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No More Gore in '04
December 15, 2002 3:35 PM   Subscribe

Gore won't run for re-election; Howard Dean, John Edwards respond by asking who the other is.
posted by aaronetc (92 comments total)

 
Or....
posted by gleuschk at 4:09 PM on December 15, 2002


darn... I will truly miss him...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:24 PM on December 15, 2002


I am very disappointed.
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy at 4:28 PM on December 15, 2002


Its probably better for the Dems chances, or so the media tells us.
posted by gsteff at 4:34 PM on December 15, 2002


Too bad, there would have been something really satisfying about seeing him kick Bush out of the White House in 2004. Still, the pragmatic side of me can't help but think this is a good thing for the Democrats. Gore just has to much baggage at this point, and the media hates him.
posted by boltman at 4:42 PM on December 15, 2002


True, except that there really isn't anyone else out there. Edwards has no name recognition (ditto for Dean), Lieberman will drive away left-leaning Democrats (Naderites would have a field day). John Kerry or Tom Daschle have a bit more name recognition, but the latter sustained some pretty heavy damage as senate majority leader, and the former, despite his war record, comes across as too much of a Boston patrician, I think, for much of the country to see him as a uniting force. Gore, for all his problems with the media, has the best name recognition, the most experience and the strongest conception of where the party - and the country - needs to be headed of all these guys.
posted by risenc at 4:47 PM on December 15, 2002


I think Randy of the Redwoods needs to run again.
posted by ph00dz at 4:50 PM on December 15, 2002


Mmm. Very disappointing. Risenc: I agree with you on almost all point, excpet for Daschle. I think he may actually have a viable chance. He is viewed (at least where I live, Souther US) by dems and mods as being honest and tough, though soft-spoken (except when circumstances demand otherwise).

What about Bill Bradley (site is newly under construction...perhaps gearing up?)? I liked him. Kind of.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:51 PM on December 15, 2002


Well, duh. Gore, along with everyone else in the nation with a bit of common sense realizes that Bush is going to all but run away with the 2004 election. Whomever runs for the Dems is basically a sacrifice.

We'll see Al in 2008.
posted by xmutex at 4:56 PM on December 15, 2002


risenc: Well, Clinton kind of came out of nowhere in 1992. If they're skilled enough pols, lack of name recognition shouldn't kill them. I definitely agree about Dashcle, Lieberman, and Kerry though--all of them would lose big time.

On preview: the problem with Daschle is that he has no charisma. On top of that, he's the Dems Senate leader, which means his job is to be nasty, partisan and manipulative. All wonderful traits in an opposition leader in Congress, but not so good for a Presidental candidate. That's why Congresspeople never get elected president.
posted by boltman at 5:01 PM on December 15, 2002


I agree with you xmutex, we wil most likely be seeing Al's face again in 2008.
posted by culpable at 5:03 PM on December 15, 2002


What xmutex said. With that in mind I hope they lead Lieberman to the alter. He has to be my least favorite politician - I dislike him more than W even. It saddens me that the Democratic party has allowed itself to fall in such a state of disarray that Bush can glide through the 2004 election.
posted by elwoodwiles at 5:05 PM on December 15, 2002


xmutex: I think most people with a little bit of common sense would agree that it is way too early to call the 2004 election, There are a lot of issues that could not only derail the Bush machine, but destroy it entirely:

Lott. OK, yes, it may not be THAT big, but it could shift Senate power and Republican faith.

9/11 The more they investigate, the better for Dems.

Environmental policies. 'Nuff said.

Iraq. If Iraq cooperates fully and Bush still holds onto his warmongering policies, then we may see a shift in public opinion.

This is an abbreviated listing, and I am not saying all of this WILL happen, I am just saying that it is WAY to early to call the '04 for Bush. I am also not the typical MeFi Bush hater left ideologue, so please don't derail the thread by flaming me on that account. I am interested to hear others' opinons.

I think we may see Al in'08, but he would have to do some awfullly important stuff between now and then in order to stay on the political radar and not just be a has-been when '08 starts gearing up.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:05 PM on December 15, 2002


after posting:

Boltman, good point on Daschle. Darn.

If Bush is smart, he will ditch Dick and pick up Elizabeth Dole for his VP. She has already demonstrated she can win a race, and there are a lot of women out there who would vote for her solely due to gender, forsaking the issues.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:07 PM on December 15, 2002


It seems to me a bit odd that the Democrats are subjected to so much bdmouthing and that the party is wiped out etc when in fact Gore won the popular vote and thus proved that the GOP hardly as popular as is now being suggested.

I have no idea who will represent this lost party but if the economy continues its downsliding and state after state continues to cut back on all forms of govt help to citizens then the Demos might find themselves back in much greater favor than they are now.
posted by Postroad at 5:10 PM on December 15, 2002


Postroad: Most of the "the dems are wiped out" rhetoric has come as a result of the mid-terms, methinks.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:13 PM on December 15, 2002


Or perhaps the majority of Americans will realize that they don't have to vote between Dems and Reps, and can choose an independent.

Could maybe even get themselves an honest government that put forward the best interests of the general public, instead of pandying to corporate interests...
posted by five fresh fish at 5:13 PM on December 15, 2002


You areright, Lazaruslong, but it was hardly a slaughter but rather the fact that the party out of power tends to make gains and this time it did not happen. How many sentators made the fdiff between which party controlled the Senate...it was tetter totter...our tv pundits tend to see huge waves when many of us see ripples.
posted by Postroad at 5:18 PM on December 15, 2002


pr: I agree with the reality of the situation. Alas, most voters listen to the tv pundits...

I still think we should do this.

Chris Matthews too, for that matter.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:21 PM on December 15, 2002


Give the Ladies a Chance 2004
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and for her VP, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Hillary wanted it last time, but couldn't buck the party system that says VP (Gore) gets first crack. Man, did he suck. With Clinton-Boxer, New Yorkers who don't like Clinton can vote for native New Yorker Boxer, Californians would vote for Boxer on autopilot, and Southern Dems (I don't know how they feel about Clinton, to tell the truth). Women didn't elect token VP Geraldine Ferraro, but could they resist a straight ticket? I would cast my absentee ballot for 'em. Add it up, I think it works.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:22 PM on December 15, 2002


George W. Bush will be the last U.S. President. Take a real hard look at the next Mad Max movie.
posted by JohnR at 5:34 PM on December 15, 2002


I think you'd have more people coming out specifically to vote against Hillary Clinton than you'd have people coming out to vote for her. She's a bit of a polarizing figure.
posted by boltman at 5:42 PM on December 15, 2002


i can't say i'm dissapointed but i'd vote for anyone over bush... all i want is life beyo-ond the thunderdome.
posted by ggggarret at 5:48 PM on December 15, 2002


So what happens when both Gore and Hillary decide to run in 2008?
posted by Durwood at 5:49 PM on December 15, 2002


everyone else in the nation with a bit of common sense realizes that Bush is going to all but run away with the 2004 election

Well I don't know who will run for the dems, but I am not ready to concede yet. As for Bush, his daddy's ratings were looking pretty good two years out too. A lot can happen in two years.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:55 PM on December 15, 2002


I say Celebrity Deathmatch b/w Gore and Hill.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:56 PM on December 15, 2002


Postroad said: I have no idea who will represent this lost party but if the economy continues its downsliding and state after state continues to cut back on all forms of govt help to citizens then the Demos might find themselves back in much greater favor than they are now.

Nice try but if I were a Dem (which I'm not) I wouldn't count on the economy tanking to get back in. One alternative is a rerun of the eighties in the UK - where the economy under Thatcher went down the toilet, but a nice little war and some populist rhetoric meant that Labour were sidelined and eventually vanished up its own ****, and the Tories were in for three elections.
posted by carter at 6:22 PM on December 15, 2002


so let's recap: Bush has huge popularity ratings for being tough with Saddam Hussein, and the Dems will be pitching an unknown into the ring, and the economy has tanked. It's all so very 10 years ago. If history really does repeat (or at least rhyme), this means one of the dem unknowns, a young fresh face, will snowball his way to victory on the weakness of the economy. Hooray!
posted by condour75 at 6:46 PM on December 15, 2002


Personally, Al Gore was one of the last things keeping me in the Democratic Party. I don't know what I'm going to do now, but I am not at all enthusiastic about anything the Democrats have to offer. Who can be enthusiastic about a bunch of spineless pseudo-moderates?

(Not that I'm trying to start an argument on anything I just said, but if anybody actually enthusiastically supports some Democratic candidates, let me know)
posted by crazy finger at 7:14 PM on December 15, 2002


First... Clinton wasn't that unknown (didn't he introduce Dukakis at the 88 convention?).

Secondly, if Hilary runs, she whould be used not a serious candidate, but a pin cushion for the rabid jackels of the right to try to tear to shreds. She will pull every Clinton hater out of hiding, and their rhetoric can be used to damage the republican party, and give the real democratic candidate a swift jaunt into the white house.

Or McCain switches parties.
posted by drezdn at 7:22 PM on December 15, 2002


crazy finger: Allow me to suggest Howard Dean.
posted by stopgap at 7:27 PM on December 15, 2002


...Bush is going to all but run away with the 2004 election...

I'm bookmarking this page. The first Wednesday in November 2004 I'm going to come back to this thread and write, "Wrong! A one-termer just like his father! Ha ha HA!" The jackass and his crypto-bigots are already beginning to implode; I can't wait to see the rest of the idiotic bullshit they'll try to pull in the intervening two years, or the accounting which will be made of it in the ballot box.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:37 PM on December 15, 2002


I have to say that i'm excited about this because it allows for outsiders to get the spotlight (from what i've heard of dean i'm interested to see him run, though i'm not sure how he would handle foreign affairs), given enough charisma anyone could end up running this country
posted by NGnerd at 7:40 PM on December 15, 2002


Gore is gone?

Yay! What a completely incompetent campaigner - talk about no charisma. The Dems are much, much better off without him in the ring.

there really isn't anyone else out there.

Stating that in Dec 2002 about the November 2004 election is absurd, risenc.
posted by mediareport at 7:45 PM on December 15, 2002


I submit Harold Ford, Jr. for consideration.
posted by rushmc at 7:55 PM on December 15, 2002


Did anyone happen to see Gore last night on SNL? He showed far more charisma, humor, and intelligence than I ever gave him credit for. Really drove home what might have been had not GWB's cronies stolen the election. Thought it was a bit of a shot at the Greens as well, as the musical guest was Phish. Al Gore and Phish in a sketch together?!?! I was sure he was setting up for a run, so I was shocked to hear he was not going to run. I'd vote for him again...
posted by Windopaene at 8:04 PM on December 15, 2002


9/11 The more they investigate, the better for Dems.

How so? What if this investigation reveals gross incompetence and negligence under the Clinton/Gore White House? I am not saying that is the case, but it is a little early to be presuming that a 9/11 investigation will dig up things that hurt the GOP. I personally doubt the investigation will find anything that is shocking or new.

As for Hillary, if she runs, it will be no sooner than '08. Trust me.
Personally I would like to see Hillary Clinton (D) vs Condoleezza Rice (R) in 2008!

McCain switches parties.

I don't understand why people keep floating this idea around. Anyone who knows anything about McCain, knows he will never switch parties. He is not on opportunist like Jeffords.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:05 PM on December 15, 2002


Gary Hart
posted by jazon at 8:10 PM on December 15, 2002


Donkey-Man and Hilary!
posted by homunculus at 8:36 PM on December 15, 2002


Kerry/McCain 2004- with McCain staying a Republican. And to be honest, it's not nearly as ridiculous as half of the other suggestions we've been repeating from TV talk shows in this thread. I mean, as long as we're all smoking crack here... ;)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:45 PM on December 15, 2002


rushmc: It looks to me like Ford would be 34 in 2004. Not old enough.
posted by boltman at 9:39 PM on December 15, 2002


The GOP has a big advantage right now ("Saddam! Terrah! Boogedy-boogedy-booh!"), but George Bush Sr. can tell you the entire story about winning popular wars and losing presidential elections. The Bushies better get their New & Improved economic team cooking those books fast and lock Trent Lott in the star chamber if they know what's good for them.

Right now the nom is Kerry's to lose (Edwards, Dean are nobodys. Lieberman, Daschle and Gephardt are somebodys with many negatives.). But as Clinton showed in '92, an "X" factor can always pop up (my early money for X-Factor 2004 is Dean).

McCain isn't switching parties, and he's too conservative to appeal to the Democratic base to get the nomination anyway. Be nice if he pulled a Perot though.
posted by owillis at 9:53 PM on December 15, 2002


boltman, possibly Ford turns 35 in the first week or so of 2005? (I know, unlikely.) Don't you just need to be 35 by the time you get sworn in? Or does Article II of the Constitution imply that you have to be 35 at the time of the election?
posted by gluechunk at 9:59 PM on December 15, 2002


Well, I was stunned when I was watching 60 Minutes on the TiVo earlier this evening when Gore announced his non-running. Over the last few months, he's been slowly moving back into the public eye, and had a pretty good run on SNL last night (The West Wing sketch was hilarious).

But, it's also clear that the Dems don't have any strong figures and have a hard time defining themselves. I would posit that the Dems, as of late, don't know how to not lose an election. Ask someone what the GOP stands for, and it's easy to come up with a plate of sound bites. Ask the same for the Dems, and it's substantially more vague.

So, with Gore stepping aside from the race, who better for the Dems than Gore to step up the attack on the GOP. He's got nothing to lose by really going out there swinging and being brutally honest about the GOP (from his point of view). He's in a position to say things that the potential Democatic candidates cannot.

Also, I think he comes out of this looking pretty good. During the interview, he made a good point that if he ran again, the election would focus on issues of the past rather than the issues of the future. A pretty honest and accurate assessment, I think.

So, all that being said, I'd encourage people to check out Howard Dean. He's an outsider, without the Washington DC taint, that has an interesting mix of views that appeal to the middle. The Boston Globe Magazine had a pretty good article about his candidacy today. There's also a blog following his fledgeling campaign.

Look at the current Dems - who inspires you? Daschle droppped the ball when he had the chance to stand up to Bush as head of the Senate, Gephardt was a non-entity in the House, Edwards is as noticable as beige, and Kerry is from MA (disclaimer: I live in Boston and used to live a block from him on Beacon Hill, so I like the guy) and MA is viewed by the rest of the nation as being NPR-land and waaaay too liberal. Dukakis has colored any potential candidate from MA for at least another 12-16 years.

So, Go. Learn about Howard Dean. Read up. I bet you'll like him more than you realize.
posted by warhol at 10:08 PM on December 15, 2002


As long as Condi Rice gets the Republican nomination in 2008, that's all I care about...
posted by dagny at 10:11 PM on December 15, 2002


Doh, there goes my "re-elect gore" bumper sticker.
posted by Wood at 10:17 PM on December 15, 2002


I would honestly like to know what you guys find attractive/appealing about Rice. I'm not trying to be snarky or provocative. I would sincerely like to know what promotes this idea that she would in any way, shape, form, or fashion be a good leader. I've not seen anything to separate her at all from the rest of the cast.

Seriously... why does Rice interest those of you who brought her up? Are you being serious or are you just playing on the novelty of the whole thing?
posted by Ynoxas at 10:22 PM on December 15, 2002


I would honestly like to know what you guys find attractive/appealing about Rice.

Incredibly intelligent, independent, self-made, conservative african-american woman.
Enough said.

Aside from being as qualified as any other American citizen to run for POTUS, I would just enjoy watching the DNC try to smear her. I just can't wrap my head around what angle they would use to attack her...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:34 PM on December 15, 2002


Whoever gets the nomination should ask Wesley Clark to be the vice-presidential nominee. If Dean gets it, he and Clark could run as 'the doctor and the general'.
posted by homunculus at 11:36 PM on December 15, 2002


It looks to me like Ford would be 34 in 2004. Not old enough.

Bah, looks like I added wrong. This is a guy to watch, though, I think.
posted by rushmc at 11:49 PM on December 15, 2002


I don't understand why people keep floating this idea around. Anyone who knows anything about McCain, knows he will never switch parties. He is not on opportunist like Jeffords.


I don't think it will happen either, especially not in 2004, just an interesting idea if it did.
posted by drezdn at 11:53 PM on December 15, 2002


Some folks here are seriously underestimating Edwards. He's already got a reputation in the Senate as a great orator, and the conventional wisdom about the evil of "trial lawyers" won't wash after the details of some of Edwards' more famous cases - mainly focused on things like consumer protection and holding corporations accountable for negligence - come out. Washington Monthly explored this stuff in depth in a great article about lawyers, tort reform and Edwards' career. The meat starts about halfway in; here's a long excerpt:

More than half his cases were medical malpractice suits. Many involved infants born with brain damage or other serious conditions that entail a lifetime of expensive medical care...he continued winning massive verdicts...By the mid-1990s, Edwards had become legendary. "After trials," recalls Howard Twiggs, a Raleigh lawyer and former president of ATLA, "jurors would approach Johnny and ask him for his card." It is said that insurance companies would suddenly become interested in settling when Edwards' name was added to a plaintiff's team...

The next paragraph describes "the defining case in Edwards' legal career":

In 1993, a five-year-old girl named Valerie Lakey had been playing in a Wake County, N.C., wading pool when she became caught in an uncovered drain so forcefully that the suction pulled out most of her intestines...Attorneys describe [Edwards'] handling of the case as a virtuoso example of a trial layer bringing a negligent corporation to heel. Sta-Rite offered the Lakeys $100,000 to settle the case. Edwards passed. Before trial, he discovered that 12 other children had suffered similar injuries from Sta-Rite drains...The day before the trial resumed from Christmas break, Sta-Rite countered with $17.5 million. Again, Edwards said no. On January 10, 1997, lawyers from across the state packed the courtroom to hear Edwards' closing argument, "the most impressive legal performance I have ever seen," recalls Dayton. Three days later, the jury found Sta-Rite guilty and liable for $25 million in economic damages (by state law, punitive damages could have tripled that amount). The company immediately settled for $25 million, the largest verdict in state history.

I'd *love* to see the Republicans try to make hay out of a case like that.
posted by mediareport at 12:11 AM on December 16, 2002


The problem with Edwards (besides his non-celebrity) is that he didn't do much to help his fellow Democrat in the past election, allowing another Dole into the Senate. Supposedly though, Clinton is one of Edwards' silent backers and he has New Dem cred.

mediareport: you're assuming that there would be substantive reporting of Edwards' legal record. The GOP will label him "money grubbing trial lawyer" and the lapdog media will eat it up. I hope whoever the Democrat is learns from Gore that the allegedly "liberal" media is no friend.

Some of the more progressive Republicans would actually give Condi Rice a shot. But do you really see Trent Lott Republicans electing Condi?

I'm first in line supporting The Ford Presidency.
posted by owillis at 12:24 AM on December 16, 2002


The problem with Edwards (besides his non-celebrity) is that he didn't do much to help his fellow Democrat in the past election, allowing another Dole into the Senate.

*Nothing* could have helped a lame-ass candidate like Erskine Bowles win that race. It was decided last summer, when state and national Dem leaders passed up Dan Blue, an Af-Am state senator with 20 years experience in the trenches, to push for Bowles, a banking millionaire who'd never run for elected office and who was famous in the black community for his on-again, off-again membership in exclusive, effectively whites-only country clubs. A good portion of the party base was furious at that one; Blue waited until the end of the campaign to offer a lukewarm endorsement of Bowles, and the vice-president of the NC black leadership caucus actually came out and said he wouldn't vote for Bowles at all.

Bowles followed the national Dem plan - 100% support for Cheney's war, obvious scare tactics on Social Security, etc. - to a T, and failed miserably because of it. He couldn't even get the state teachers endorsement, and wound up losing to Dole by a *larger* margin than Harvey Gantt lost to Jesse Helms in 1990. Yeesh. Blaming Edwards for not doing enough in that horrible situation is more than a bit unfair.
posted by mediareport at 12:44 AM on December 16, 2002


I'd *love* to see the Republicans try to make hay out of a case like that.

mediareport: I'll be glad to make hay of it. Maybe the the girl's injury was due to the guy who left the cover off the drain? Or negligent parents who let her play unsupervised in a pool that was being drained? Or simply a horrible accident?

But it's so much nicer for Mr. Edwards that he was able to find someone with very deep pockets.

I'm so glad Mr. Edwards is helping to build a society in which uncovered drains are safe for every child to sit on, and lawyers are rewarded with tens of millions of dollars when they aren't.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 1:05 AM on December 16, 2002


The economy is going to be the biggest issue in this country in 12 months, and the economists I've been reading don't see any indications that there is any White House economic plan other than hoping that the cycle runs it's course by the '04 elections. I'm afraid we've got some fundamental problems of trust, security, and debt that aren't going to be just worn away by the simple passage of time. The state budgets that are having problems this year are going to start building news pressure that won't be waved away so easily.

And don't forget to ask the Japanese what it's like to live in an economy that's gone flat for a decade or longer. Drip, drip, drip indeed.
posted by dglynn at 1:11 AM on December 16, 2002


If the Dems can nominate and intelligent, "plain-speaking" type, they can squash Bush. Despite his current approval ratings, he is very vunerable on a lot of issues.

The plain-speaking part implys someone like McCain (not McCain). The trust has to be there. Dubya lies like the rest(maybe more), but he manages to get away with it better than most. No one even knew who the real Al Gore was, so no one believed anything he said. His dropping out has actually given the Democrats a fighting chance.
posted by quirked at 6:07 AM on December 16, 2002


Wouldn't John Edward already know who was going to run?
posted by mikrophon at 6:35 AM on December 16, 2002


Oops, sorry for biting your comment, gleuschk.
posted by mikrophon at 6:38 AM on December 16, 2002


i cant believe no one has mentioned this man as a canditate
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:53 AM on December 16, 2002


which means his job is to be nasty, partisan and manipulative

Funny, from looking at Daschle since Sept. 11, I'd have thought his job was to be synchophantic, wishy-washy and a doormat.

Kerry/McCain 2004- with McCain staying a Republican

I'd be all over that. It'll never happen, but I'd be all over it.
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:16 AM on December 16, 2002


Aside from [Condi Rice] being as qualified as any other American citizen to run for POTUS, I would just enjoy watching the DNC try to smear her. I just can't wrap my head around what angle they would use to attack her...

No visible sign of a romantic life is a glaring red light for one. The fact that she prides herself on letting no one in on her point(s) of view on anything (except for dub) is a close second.
It all makes me wonder how anyone could want her to run on anything besides her IQ. We had a prez with uber-smarts and a

As for Hillary running? You're kidding, right?!? The odds for assasination are higher even than if Powell were elected. She'll happily play Senator for as long as NY will have her.

Daschle, McCain, Bradlee and LaRouche all make interesting candidates, but to paraphraze Cuome on the topic, between now and then, everythings gonna change
posted by BentPenguin at 8:36 AM on December 16, 2002


Maybe the the girl's injury was due to the guy who left the cover off the drain? Or negligent parents who let her play unsupervised in a pool that was being drained? Or simply a horrible accident?

That's three. Ten more and you've explained away the, er, thirteen total incidents of kids getting their intestines sucked out their anuses. Come on, Slithy_Tove, you can do it. How about this: the girl pulled her own intestines out of her anus and shoved them down the drain just to see what it was like?
posted by mediareport at 8:42 AM on December 16, 2002


Personally I would like to see Hillary Clinton (D) vs Condoleezza Rice (R) in 2008!

Oh heck yeah. I've got my fingers crossed to see that one. There's a certain amount of irony to the possibility that the Republican party could very well have the first African American president and the first female president.
posted by oissubke at 8:54 AM on December 16, 2002


yeah , like a catfight or sumfin ...... in mud.........
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:12 AM on December 16, 2002


Aside from [Condi Rice] being as qualified as any other American citizen to run for POTUS, I would just enjoy watching the DNC try to smear her.

Well, they'd just have to attack her record of... umm... you know, when she... oh yeah. Like Edwards and Dean, Rice's problem is that she hasn't a record recognizable by the average citizen, good or bad, to show for her.

Granted she's succeeded in life, and as you said, Steve, she's just as qualified to be President as anyone else... so doesn't the reverse (i.e. anyone else is just as qualified to run as her) mean that basically the Republican party, by selecting her over any other equally qualified candidate (especially ones who have, say, actually held prior elected office) would want to be endorsing President Look She's Black?

Following what oissubke just noted, there's no irony at all except in the minds of the GOP. Without a doubt the first black and/or female president will be a Republican, simply by that double-standard: a black or female Democratic candidate will instantly be demagogued by the Right as a symbol of liberal tokenism while, to be perfectly honest, the very suggestion that Condoleeza Rice should run is much more striking an example of such an action. That, truly, is the only irony here.

Do I think Rice is qualified to run for President? Absolutely, though I promise you I'm not voting for her- she's a conservative war hawk. Will she be nominated because of her qualifications? Absolutely not. I would love to think that the GOP would nominate Rice based on her record or her personal moral values. But you can't honestly suggest that's why they would do it.

oissubke, your very statement reflects this: Condoleeza Rice would be a "hey look, hee hee hee, wouldn't that be funny" candidate. Perhaps that's what many believe about Hillary Clinton, but if so, you can't pick and choose. For either woman's party to say it would be great for her to win because of some "irony" is an example of why nominating her would have absolutely NOTHING to do with her record. There's a certain hypocrisy to the fact that the Right is promoting the possible nomination of Rice with the same rhetoric they are using to pre-emptively smear the possible nomination of Clinton.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:17 AM on December 16, 2002


Like Edwards and Dean, Rice's problem is that she hasn't a record recognizable by the average citizen, good or bad, to show for her.

I'd like to see the people who led the attacks on Gore as a cold, self-regarding policy wonk try to defend Condolezza Rice from the accusation that she's a... cold, self-regarding policy wonk. Or does being a black, female, cold, self-regarding policy wonk not count?
posted by riviera at 9:51 AM on December 16, 2002


No visible sign of a romantic life is a glaring red light for one.

Please explain.

Rice's problem is that she hasn't a record recognizable by the average citizen, good or bad, to show for her.

Correct for now. If the GOP wanted to spotlight her, after 8 years as National Security Adviser, or 4 years as Nat Sec and 4 years as Vice-Pres (It could happen...) they could make sure that she is well known and has a public record. That is why I said '08.

As for her race, I could honestly careless. But I can still find it interesting. Her name is just one being floated around in speculation of who could/will succeed W's term for the Republican nomination.


does being a black, female, cold, self-regarding policy wonk not count?

Well much of the press corps has given her favorable reviews, as least as much as I have seen. And they do not seem to think she is so cold. Unlike Gore, the press corps for the most part seems to like Rice. Then again, that first 'cold, self-regarding policy wonk' did win the popular vote...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:01 AM on December 16, 2002


I'd like to see the people who led the attacks on Gore as a cold, self-regarding policy wonk try to defend Condolezza Rice from the accusation that she's a... cold, self-regarding policy wonk.

I happen to like "cold, self-regarding policy wonks" as a rule, but she gives even ME a chill--she's too young to be Dick Cheney! Never gonna happen.
posted by rushmc at 10:05 AM on December 16, 2002


No visible sign of a romantic life is a glaring red light for one.

Please explain.


The whole point of foisting a woman on the voters is a proposed return to the matriarchal view of governance.

A never-married, insular and secretive, corporate policy wonk just kind of negates it all, and aproximates many of the innuendo-bombs that were and are lobbed at Hillary. They share quite a few qualities, private and professional.

Besides, one of the few things she's said said on the record about herself is that she aspires to be head of the NFL some day.
posted by BentPenguin at 10:25 AM on December 16, 2002


mediareport, show me police and medical reports of the incidents, the investigations of local public health officials, and the reports of hydraulics engineers who understand pool design. Do their findings agree that the company's drain design was reckless?

Sigh. Do you understand what you're doing? You're reacting emotionally. A child has been injured. Someone must be to blame! SOMEONE MUST PAY!!!!

[Unless you're a lawyer, or employed by one yourself. (Are you?)]

This is the normal human response, to respond emotionally. We are sympathetic to injured people, especially children. It is the response lawyers try to get out of juries, and succeed in getting all too often. It turns people's brains off. They cease to care about facts or truth. They just want to burn the witch.

mediareport, you're not even trying to address the issues I raised. You're yelling insults. Please stop. I might expect that of crasspastor or riviera, but I had hoped of better from you.

Trials are not about facts, or truth. They are theatre. They are about transfers of money from insurance companies to lawyers. Just because the jury found against the company doesn't mean the company did anything wrong.

Example: the FAA investigates all small plane crashes. It finds that nearly all are due to pilot error. And yet, nearly all go to court, and a large number of the cases are won by the plaintiffs. So many, that the small plane building industry was destroyed in the US in the 1980's. It all moved off-shore, and only returned after special legislation provided limited tort protection. (And it may go away again, after a recent immense, and completely idiotic, verdict against a plane builder.)

To get back to the subject: there is a huge amount of data showing that tort law is basically a scam by lawyers to extort money from businesses and insurance companies. If Edwards runs for President, the Republicans will be delighted to use this against him.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 10:32 AM on December 16, 2002


"intelligent, self-made, african-american woman"

I'd be happy to see the RNC nominate someone with any two of those four qualities. But given what and where one of their strongest bases of support is, the only reason they would nominate her would be as a ploy to win the White House when they had no one else. Does anyone believe that come 2008 they won't have a solid candidate who, frankly, just looks a little bit more like them?
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:50 AM on December 16, 2002


You are kidding yourselves if you think Rice is going to even be given a glance if W is elected through '08. Jeb will get his turn in the ring, and Barbara Bush will push Rice under a bus herself if that 's what it takes.

Slithy, why wasn't the pool drain design changed after the first kid was hurt?
posted by dglynn at 10:59 AM on December 16, 2002


dglynn, maybe because there was nothing wrong with it?

I don't know. As I said to mediareport, no one here has the engineering or public safety reports on it. I.e., we don't have any objective investigation of whether or not it is unreasonably unsafe. All we have is a jury giving a large award to the parents of an injured kid, and to their lawyers. Was there anything wrong with the pool/drain design? I have no idea.

And that's the point. Jury awards are random, and have nothing to do with whether products and services are actually dangerous. The tort system is broken, and serves mainly to reward lawyers who are good at gaming it. Edwards is such a lawyer.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 11:14 AM on December 16, 2002


Westly Willis in 2004!

At least they sound alike. Could he really do any worse?
posted by spirit72 at 11:14 AM on December 16, 2002


Was there anything wrong with the pool/drain design? I have no idea.

That's right you have no idea, but a jury of your peers had a pretty damn good idea that the drain was not only faulty, but hideously so. We are talking about kids intestine's getting sucked out of their bodies. That just shouldn't even be a possibility for something used in a children's wading pool. That's reckless design, and the jury saw that, and the jury rectified the situation as best they could by giving that girl's family a big ol' pile of money.

Sure, there is a lot to criticize about using (lots and lots of) money to compensate injury, but it's the best this society (and every other modern democracy) has come up with.

Jury awards are random, and have nothing to do with whether products and services are actually dangerous.

Really now? So are juries pronouncements of guilt or innocence, life or death equally random and disconnected from reality? Because our system uses the same fact-finding device to sort out the truth in both civil and criminal trials: A judge, a jury of peers, and adversarial lawyers presenting their side of the story. Or is it just when money is involved (money for dirty, icky lawyers) that somehow the whole thing goes to shit, and the truth remains hidden?

And finally Slithy_Tove, did you even read mediareport's post? The company settled the case. They have no one to blame but themselves for handing out that much cash. The lawyers in this case got rewarded for exposing the truth of the company's neglegence. The jury verdict and the company's capitulation prove as much.
posted by thewittyname at 11:44 AM on December 16, 2002


"We are talking about kids intestine's getting sucked out of their bodies."

Ah, italics. The company must surely be guilty. Or they must be witches. Or Communists! Burn them! Burn them all!

You're doing exactly what mediareport is: because the injury is horrible and disgusting, you're assuming the company is at fault.

Communist subversion is horrible! Whoever the House Un-American Activities Committee accuses of being a Communist must be a Communist!

No, I don't trust juries. Jury members are selected for ignorance and vengefulness, they get to hear no objective testimony, but only the testimony the respective camps of lawyers want them to hear. I've already given you an example of an objective agency, the FAA, concluding one thing, and juries concluding something totally different. The randomness of jury verdicts are well known. In the Bendectine cases, for example, some plaintiffs got nothing, some got a pittance, some got a windfall. You could not design a worse system for compensating injured people if you deliberately tried.

So are juries pronouncements of guilt or innocence, life or death equally random and disconnected from reality?Because our system uses the same fact-finding device to sort out the truth in both civil and criminal trials: A judge, a jury of peers, and adversarial lawyers presenting their side of the story. Or is it just when money is involved (money for dirty, icky lawyers) that somehow the whole thing goes to shit, and the truth remains hidden?

This is partly untrue: the rules of evidence in civil trials are not the same as in criminal trials, in which the rules of evidence are much stricter. Still, the recent overturning of the Central Park jogger verdicts, and all the other recent death penalty verdicts overturned on the basis of DNA evidence suggest that even criminal jury verdicts are not, in fact, very reliable. (And I expressed my anguish over that in our thread on the Central Park jogger case, a few months ago.)

Yes, I think the influence of huge sums of money corrupts the process. When large amounts of money are at stake, people conceal the truth, or simply lie. Participants lie. 'Experts' lie. Lawyers lie. Those who don't lie, clam up. Ever been though a lawsuit? The first advice you will get is not say anything to anyone, without talking to your lawyer.

If you want to get at the truth about an adverse incident, you don't threaten the participants. You get an impartial group of experts, question everyone, assemble the data, get opinions from people who know the field, and decide what must be done to prevent future errors.

This is what the NTSB does with respect to plane crashes. And it works. It works very well. It has steadily reduced the number of deaths per passenger mile traveled over the past thirty years.

The tort system is the opposite of this. It encourages the concealment of information. It turns people who should be cooperating into enemies. It survives only because it enriches lawyers, who have a vested interest in it. It is the antithesis of what we should be doing.

No, the fact that the company settled is not indication of guilt. People settle lawsuits because their lawyers advise them that the verdict is likely to go against them, which has nothing to do with whether they are actually guilty of any wrongdoing.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 12:21 PM on December 16, 2002


So are juries pronouncements of guilt or innocence, life or death equally random and disconnected from reality?

The ruling earlier this year (since vacated) finding the federal death penalty unconstitutional would seem to imply that one court thinks just that.

And having served on a jury in a criminal trial and seen what can pass for thought and reason in a jury room, if I were ever indicted for a serious crime I would give a lot of thought to waiving my right to a jury trial and be tried by a judge alone. Judges may of course also have their prejudices, but they also have training and experience, they are vastly more likely to know what evidence is, and are comparitively immune to the the cynical manipulations of counsel.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:29 PM on December 16, 2002


Only on MetaFilter could a thread about Al Gore not running for President turn in to an argument about the tort system...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:52 PM on December 16, 2002


Maybe I missed someone posting this already but,

I just want to say that I think Bill Clinton would make a great first gentleman!
posted by Dick Paris at 12:59 PM on December 16, 2002


Does anyone believe that come 2008 they won't have a solid candidate who, frankly, just looks a little bit more like them?

Possibly. But who knows? Right now, the Democrats don't have an obvious dream-team candidate. Maybe the Republicans won't in 2008. Jeb? Maybe... but he's got a lot of 'negatives', as they say, maybe not as bad as Hillary, but close, because of the Florida election debacle. Deserved or not, they're negatives. Republicans may shy away from him.

I don't think Condi is impossible. It took a Republican to establish relations with Communist China. It took a Democrat to balance the budget. Sometimes, you get the risk-taking from the opposite corner you'd expect. I wouldn't be surprised if it took the Republicans to run a black woman for President.

But I don't know if Condi wants the job. Policy wonks often like being policy wonks, and don't want the headaches of brutal, eyeball-to-eyeball politics.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 1:01 PM on December 16, 2002


So are juries pronouncements of guilt or innocence, life or death equally random and disconnected from reality?

Pretty much, yes.
posted by rushmc at 2:53 PM on December 16, 2002


Sigh. Do you understand what you're doing? You're reacting emotionally. A child has been injured. Someone must be to blame! SOMEONE MUST PAY!!!!

Oh, is that what I'm doing? Reacting emotionally to the vague horror of AN INJURED CHILD? Whatever. You don't know what you're talking about, Slithy_Tove. The pool in question is located just a few miles from where I sit now; I remember the coverage of the January '97 verdict. I'm sifting through the local papers' archives to give you the details you need before spouting off any more hyperbole, and will post the details by tomorrow. But first, let's review what happened:

I posted a link to a long, fascinating article that not only explores in depth the issues you say I know nothing about, but also discussed Senator Lauch Faircloth's backfiring attempt to play the "trial lawyer" card against Edwards in 1998. The piece also went after trial lawyers for things like not alerting regulators about the Firestone tire problem "for fear of compromising future lawsuits," mocked a speech at an ATLA convention that piously claimed lawyers were doing the Lord's work, *and* attacked the "self-righteousness most trial lawyers develop," among other things.

Your response? Nothing but snark:

I'm so glad Mr. Edwards is helping to build a society in which uncovered drains are safe for every child to sit on, and lawyers are rewarded with tens of millions of dollars when they aren't.

You sneered at the case, and at Edwards' motives for taking it, without knowing anything about the specifics. I loved your suggestion that "maybe...there was nothing wrong with" the pool drainage system. Keep that one handy tomorrow.

So far, Slithy_Tove, *you're* the one showing an emotional agenda here ("the tort system is broken! the tort system is broken!"), not me. Apparently, there's little complexity on this issue for you. I'll still be happy to talk tort reform, though, and suggest the detailed article I posted as a fine place to start that conversation.

I'm out to see our buddy Al down the block, but I'll post as many details about the Valerie Lakey case as I can find tonight or tomorrow. Googling her name turns up a few summaries, if you want a head start, but I'm sure the local newspaper archives will have much more info. Ta for now.

Only on MetaFilter could a thread about Al Gore not running for President turn in to an argument about the tort system...

Nah, thread drift is a fact of life all over, Steve. This is actually a fairly tame example of it.
posted by mediareport at 3:26 PM on December 16, 2002


Drifting the thread back on course, a suggestion for the Dems in '08: Evan Bayh. Really. Think about it.
posted by Dreama at 6:54 PM on December 16, 2002


U.S. Senator Evan Bayh today praised President Bush for implementing, by Executive Order, key elements of a Senate proposal to support the work of faith-based and community organizations.

Bayh, a lead co-sponsor of the resolution currently being debated in the Senate [authorizing the use of force in Iraq]

Um, next?
posted by rushmc at 7:24 PM on December 16, 2002


james brown for president.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:52 PM on December 16, 2002


I posted a link to a long, fascinating article [...]

I read it when you first posted it. It didn't contain any more information about the case than you posted to MeFi. It was an opinion piece with a heavy slant in favor of Edwards, the Democrats, and the trial bar.

So far, this discussion is not promising:

1. You haven't addressed any of the points I made.
2. You are making personal attacks.
3. You are misquoting what I posted.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 10:08 PM on December 16, 2002


1. This.
2. Is.
3. Metafilter.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:45 AM on December 17, 2002


1. A
2. M
3. E
4. N

Oops. I'm not bringing religion into this, I swear!
posted by agregoli at 7:06 AM on December 17, 2002


Ah, nothing like a day away from a thread to calm the nerves. I agree, Slithy_Tove, that we can do better here, but your first post was a snarkfest and your second presumptuously stated that my take on the Lakey case was based on nothing more than irrational pity, so I'm not sure you're in a position to accuse anyone of dragging the discussion down.

Sniping aside, I brought up the Washington Monthly article again because it makes claims against the "our tort system is broken!" argument that you've failed to address. And - despite your casual dismissal - the article takes plenty of shots at trial lawyers (their "questionable contingency arrangements," among other things) in the section titled "The Trouble With Trial Lawyers" about 2/3 of the way in.

FWIW, I hate frivolous suits and think if a kid falls on an icy public sidewalk and breaks its leg in four places the parents should chalk it up to a Godless universe and move on. I think a cap on "noneconomic" and punitive damages is also worth exploring. But I see many "tort reform" arguments as overblown in ways that seem solely designed to protect negligent companies from punishment when they do wrong. Since I don't think we're going to get rid of our adversarial legal system any time soon (which is the direction you seem to be heading), I'd rather try sorting out good reform proposals from bad. In that spirit, Slithy_Tove, I'd love to see a response to this point the article makes:

The single factor most clogging the judicial system is frivolous litigation brought by corporations against corporations, which don't involve independent trial lawyers at all. [examples deleted] Each of these cases is more representative of the true problem of frivolous litigation. But because they involve a Republican constituency---business---rather than a Democrat constituency like trial lawyers, tort reform advocates don't mention them.

Also, I'd like to see a response to this argument from the president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America: "Our legal system has tough rules to identify frivolous lawsuits, throw them out of court, and punish the lawyers who file them." That discretion, she says, is in the hands of "judges who know the law."

Finally, I've collected lots of quotes from the Raleigh paper circa '93-98 about the Valerie Lakey case. I'm heading to the library in a few minutes; I'll do a Nexis search while I'm there, too, and will post all the specifics I can dig up (your request, Slithy, for full police/medical/engineering reports is absurd in this context so I'll ignore it) at a page on my site in the morning.
posted by mediareport at 3:54 PM on December 17, 2002


The details about the Lakey case from the Raleigh News & Observer are here. The university library nearby was closed last night, so no Nexis yet. Skip my intro and go straight to the long string of excerpts here. (Hey, Slithy_Tove, you're the one who wanted details :). Lots of blame, counterblame, emotion and money to go around.
posted by mediareport at 8:59 AM on December 18, 2002


Wow. What a great job.

mediareport, this is your site? Man, I admire your energy. Thanks for doing this!

Lots of info. Overall, it feels like a pretty fair presentation of the case and the issues.

Thoughts:

1. The report on Snopes from the MMWR demolishes one of my initial arguments, that part of the blame for this event could be placed on careless parents or lifeguards, who weren't watching the child closely enough. Apparently, this injury can happen in seconds, far too quickly for anyone at poolside to intervene. And from the reports, it happened just minutes after other kids took the drain cover off.

2. The news reports from the trial are very interesting reading. Edwards' arguments seem to boil down to whether or not the company should have printed instructions on the drain cover?!? Which they were, in fact, doing at the time accident occurred, but the drain cover in question had been manufactured several years before.

I'm not buying this argument. The problem wasn't lack of information or knowledge. The pool and its employees knew they were supposed to screw down the drain cover; they just hadn't, or kids had unscrewed it, because it had apparently been screwed down in the past. There had been public bulletins by both the CPSC and an association of pool operators about the issue.

3. I reiterate one of my earlier arguments that was [pardon] buried in snark: Edwards went after not the party that was guilty (whoever maintained the pool), but the party with the deep pockets.

4. I don't know whether Edwards' closing argument is fairly summarized by the paper, but it appears that it was almost entirely emotional, and designed to appeal to the natural human desire to protect children. This is... disgusting. Edwards is exploiting our concern for children in order to extract tens of millions of dollars (including millions for himself and his partner) from a company that (in my view) had done nothing wrong.

So, mediareport, what are your thoughts on this case after reading through this stuff?

Other thoughts:

I'm not impressed with the statement by the ATLA president. If one defines 'frivolous' narrowly enough, almost no lawsuit is frivolous. There is no objective definition of 'frivolous'. I don't especially like the word; note that I didn't use it at all.

What I don't like are bad lawsuits: class action suits that that are designed chiefly to make money for the lawyers and to hell with the 'class'; lawsuits that name a dozen people as a fishing expedition, dropping them only after they've been dragged through the legal system for years (been there, done that, got the t-shirt); lawsuits that are dishonest in that they appeal to emotion rather than reason (see above); lawsuits that depend on junk science (see: breast implants, Bendectin, Thiomersal, Chromium VI [the putative toxin the real Erin Brockovich case], Audi 'sudden acceleration', and many, many more); lawsuits that are venue-shopped to find the most lawyer-friendly jury pool *cough*Philadelphia*cough; well, you get the idea. For an ongoing rogue's gallery of bad lawsuits, see Overlawyered.com, a sort of bad lawsuit blog.

What I propose:

1. The 'loser pays' rule, in which the suit's loser has to pay the expenses of the winner. This discourages scatter-gun suits, in which dozens of plaintiffs are named in the hopes of bagging one or two, and bad lawsuits in general. In addition, it's just not fair to drag an innocent person though the courts for years, leaving them or their insurer with huge legal bills, when they've done nothing wrong. This rule makes so much sense that most countries have it. Just not the US.

2. Limits on damage awards for 'pain and suffering'. This cannot be quantitated, but it can easily be faked. This is just an open invitation for a lawyer to run up the tab. Moreover, it inflates medical expenses: to generate evidence of 'pain and suffering' lawyers send injured people back to doctors and therapists again and again: "See, he needed his neck adjusted thirty times last year! Think of his suffering!" Of course suffering is real, but leaving awards potentially infinite for something that cannot be objectively measured is just inviting abuse.

3. Limitation on contingency fees. When the lawyer has a piece of the action, he has every reason to run up the tab. Again, contingency fees are a perverse incentive to higher and higher awards.

4. Tighter rules of evidence and better vetting of 'expert' witnesses. Perhaps an independent pool of experts, not financially beholden to either the plaintiff or the defendant bar, to advise judges on issues of science, technology, medical care, and so on.

Wack. Way too long, I'm tired and falling asleep. Maybe more later, but in any event, I await your thoughts.

Once again, thanks for digging this up. Very interesting reading.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 10:46 AM on December 21, 2002


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