Al Gore, the Democrats’ only hope in 2016, reportedly bows out

Sure, he’s a bit of an eccentric. He ran for the White House as a sitting vice president and lost. His finances are complex, his cable news venture failed, and his storybook marriage ended in divorce long ago. But he’s a single-issue candidate, and it just happens to be an issue that appeals to progressives perhaps more than any other.

What’s more, the Draft Al Gore movement had some influential backers in the progressive community. “Gore cares enough about what comes next that he literally titled his last book The Future,” wrote founder Ezra Klein. “But if he is really so obsessed with the future, then running in 2016 is his best chance to change it.”

Indeed. If Gore had a conscience and is honest about his convictions, as Klein suggests, he would recognize his responsibility to posterity and to the nation’s most fringe progressives to mount a primary challenge to Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately for Klein, Gore’s allies indicated today that he lacks an appreciation for his place in history, although he maintains an abiding respect for his speaking fees.


Carter Eskew, who ran the advertising and messaging team for Gore’s 2000 campaign and remains in contact with the politician-turned-climate change advocate, flatly shut down the notion. “[H]e is neither doing nor thinking anything about running,” Eskew said in an email.

“I have no indication this is real,” said longtime Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, who was a top strategist on Gore’s 2000 campaign. “I think it’s a media creation.”

Indeed, Gore himself has given no indication he’s interested in a return to politics. He’s become a wealthy businessman, author, and advocate and has avoided weighing in on politics outside the handful of issues he deeply cares about, including climate change. And running against the wife of his former ticket-mate would tip of a Democratic family battle royale that the party seems uninterested in having.

Of course, this likely means that the Democratic Party’s chances of retaining control of the White House in 2017 are doomed.

The party’s presumptive 2016 nominee, former Secretary of State Clinton, is imploding even before she formally launches her campaign. A cursory effort by the political press to vet the likely Democratic Party standard-bearer has revealed a disturbing proclivity for clannishness, secrecy, obfuscation, and paranoia. Her family foundation’s ethically-challenged fundraising practices and her apparent disregard for American diplomatic security foreshadow a rocky and scandal-plagued 2016 campaign.

Vice President Joe Biden is a gaffe-a-minute wrecking ball who can be counted on to set his electoral prospects on fire while he dances spasmodically around the flames. The “also-rans,” ranging from former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, to Vermont’s socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, lack national name recognition and are unlikely to be able to appeal to a majority of a presidential electorate.

So, that’s it. The end of the road for Team Blue. If only they had more thoroughly examined the candidate upon whose shoulders they placed all of their 2016 hopes, the Democrats might not be in this vexing and suboptimal position today.

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