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Al Gore Discusses the 2000 Election and His Future in Politics
November 18, 2002 2:11 PM   Subscribe

Al Gore Tells All! Okay, maybe not all, but he does give his first extended interview since the 2000 election to Liza Mundy of the Washington Post. Mundy discussed the interview further in a live forum earlier today. Required reading for political junkies. [via Tapped]
posted by boltman (32 comments total)

 
Perhaps this goes without saying, but it would probably be good if we could avoid debating the merits and demerits of the 2000 election itself in this thread. I'm fairly certain that ground has already been covered here on Mefi :)
posted by boltman at 2:16 PM on November 18, 2002


I can't help but think of the Star Trek:TNG episode where Q says to Riker, "Oh you're so stolid! You weren't like that before the beard!"
posted by Stan Chin at 2:23 PM on November 18, 2002


hahaha.

Thanks, Stan.

Now, can someone PLEASE explain why there hasn't been a TNG movie with Q in it yet???
posted by cinderful at 2:26 PM on November 18, 2002


Interesting tidbit from the chat.. Gore only allowed 90 minutes to a reporter for a personality-based feature magazine story in the nation's capital? No time for background, candid smooching with Tipper, etc, just formal Q&A? Makes me wonder, has he not yet sacked the PR hacks who ran his 2000 campaign into the ground?
posted by PrinceValium at 2:41 PM on November 18, 2002


Did anyone see him on Letterman Friday? Slate says that his sense of humor is stronger than ever (and the article says that Al Gore, of all people, did stand up comedy while at Harvard!).
posted by gsteff at 3:05 PM on November 18, 2002


No time for background, candid smooching with Tipper, etc, just formal Q&A? Makes me wonder, has he not yet sacked the PR hacks who ran his 2000 campaign into the ground?

I thought the candid smooching was suggested by said hacks...

And from the article:

As they were sitting there, the second plane flew into the second tower. "Osama bin Laden," Gore said to the people in the room.

Anyone know if there's another source for this, aside from this article? If it's true, it's both a credit to his acumen and reproach to his administration (and the one that took its place) that there weren't far more intense efforts before the Sep 11 fact.
posted by namespan at 3:07 PM on November 18, 2002


Well here is what the elder Democrat from my home state (Georgia) had to say...
posted by GT_RULES at 3:09 PM on November 18, 2002


"Well here is what the elder Democrat from my home state (Georgia) had to say..."

He said "That page doesn't exist on our site"?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:14 PM on November 18, 2002


"he'll go down as the man who won more votes than any Democratic presidential candidate; more votes than any Republican presidential candidate except Ronald Reagan in 1984; more votes than George W. Bush..."

some failure!
posted by dash_slot- at 3:36 PM on November 18, 2002


Political junkies have already read it - and scoffed.
posted by revbrian at 4:18 PM on November 18, 2002


I thought it was a nice article. Now I'm hoping he doesn't run though, as it sounds like he's happier outside of politics.
posted by Hildago at 4:28 PM on November 18, 2002


Gore definitely needs a new PR crew. But I have to say that, taken without their PR staff, I would much prefer Gore to Bush. It is his ineptitude as a businessman that hurts Gore's political career. Bush, on the other hand, has surrounded himself with the best PR crew that this country has ever seen, and the results speak for themselves.

As awful as it is to admit it, the better man does not win an election, the better PR crew wins. Al Gore has to either fess up to that fact or get out of politics, because if he continues on his current course, he's going to fail again.
posted by zekinskia at 4:29 PM on November 18, 2002


I read the print version of this article on Sunday. I think it is very interesting in as much as it seems that Gore learned in 2000 what the rest of the Democrats learned two weeks ago: they should run as Democrats espousing their values (provided they have them) and not as simply "The Other Guys." If Gore had not been so tepid, and someone who took a number of polls before ordering breakfast at Denny's, I would have voted for him in 2000.

With an announcement coming down the pike, I wonder if the contritely authentic Gore will be able to change the mind of many of his own party members?

Well, as Will Rodgers said, "I'm not a member of any organized political party. I'm a Democrat."
posted by Verdant at 4:47 PM on November 18, 2002


What is amusing is that The Washington Post Magazine people subtitled the article:

"A gavel stroke away from being the world's most powerful human, he becomes someone's suburban neighbor instead."

When only a little over a year ago, The Washington Post said:

"In all likelihood, George W. Bush still would have won Florida and the presidency last year if either of two limited recounts -- one requested by Al Gore, the other ordered by the Florida Supreme Court -- had been completed, according to a study commissioned by The Washington Post and other news organizations."

Whether you agree or not, it is interesting to see the Post contradict itself...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:18 PM on November 18, 2002


Keep hope alive!
posted by machaus at 6:54 PM on November 18, 2002


Anyone know if there's another source for this, aside from this article? If it's true, it's both a credit to his acumen and reproach to his administration (and the one that took its place) that there weren't far more intense efforts before the Sep 11 fact.

acumen? give me a break. Ask C.A.F Capt. Barnes and U.S. Navy Lt. Daly about Gores "acumen". Ask Gore about the ABM treaty he and bubba sought to keep in place. How about his acumen concerning the Gore-Chernomyrdin commission. Chernomyrdin bilked millions out of Russias defense industry. Alot of that money came from u.s. taxpayers. This money was supposed to help Russia dismantle nuclear weapons. Lets not forget the Clinton/Gore administration efforts to thwart Ritters weapon inspections in Iraq. As Ritter said "we did our job, but the the U.S. didn't do it's job".

Clinton and Gore did more harm to this countries security then I wish to even think of. His reproach? How convenient. What a coward. He should have resigned, perhaps then this would lend credence to his "reproach".
posted by clavdivs at 7:18 PM on November 18, 2002


Steve@

The Washington Post is a newspaper and not the name of a journalist. You would certainly hope for differing perspectives to be printed in a newspaper with more then one journalist on the pay role.

You are misrepresenting the role of a newspaper as some sort of entity that develops a collective perspective on every story and the journalists as drones that work within their given framework?
posted by Tuatara at 7:55 PM on November 18, 2002


Whether you agree or not, it is interesting to see the Post contradict itself...

Actually if you read the online chat you can see that the Post reporter was not happy about that line, which she says was added in the "packaging" of the story. So, that kind of directly contradicts Tuatara, who is forgetting that the editor(s) of the paper are there to keep it consistent.
posted by chaz at 8:05 PM on November 18, 2002


Thank you Chaz.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:52 PM on November 18, 2002


What is amusing is that The Washington Post Magazine people subtitled the article:

"A gavel stroke away from being the world's most powerful human, he becomes someone's suburban neighbor instead."

When only a little over a year ago, The Washington Post said:

"In all likelihood, George W. Bush still would have won Florida and the presidency last year if either of two limited recounts -- one requested by Al Gore, the other ordered by the Florida Supreme Court -- had been completed, according to a study commissioned by The Washington Post and other news organizations."

Whether you agree or not, it is interesting to see the Post contradict itself...


Gee, Steve@, how very odd. In the article you quote from a year ago to try to show the Post "contradicting" itself, the Post subtitled the article:

But Study Finds Gore Might Have Won Statewide Tally of All Uncounted Ballots

And the Post article from a year ago goes on to describe this scenario (among a number of other legal scenarios that the article stated would have favored Gore):

"But if Gore had found a way to trigger a statewide recount of all disputed ballots, or if the courts had required it, the result likely would have been different. An examination of uncounted ballots throughout Florida found enough where voter intent was clear to give Gore the narrowest of margins....And the U.S. Supreme Court, in its Dec. 12 ruling that ended the dispute, also questioned whether the Florida court should have limited a statewide recount only to undervotes. Had the high court acted on that, and had there been enough time left for the Florida Supreme Court to require yet another statewide recount, Gore's chances would have been dramatically improved."

In other words, the Post noted a year ago Gore in many ways was precisely "a gavel stroke away" from the presidency." Hard to see much heavy duty contradiction at work there.

But whether you agree or not, it is interesting to see conservative posters who appear to be cherrypicking quotes to try to show that "the Post" contradicted itself...now why would that ever happen? Must have been just oversight. It just couldn't be that it's important to some that any media that doesn't flat-out support conservative dogma be somehow labeled and dismissed as "liberally biased"....or "contradictory." That just wouldn't be very intellectually honest. Thank goodness we never see that happening at large in this country.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 9:13 PM on November 18, 2002


Speaking of media bias, one of the most interesting questions in the live chat was whether Gore could change his "toxic relationship" with the media. Mundy replied:

I dont' know. I think he's trying to change that. But the Gore camp (as I've learned) has a very, very controlling approach to the media, something the media doesn't always react well to. I think his suspicion of the media tends to make him cautious and controlling, which sometimes doesn't work all that well, which just confirms his suspicion...

(Later in the chat she mentioned that Gore called her at home last week and berated her because the Post had printed quotes from the interview a couple days before it was supposed to)

It seems likely to me that there is some truth to Mundy's speculation. It seems to be the conventional wisdom that John McCain gets glowing coverage in the media because he is so personally popular with journalists. It wouldn't surprise me if Gore's abrasive and manipulative approach to the media makes journalists more likely to emphasize the nasty side of him when they cover him.
posted by boltman at 10:44 PM on November 18, 2002


"if Gore had found a way" & "if the courts had required it" being the key phrases here.... Gore did not ask for these types of recounts, nor did the courts turn down requests for these types of recounts...

As pointed out in the article:

"Under any standard used to judge the ballots in the four counties where Gore lawyers had sought a recount -- Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Volusia -- Bush still ended up with more votes than Gore, according to the study. Bush also would have had more votes if the limited statewide recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court and then stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court had been carried through."

Therefore Gore was never with in "a gavel stroke away" from being POTUS...

The attempt to make it sound that the SCOTUS "robbed" Gore is a pipe dream...


Dream on f&m.....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:46 PM on November 18, 2002


Perhaps this goes without saying, but it would probably be good if we could avoid debating the merits and demerits of the 2000 election itself in this thread.

Nice first post...

"he'll go down as the man who won more votes than any Democratic presidential candidate; more votes than any Republican presidential candidate except Ronald Reagan in 1984; more votes than George W. Bush..."

some failure!


Unfortunately, this is the only thing dash_slot felt was worth commenting on out of that HUGE article.

And, sorry dash, it was a failure. Collecting more Pez dispensers than any other presidential candidate would be just as relevant as collecting more popular votes and, in this case, it would have been more profitable also.
posted by RevGreg at 11:05 PM on November 18, 2002


Steve's right! It wasn't the SCOTUS that really did the heavy stealing, it was Jeb & Katherine. Thanks for clearing that up, Steve...
posted by hincandenza at 11:21 PM on November 18, 2002


And, sorry dash, it was a failure. Collecting more Pez dispensers than any other presidential candidate would be just as relevant as collecting more popular votes

*sniff* I get all teary-eyed with patriotic ferver when you talk like that, Greggy! Any time I'm feeling down, feeling out, I need only turn to your shining beacon of freedom and liberty for every man, woman, and child to feel a new spring in my step!
posted by hincandenza at 11:23 PM on November 18, 2002


BTW, I notice that all you sensitive souls who take umbrage at any mention of "Shrub" are strangely silent on Clavdivs' "Bubba" up there. Talk about your contradictions.
posted by jmignault at 4:41 AM on November 19, 2002


God, I hate writers like this, ones that talk in that Rolling Stone/Spin Magazine bubblespeak that concentrates more on the reporter's experience meeting the famous person than on what the famous person actually has to say.

I had to speedread through several pages before I could find anything of substance. I bet Gore would hate the fact that most of the article ended up sounding like a big whine about election 2000.

What a waste.
posted by fungible at 8:00 AM on November 19, 2002


hincandenza: You are shown evidence that Gore wasn't screwed over by the SCOTUS, so then you trot out the 'Disfranchised' story...

Well I am having a hard time believing that for two reason: First, no proof has ever been found of the 'disenfranchisement' of these voters, and second, only 14 days ago, the voters in Florida had their chance to throw Jeb and Katherine out of office, but instead overwhelmingly re-elected Jeb (A first for a GOP Governor) and sent Katherine to Congress... Doesn't look to me like the voters of Florida view things the same way you do....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:14 AM on November 19, 2002


As they were sitting there, the second plane flew into the second tower. "Osama bin Laden," Gore said to the people in the room.

And then he turned and with a touch of his hands cured two paraplegic kids.
posted by falameufilho at 12:11 PM on November 19, 2002


Well, Rev, come on... I read the whole thing, but that was, to me, an outstanding fact. Even though many of his votes weren't counted [don't make me rake that over, please], he still outvoted - in the popular sense - virtually all-comers.

That's all. A remarkable fact. Similar to the one that in the UK, in nearly every general election since the war, the winning party rarely scores more than 42% of the votes cast: more votes against than for, invariably. This is an inevitable result when a non-proportional system is used, similar results are found in the US Electoral College.

I think I understand: I also think its sub-optimal (",)
posted by dash_slot- at 6:50 PM on November 19, 2002


I think I understand: I also think its sub-optimal (",)

There is VERY good reason why the electoral college is use and why it is the BEST way to determine the presidency. Without the EC, a candidate literally would have NO reason to appeal to voters outside of major metropolitan areas...in fact, in the scheme of campaigning it would be insane to bother with anything other than very large cities where you could attract the largest numbers with the least advertising and very little actual campaigning and travelling. The EC makes areas with lower populations important because you have to win at least some of them. If you look at the map of the last election, you'll find that Gore won almost exclusively in major population centers and Bush won "the rest of the country" - a situation which made it easy for Gore to rack up huge numbers in the popular vote without really gaining any electoral college votes.
posted by RevGreg at 9:28 PM on November 19, 2002


As for UK elections...

"the winning party rarely scores more than 42% of the votes cast"

but at least they get more than the losing party.
posted by fullerine at 2:03 AM on November 20, 2002


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