Al Gore, corporate master of the universe?
November 19, 2001 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Al Gore, corporate master of the universe? The near-president has taken a job as vice chairman of Metropolitan West Financial, a "diversified financial services firm" in L.A. If, around September 2000, you weren't sure if Gore was serious about his "I'm for the people, not for the powerful" schtick, now you know. No word on compensation, but CNN reports Gore "will focus on developing private equity strategies in the biotechnology and information technology fields." Uh, sure.
posted by crabwalk (34 comments total)
I'm guessing this means Gore is leaning toward not running in 2004. I can't imagine him thinking this gig would be a good perch to run in Democratic primaries from in three years.
posted by crabwalk at 1:07 PM on November 19, 2001

Let's see if he can run the company into the ground just like W. drove every company he managed into the ground!

(snippy comment provided as balance to original poster's snippy comments)

(ed. note: malphigian was dragged off by secret police for unpatriotic activities shortly following this posting).
posted by malphigian at 1:08 PM on November 19, 2001

I don't think a democrat can win in 2004, at least not if the "war" is still going on. on the other hand, I don't know if cheney's health/age will make him a viable candidate in 2008. maybe condi rice....
posted by rebeccablood at 1:11 PM on November 19, 2001

Hey, I voted for Gore...I just didn't believe his sudden conversion to populism around the convention. He never was an old-style paleolib, and it seemed silly to pretend he was. (Whoda thunk it: Gore's the one taking a high-profile post-administration job in L.A., not Clinton!)
posted by crabwalk at 1:12 PM on November 19, 2001

Will he be cold-calling my house during dinner?

"Hello, my name is Albert, and I'd like to discuss putting your private equity in a biotechnology and information technology lockbox."
posted by msacheson at 1:22 PM on November 19, 2001

If thinks get tough and he is unable to meety mortgage payments, he can always tour and give speeches for Rev Moon, the way Bush the Father has done. Or do ads for Viagra, and lend some dignity to our views of Congress past and present.
posted by Postroad at 1:26 PM on November 19, 2001

So just what was he supposed to do for living after being Vice-President? It seems to me that he's pretty much overqualified (or totally under qualified depending on your perspective) for nearly anything thanks to his previous job. I don't think this new gig means anything except that he's pretty much done with politics. Of course, if the CEO of Halliburton can be the VP despite his repeated brushes with death and long track record of corporate evil, you never know...
posted by shagoth at 1:32 PM on November 19, 2001

> ... but CNN reports Gore "will focus on developing private equity strategies in the biotechnology and information technology fields." Uh, sure.

Are you unsure of that because you suspect he will concentrate more on Finance/Insurance/Real Estate instead of biotech/IT or because you think he might secretly be interested in debt financing strategies? Either way, it seems real sneaky to me too.
posted by sylloge at 4:06 PM on November 19, 2001

I dont think Bush is a "lock" in '04, because I think at the end of the day the state of the economy will be a larger deciding factor in an election.

maybe condi rice....
America putting a black woman a heartbeat away from the presidency? Not likely anytime soon.

Leaves the Democratic nomination wide open and uninspiring. Lieberman, Daschle, Gephardt? Lambs to slaughter.
posted by owillis at 4:29 PM on November 19, 2001

Fine.. name me one.. ONE profession Gore could have chosen that people wouldn't make fun of him for, or say he did it to position himself for re-election.
posted by Hildago at 4:30 PM on November 19, 2001

Do you honestly think Gore's being hired because of his strategic equity skills? Hell, Gore himself said it today: "I am eager to learn more about business as an active executive." Eagerness to learn on the job usually isn't enough to get you the vice chairmanship of a company, in a field you have no experience in. He's being hired because he's in tight with a bunch of powerful people and, like Cheney at Halliburton, he'll be able to call in a bunch of favors.

It's almost impossible to avoid doing unseemly things after being prez or VP (unless you're Jimmy Carter, perhaps). The temptation is awfully strong. But after a campaign spent attacking "corporate elites," this is more than a bit amusing, I think.
posted by crabwalk at 4:36 PM on November 19, 2001

Even more interesting is that he may well have been more qualified for something more technology oriented -- didn't he invent the internet? :-)

Seriously though, it would have looked more in character for him, certainly more so than becoming an unspecified executive in one of those nebulous "financials" firms. Then again his stated goals for the position are a clear indication that for all the campaign-time class-warfare rhetoric Al knew the whole time that it is in fact money that makes the world go round.
posted by clevershark at 5:11 PM on November 19, 2001

Leaves the Democratic nomination wide open and uninspiring.

John Kerry? Russ Feingold, if the PATRIOT Act backfires? It's still speculation time: Daddy Bush was riding high in '91.
posted by holgate at 5:21 PM on November 19, 2001

The Dems might be conceding 04 (exec) to the GOP...

And Gore might be sizing up making CA his home, after being spurned by TN. CA voters seemed to like Gore quite a lot...maybe a run for Governor isn't entirely out of the question. Then use that as a springboard back to's not like that hasn't been done before...;-)

posted by kphaley454 at 5:37 PM on November 19, 2001

It's just a vice chairmanship, he's not even going to be an employee of the company. Geesh.
posted by mikojava at 5:39 PM on November 19, 2001

maybe condi rice....
That would be so interesting: everybody knows Powell didn't stand a chance for the Republican nomination even if he'd decided to run -- being pro choice and pro-affirmative action he's way too liberal to be nominated
If the much more conservative Rice actually runs, there wouldn't be many possible ideological agruments against her.
OK, they could argue she's too inexperienced (maybe?), but the Republican party'd have trouble finding an excuse to shoot her down (the real reason not to nominate her being of course her gender and, most important, the color of her skin. excuse me if I'm too direct but I don't really believe in a Black American president in the near future)
Want to sink McCain? Start whispering that he's nuts (like they did last year)
Want to sink Rice? How are you going to do that?
Anyway they polled Californians for a prospective run for governor and she didn't do very well
posted by matteo at 5:58 PM on November 19, 2001

People are really stretching to find irony or hypocrisy here. If Gore was going to work for a pharmaceutical company or one of the industries the Democrats put the word "Big" in front of for derisive purposes, sure. But biotechnology and information technology are two of the wonky new fields that Gore and other New Democrats have touted for years. And Gore has been affluent all of his life, so he's not anathema to making money through stocks. (Doesn't anyone remember the bashing he took for his dad's Occidental Petroleum stock?)

Besides, even Ralph Nader is rich, contrary to his well-cultivated public image. You really have to search to find U.S. politicians of national stature who aren't well-heeled.
posted by rcade at 6:26 PM on November 19, 2001

Hey, hey, it's way too early to concede '04 to the GOP! Even with the DNC's limited grasp of their own history they must realize that this war does not guarantee a Bush re-election. The Republicans, certainly, were hoping for a big boost in the off-year elections, and the few big races that were decided ... went Democrat (NJ, VA govs) or liberal Republican (NYC, Bloomberg's a former Dem), which bodes very well for the '02 mid-term elections; they can very easily lose the House. (Usually mid-terms result in a legislative drop for the party holding the White House.)

Trust me, I've been watching re-election goat entrails for a long time, and it just isn't that simple. Bush will have trouble meeting economic growth targets, and the legislative agenda is certainly up in the air; even with 85% popularity, look at the cave on the Dem-sponsored airport security plan. I think that shows that Bush has a mandate to conduct the war, but not much else, and the elections show his coattails are paper thin. He's no '04 shoo-in by a long shot.

Gore, on the other hand, has clearly abandoned any plans to be the presumed front-runner, by taking this job. It may well be that the war has scotched any chances he might have had to be widely accepted should he re-challenge Bush; the Dems will have to come up with someone new, like John Kerry, or perhaps John Edwards. One thing's for sure -- the last two presidents have been elected on the basis of domestic policy, and neither had much foreign policy experience (though Clinton talked a good game). I don't think the next person to hold the job is going to come from that mold.
posted by dhartung at 6:34 PM on November 19, 2001

So, would you say the same thing about Rudolph Giuliani now that he has secured himself a new job as an accountancy executive at Ernst & Young, one of the world's largest accounting firms?
posted by brian at 6:44 PM on November 19, 2001

What's the big deal? As far as I can see, Bush/Cheney et al are still working for their bosses in big oil, and I don't see any smirks from the Repugnicans over that.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 6:48 PM on November 19, 2001

Want to sink Rice? How are you going to do that?
It would be real simple. Start doing ads aimed at the conservative wing of the Republican party: "Can we trust her to look out for all Americans?" Introduce doubt into their minds and pander to their fears that lie right under the surface.

If any party is going to introduce a black person to that high a stage, it would be the Democrats and even that is in left field. The only person around with much of a chance would be Powell, especially if he gets an in at veep.

Secret hope: Harold Ford Jr., hurry up and get famous!

It remains to be seen how well Kerry, Feingold and Edwards can spin their images between now and Iowa.

Nader is also DOA.

Gore as Governor of CA? That would rock. Huge improvement over dumb-dumb Gray Davis, who I won't be voting for.
posted by owillis at 7:43 PM on November 19, 2001

Secret hope: Harold Ford Jr., hurry up and get famous!

Though not for 2004, because of that pesky age limit.
posted by holgate at 8:11 PM on November 19, 2001

You people sure are naive. What makes you think Bush will allow elections in 2004?

"It is not in the national interest to hold an election in these troubled times--and the Supreme Court backs me up on this--the polls would not be safe, would be perfect targets for all them terrororists out there. America is the land of the free, a good country, and we will not hold elections under an atmosphere of fear. We will make the world safe and free of all evildoers, and then we will once more hold elections, which is our democratic way...."
posted by rushmc at 8:12 PM on November 19, 2001

Though not for 2004, because of that pesky age limit.

Yup. He turns 35 on May 11, 2005.
posted by rcade at 8:16 PM on November 19, 2001

The deal here is that Cheney/Bush/Giuliani/etc. never made an issue in their campaigns about "being for the people" and being against big business. Gore did, and now he is part of the big business. Some people are too blinded by their partisan blinkers to see that.
posted by gyc at 8:34 PM on November 19, 2001

Well, I think condi rice is a naive bitch, personally.

But, for those of you who said America wouldn't vote in a black women, you should take a look at some of the research on modern racism. Subjects that display some racism when measured though 'hidden' methods (like, they get shown a picture for a millisecond and then rate something else. If they don't like blacks they'll get a negative impression of other things) Will show the opposite when measuring 'directly' like, say grade a paper you know is from a black person and a control, the paper believed to be from a black person would be rated higher.

In other words, slightly racist Americans will jump all over themselves to vote for a black person, just to prove to themselves (and anyone they talk to) that they are not racist.

Anyway, I don't see what the point is about gore being a hypocrite. He lost the election, maybe it made him bitter :P

Or, more likely, him taking this job doesn’t have anything to do with anything in the campaign. Were you expecting him to dedicate the rest of his life to hugging trees or something?

Oh, and I doubt this (in particular) will hurt his standing with other democrats. You know, they aren’t the same set of people as the militant green/anti-corporate/wto-protesters. (and those guys all voted for nadir anyway)
posted by delmoi at 8:51 PM on November 19, 2001

agree with your comment. Makes you wonder if GW won't try to change the law about presidents serving a maximum of 2 terms. you know we might not be free of all those evil doers for 12 years!

What's wrong with making a few bucks? Those with the most money steal presidential offices, oh er, I mean rule the world....
posted by redhead at 9:13 PM on November 19, 2001

What's Gore supposed to do, stuff envelopes for PETA or something? The guy has a right to make a living.

The other things, I think the Dem in 2004 will be someone not well known to the general population yet. (the non-CSPAN crowd)

I don't think a democrat can win in 2004, at least not if the "war" is still going on.

Actually, this war is going to end up being a bear on Bush's back, IMO.

War or no war, it doesn't matter.

Everyone but conservatives are going to line up to kick Bush out in 2004, no matter who we have to support.

Maybe even Nader, nah...NFW I'm voting for that bastard...

Anyway, Bush is definitely a one-termer, just like daddy.

If you consider how many corps he sold his soul too and the amount of shady characters in his admin, not to mention tasty political revenge, he will do well to make it through one term.

Also, McCain is waiting in the wings for Bush to fall on his face.

McCain would lose Repub support if he ran, but that would just make him the outsider and he would more than make up for it with indies and Dems.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 9:18 PM on November 19, 2001

Willis 2016: Get your bribes in now.
posted by owillis at 11:28 PM on November 19, 2001

"Want to sink Rice? How are you going to do that?"
If you're talking about the Chevron oil tanker, try explosive devices. :-))

Rushmc, I shiver at the mere mention. BTW, are you Dubya's speechwriter? It looks soooo familiar. The possibility of what you said actually occuring is all too real. The balloon has already been floated by Juliana, Asscroft has shown what we can do with our Constitution, and the Extremes have no qualms about raw partisanship....
posted by nofundy at 7:44 AM on November 20, 2001

i don't think you have to worry about a repeal of the presidential two-term limit. the states have to ratify any amendment, and all you'd have to do to defeat it in my state is say something about re-electing Clinton. no way it'd be ratified here.
posted by tolkhan at 8:31 AM on November 20, 2001

I don't think a democrat can win in 2004, at least not if the "war" is still going on.

George the First lost an election months after a popular war. If this war is still going on by the Presidential election people will have tired of it long ago and voted out the administration to show how they felt. it is unlikely that this war will be going on by the time of the mid-term elections though. But as George the First showed, you can win a war and lose an election.
posted by terrapin at 11:33 AM on November 20, 2001

BTW, are you Dubya's speechwriter? It looks soooo familiar.

Thanks. I scared myself a little with that one.
posted by rushmc at 8:01 PM on November 20, 2001

Didn't Gore invent the universe?
posted by righteous at 6:01 AM on November 24, 2001

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