring out if there’s a path financially and politically,” the Democrat said. “It feels more real than it has in the past months.”
The senior Democrat and other sources cautioned not to overstate Gore’s interest. He has not made any formal or informal moves toward running, or even met with his political advisers about a potential run.
A member of Gore’s inner circle asked to be quoted “pouring lukewarm water” — not, note, cold water — on the chatter.
Er …. sure. Taking a look at the calendar, it seems to be awfully late in the day to take a serious interest in the race without even having a single donor lined up, with Hillary Clinton still in the race. This is the same man who had an eight-year head start on a presidential campaign only to lose it narrowly despite widespread satisfaction with the economy and the Clinton years, at least generally if not the Clintons themselves at the time. Gore’s supporters have claimed that they got robbed (false) and that Gore won the popular vote (true), but Gore couldn’t even carry his own home state of Tennessee.
Granted, in the event of a Hillary collapse, the establishment donors will start looking for other options, but they’re not there yet. And it seems difficult to believe that they’d pick someone who hasn’t run for office in 16 years, who at 67 years old won’t relate to millennial voters, and whose most remarkable outreach to them was to attack video games and demand restrictions on their content. Bernie Sanders has already grabbed the hard-left progressives, so what constituency will Gore attract? Thanks to a decade demanding carbon restrictions and attacking coal and oil, Gore’s not exactly going to thrill the Rust Belt, the Gulf states, or the upper Midwest.
And let’s not forget the big cash-out with oil-rich Qatar in the sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera. Gore’s suing them over the deal now, but that won’t play well among progressives, national-security hawks, or really anyone else.
In any other environment, this would be seen as a potential practical joke. The fact that this trial balloon legitimately makes news shows just how badly events have played out with Coronation 2.0 for Hillary Clinton.
Update: And of course, let’s not forget this. War on Women, anyone?