Gore is set to endorse Howard Dean tomorrow.
December 8, 2003 2:33 PM   Subscribe

Gore is set to endorse Howard Dean tomorrow. Does that mean it's already over for the other Democratic candidates? (Will you even get the opportunity to vote for a candidate in your state's primary? Heck, should we consider limiting the campaign period?)
posted by jennak (88 comments total)
Huzzah. The Democratic Party is finally united: former Naderites, blue-collar workers, Jewish grandparents, and inner-city families have a single candidate. Things are looking up.
posted by PrinceValium at 2:39 PM on December 8, 2003

See? This is why instant news is bad. There's no way that Gore is going to endorse any candidate until the first few primaries are over anyhow. If he's going to do anything he'll ask the Republican party when Bush will debate Liberman, the other Republican running for the nomination.

Endorsing Dean now would lack the elder stateman image that Gore is trying to build. Plus, I think he's a Clark fan.
posted by DragonBoy at 2:40 PM on December 8, 2003

Lieberman's gonna be pissed!
posted by PenDevil at 2:44 PM on December 8, 2003

Why not simply wait until he actually endorses Dean to post this? Right now, it's speculation and more DeanFilter masturbation.
posted by BlueTrain at 2:47 PM on December 8, 2003

I think he's a Clark fan.
But is Clark a Dean fan?
posted by thomcatspike at 2:49 PM on December 8, 2003

Does that mean it's already over for the other Democratic candidates?

No. But this may clue some people in to the fact that Liebermania is not exactly sweeping the nation. Maybe we oughta go ahead and start whittling down the field so each candidate can get more than four minutes to talk during the debates.
posted by spilon at 2:49 PM on December 8, 2003

Heck, should we consider limiting the campaign period?

Yes. I really liked the shortened time span we had for the recall here in CA plus I understand ;) other countries do this as normal practice. Though one wonders if in contests between incumbents and challengers (rather than open seats), the incumbent wouldn't be getting handed a pretty serious advantage.
posted by billsaysthis at 2:50 PM on December 8, 2003

Dean was very honest about not wanting to go to vietnam on Hardball last week (i think it was posted here)...

Maybe this will lead some of the also-rans to drop out now (which would be good, but it is harsh for Lieberman if true). We need to focus our message and unify behind one or two candidates if we're going to beat Bush's dirty tricksters and mounds of cash.
posted by amberglow at 2:59 PM on December 8, 2003

if we're going to

ewwww... poor choice of words.
posted by machaus at 3:03 PM on December 8, 2003

Thing is the campaign season never ends so unless you end government, you'll see campaigning.
posted by infowar at 3:04 PM on December 8, 2003

Yeah, poor Lieberman. I'm not surprised by Gore's move, really. It would seem that he had occaision to realize--a bit ahead of the rest of the party--that the old approach was not working. At this point, the party needs Dean as much as he needs them. I wonder if the Klintons will break with their heavy schedule of orgies and mass murder to offer up a bloodsoaked endorsement?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:06 PM on December 8, 2003

Hillary was noncommital on Meet The Press last week. Dean seems to be ideologically closest to Hillary, while Gephardt is closer to Bill.
posted by PrinceValium at 3:11 PM on December 8, 2003

But clearly they're both treasonous, braineating zombies, right? Why else would they spell Klinton with a "k?" If they do endorse him, one can only wonder if the official statement will be etched into a scroll made of dead babies.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:15 PM on December 8, 2003

Does that mean it's already over for the other Democratic candidates?

Yes, it's over. It's been over for months. Gore's endorsement (if it is really true) suggests that he knows this too, and thinks it's time for the party establishment to get out of Dean's way. In doing so, he has not only dissed Lieberman, but appears to be at odds with the Clintons.

Any bets on how long it will take other party bigwigs to jump on the Dean steamroller?
posted by Durwood at 3:16 PM on December 8, 2003

Yes. I really liked the shortened time span we had for the recall here in CA plus I understand ;) other countries do this as normal practice.

Hmm.. the recal election period was so short because people didn't know it was going to happen. Perhaps we should have a random number that spits out election dates just two months in advance, once every 1460 days or so.
posted by delmoi at 3:20 PM on December 8, 2003

Clark's strategy of skipping Iowa looks REALLY stupid right about now.
posted by machaus at 3:23 PM on December 8, 2003

And then there's that whole thing about how they're trying to set up a failure this time so Hilary can run in 2008 and win (i've even heard that's why Clark is in the race at all)...i don't know if it's true tho.
posted by amberglow at 3:24 PM on December 8, 2003

I like Gore as a person, because he's dorky and interested in dorky things. But how, exactly, is this a good thing? Al Gore is hardly a kingmaker, and yet the Times is making inexplicable pronouncements like this:
'The decision by Mr. Gore seems likely to help Dr. Dean rebut what has been one of the biggest charges raised by his opponents: That he is a weak candidate who would lead the Democrats to a devastating defeat next year.'
Surely you're joking, Grey Lady. Does Gore's endorsement really make Dean a credible threat? Does Gore's endorsement even strengthen Dean's position within his own party? Or was I alone in voting for Gore mostly out of despair?
At best, this is a signal that the flow of money to Dean will not be impeded by resentment towards his campaign from the usual suspects. But were I a Dean supporter, I'd be a little miffed: if the powers-that-be want in, that's cool, but let us keep the waters clean. And get that albatross away from me.
posted by tingley at 3:24 PM on December 8, 2003

I prefer Dean's policies, but something in the back of my mind worries about him though... I almost think Clark would draw in more terrorism-terrified voters, because of his military background, and Dean's none-too-impressive skipping out.

*sigh* here's to hoping they'll be smart and have Clark as his running mate.
posted by Espoo2 at 3:27 PM on December 8, 2003

May I pause for a self congratulatory pat on the back? Grammar mistakes and all
OK I am done now.
Thank you.
posted by EmoChild at 3:29 PM on December 8, 2003

If Gore endorses Dean, it's because money talks and bullshit walks. Dean is probably the biggest fundraising draw in the Democratic party right now, except for Gore and the Clintons themselves. In addition, Dean has won supporters by raising funds for Democratic congressmen in a districts targeted by the GOP. Regardless of whether Dean is a "true" liberal, I think the wiser members of the Dem establishment understand how ruthless Karl Rove and the GOP gang can be. Dean is the only Democratic candidate (with the probable exception of Clark) who has the tenacity, gumption, and fighting spirit to stand up to Republican bullying tactics.

Contrast Dean with Lieberman, for example. During the Florida recount fight, Lieberman actually argued that Democrats should not challenge Republican absentee ballots by military personnel, even though the ballots were late and Democrats had every right to challenge those ballots. In fact, at the same time that Lieberman was undermining Democratic efforts to disqualify late Republican military ballots, the Republican campaign was secretly challenging military ballots cast for Gore. That's not the way you win elections, by conceding everything to your opponent. Say what you will about Dean, but he will fight with no quarter given.
posted by jonp72 at 3:33 PM on December 8, 2003

Whoa...Echo Chamber or Reality? I was a little skeptical but the story is getting picked up on some major news outlets.

Sucks to be Lieberman.
posted by aaronscool at 3:37 PM on December 8, 2003

Dean/Clark in '04 (sounds ok with me) : >
posted by amberglow at 3:41 PM on December 8, 2003

Lieberman's statement is on talking points already.
posted by amberglow at 3:48 PM on December 8, 2003

Gore invented Dean.
posted by gluechunk at 3:49 PM on December 8, 2003

I think this is big for Dean, Tingley. With his MoveOn speeches and liberal network discussions, Gore seems to have more respect within the party now than he did in '00 and is becoming somewhat of a figurehead for the Democratic party.

That said, I can't get over the nagging feeling that Dean would lose the election in the middle. He can get the far left in a lather, but I don't think he'll get the swing voters. Here's hoping that's way off base and he does in the national race what he's done in the primaries.
posted by blefr at 3:51 PM on December 8, 2003

Let's be honest here kids - who gives a flying phuck what Gore thinks anyhow? He should have won the 2000 campaign without lifting a finger, but somehow, he managed to screw the pooch.

As to the Democrats' options at the moment, they are fighting an almost insurmountable battle right now. None of the Democratic contenders are worth a pot to piss in - and while Dean has lots of noise and funk at the moment, I am witholding my opinion of the man.

So the question the democrats have to ask right now is this: Is it better to try and unify the party now - eleven months before the election, to solidify their base; or do they try and string things out until the convention next summer? The reason they would NOT want to unify the party is because at that point, the candidate who is the front runner will immediately become pigeonholed and won't be able to waffle his way to the election next year. Should the party "unite" today, they would then give the Republicans a fixed target to work on over the course of eleven months.

IMO, Dean is the only choice the Dems have at the moment. I cannot listen to Lieberman for more than two minutes before he irritates the crap out of me. Being a Clevelander, Kucinich is automatically off my list just because of his name. Clark couldn't even commit to a party until the very last minute. Kerry and Gephardt? Go home, boys, go home.
posted by tgrundke at 3:52 PM on December 8, 2003

I think we're going to get Dean/Graham, though I still pine daily for Dean/McCain.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:57 PM on December 8, 2003

Blefr: Gore has more credibility within the Democratic Party today than before? Come on! Gore should have absolutely NO credibility within any political organization at this point based solely on the fact that he wasn't able to handily beat GW by a few touchdowns in the 2000 election.

The mere fact that the Dems even LOOK to people like Gore demonstrates the level of disarray that the party has sunk to. They are fightening of their past, they're frightened of their future. They're running away from the only 'savior' they have: Bill Cllinton, and trying to prop up someone who does nothing but polarize the competition: Hillary Clinton. The keep assholes like MacAuliffe as the head of the organization and elect an ultra-liberal as House leader at a time when nobody wants to listen to it.

The fact that the party was unable to keep sideshow freaks like Kucinich out of the running demonstrates that their organization has failed miserably in the last four years.

While I may not agree with some policies and tactics employed by the Republican Party in general and the Bush Administration in particular - they KNOW how to fight the fight and to win. The Republicans have such an immense machine in place, excellent organization, amazing communication capabilities and a solid message. The Dems are in utter disarray and need to pay better attention to how their opponents have pulled it all off.
posted by tgrundke at 3:59 PM on December 8, 2003

tgrundke, you'll be seeing a lot of Bill on the campaign trail, believe me--it was one of Gore's mistakes last time, and won't be repeated.
posted by amberglow at 4:07 PM on December 8, 2003

Does Gore's endorsement really make Dean a credible threat?
I seem to remember Gore winning the popular vote.
posted by condour75 at 4:07 PM on December 8, 2003

Here's an excellent Dean speech on salon.com. Hope it's not premium content.
posted by Slothrup at 4:09 PM on December 8, 2003

Blah blah blah. The media was hyping Bush in the summer prior to the election - Time with its "Our Next President?" cover, etc. This was unprecedented. Gore made plenty of mistakes, and played it too close the middle, etc. But when the media goes on and on about how you fibbed about traveling around with FEMA director James Lee Witt ... for gosh sakes. The FEMA director? Who gives a rat's ass? He's the VP, I'm sure he drove around with Mr. Big Honcho James Lee Freakin' Witt, former non-elected Arkansas official, a zillion times. I would've stopped joking about it, and gotten pissed off - the consultants be damned. But then the media would've gone on and on about the new Pissed Off Gore, and how he scares voters, blah blah.

Despite all this, and the Clinton stuff, and his own lack of charisma, he still won the popular vote. And he's been critical of the Bush administration at all the right times, never overplaying his hand. He's earned my respect, and his endorsement, if it comes through, seems pretty huge from my vantage point.
posted by raysmj at 4:11 PM on December 8, 2003

Aore endorsement may be blocked by Surpreme Court.
posted by Postroad at 4:15 PM on December 8, 2003

Does this mean Al Sharpton will not be our next president?
posted by xmutex at 4:18 PM on December 8, 2003

RE: why Gore adds credibility --

He's really the first person from the "establishment" backing Dean. I concur with what someone said above (Gore's just following the $), but you can't deny that a Gore endorsement will pave the way for other DC-entrenched types to follow suit.

Even though Dean wasn't my favorite, I hope the entrenched don't try to block Dean just because he's an outsider. I'd be happy with any of the candidates as our nominee (except for Joe). The Dems need to rally behind whoever's the winner, at the appropriate time.

Question is, is that appropriate time now?
posted by jennak at 4:25 PM on December 8, 2003

The last few days there has been lots of chatter about Dean having it wrapped up. I think the Gore endorsement is just icing at this point.

The first question is whether any of the other candidates kind find gracious ways to drop out and save the whole country an annoying couple more months of pointless bickering.

The second question is what Team Dean will do to the Democratic Party and the rest of America if they win the general election. No one is talking about that yet, but to my mind it's the more interesting part of the story.
posted by alms at 4:40 PM on December 8, 2003

tgrundke, aside from my personal bias, I wasn't making the point that Gore SHOULD have credibility within the party, just that he does. His endorsement doesn't mean as much as either Clinton would, but it means more than most because he's so visible.

Now including my bias, it seems to me that a lot of people now see Al Gore differently after his progressive MoveOn speeches - definitely not as a sparkplug, but not as the sighing, stage-managed version from the '00 campaign. He ran a crappy campaign, so what? How does that mean that he's the past and democrats are fighting their future?

You also mention that the democrats are in disarray for propping up Hillary, who polarizes the opposition. Doesn't Bush do exactly the same?
posted by blefr at 4:43 PM on December 8, 2003

The fact that the party was unable to keep sideshow freaks like Kucinich out of the running demonstrates that their organization has failed miserably in the last four years.

as opposed to alan keyes for the gop?
posted by lescour at 4:45 PM on December 8, 2003

But when the media goes on and on about how you fibbed about traveling around with FEMA director James Lee Witt ... for gosh sakes. The FEMA director? Who gives a rat's ass?

But see, Gore should have been more media saavy. I know, the media should be perfectly unbiased, but reporters are human beings. If you watched "Journeys with George", you'd have seen how Bush played the media like a fiddle.
posted by gyc at 4:48 PM on December 8, 2003

as opposed to alan keyes for the gop?
and gary bauer and steve forbes, and before that, pat buchanan and pat robertson, etc, etc....repubs have us beat in the sideshow freak department i think.
posted by amberglow at 4:53 PM on December 8, 2003

The second question is what Team Dean will do to the Democratic Party and the rest of America if they win the general election. No one is talking about that yet, but to my mind it's the more interesting part of the story.

Absolutely. The Republicans have been successful in recent years because they have a good gameplan and they ride it hard. The Boswell stuff going on on the Dean blog right now is an early precursor to the entirely new campaign model that the Democrats (in my opinion) have now realized they must rush to adopt. The party needs Dean more than he needs them.

But it's interesting outside of this Team Blue Vs. Team Red context as well. Trippi's (or Gross's, or whoever the hell's) new methods cut significantly into the personal political calculus that can weigh down democratic decision making in any form, and which provides a sort of loophole for strongly committed political minorities to exploit large democratic governments (think the mafia, Cuban exiles, and Ahmad Chalabi).

Fareed Zakaria explains this principle beautifully, but the basic idea is that a small group with a strong, concentrated interest is going to beat a large group with a comparably smaller interest. Like agricultural subsidies. 100 farmers who each get $10,000 a year are going to fight more concertedly than the other 250 million people who each pay $.000000001 for those subsidies to exist.

That factor allows for good stuff to happen. You could see the Civil Rights movement in those terms. But it is also the template on which dominance of politics by lobbying interests is based. The methods being employed by the Dean campaign (and MoveOn) make it to where my $10 worth of concern about X or Y can actually be registered. Needless to say, that kicks ass.

While I'll admit to being happy that the Democrats are getting a bit of a head start, here's to hoping that all of American politics are truly being improved by internet.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 4:57 PM on December 8, 2003

as opposed to alan keyes for the gop?

Actually, I truly believe they purposely kept Keyes in the race so Bush wouldn't have to debate head-to-head with McCain.
posted by gyc at 5:14 PM on December 8, 2003

I think we're going to get Dean/Graham, though I still pine daily for Dean/McCain.

Ugh. Dean/Graham wouldn't cut it, sadly. What I'm hearing a lot of is a Dean/Hillary team up. It goes against geographical conventional wisdom, but could draw all those Hil lovers into the fray. Really, who the hell knows? I just have to keep chanting the mantra "anyone but Bush."
posted by moonbird at 5:57 PM on December 8, 2003

Lemme clarify that; I like Graham but I think in this race we need someone more well known, someone who can energize those that aren't moved by Dean. I don't think that Graham could mobilize and enthuse, but I could be wrong too.
posted by moonbird at 6:19 PM on December 8, 2003

Hillary won't take 2nd place...she did that already, and can wait. I think it's going to be Dean/Clark (altho Clark was lackluster on Hardball tonight).
posted by amberglow at 6:22 PM on December 8, 2003

I think Hillary as a running mate is a bad idea for the same reason that Gore gave for not running. It's important not to cast this as a fight to return the Clinton era to the White House. I think Dean represents a break from the Clinton era, a return to more traditional liberal values and not sucking up to the right.
I'm not saying I swallow that hook, line and sinker, but that seems to be Dean's strategy.
posted by 2sheets at 6:22 PM on December 8, 2003

Ignatius J. Reilly: What you're talking about is far from a new problem, or a stating of said problem. Years before any pundit was talking about this, so was Mancur Olson Jr. I'm about 99.758 percent sure that a certain pundit picked up the idea from him.
posted by raysmj at 6:28 PM on December 8, 2003

tingley, the albatross is usually considered good luck. The mariner's problem was that he had killed it.
posted by jmgorman at 6:46 PM on December 8, 2003

Dean will need every possible edge to beat Bush, so bravo to Gore, who as the man robbed of the election has the moral force behind him and as the man who was too weak to fight for what was right could never run again himself.

I hope Dean impresses with his VP pick and doesn't go with Clark.
posted by rushmc at 7:08 PM on December 8, 2003

It'll be Edwards. Have you read Dean's latest speech? He's JFK reincarnate. Southern VP.
posted by machaus at 7:29 PM on December 8, 2003

I licked envelopes for McCarthy in '68; I voted for McGovern in '72; I voted for quixotic socialists after that mostly.

I saw Clinton in person on my way to work at 5AM on election day in '92...and voted for him...sorry...the "judicial appointments" thing was on my mind.

Sorry, I haven't read any of these comments. Bedtime
for darling daughter.

But this time I'll vote for whoever the Dem's nominate. Maybe even Lieberman.

I just can't stand to be a citizen of a country where the president doesn't even read the fucking newspaper.
posted by kozad at 7:34 PM on December 8, 2003

gyc: it's my considered and ill-informed opinion that pat buchanan took one for the gop team by pretending to run, but in reality doing what was neccessary to gut perot's reform party.
posted by lescour at 7:37 PM on December 8, 2003

The second question is what Team Dean will do to the Democratic Party and the rest of America if they win the general election. No one is talking about that yet, but to my mind it's the more interesting part of the story.

Go to Vermont take a look around out how Dean ran the state and ask yourself if you can deal with that. We now know that Bush is running the country like he ran Texas, but worse, so if the state comparison holds true Dean's America will be ok.
posted by jbou at 7:41 PM on December 8, 2003

We'll be awash in cow poop and ski lodges! RUN!
posted by PrinceValium at 7:54 PM on December 8, 2003

I have stickers for Kucinich, Edwards, Kerry and Dean on my bumper (the other 4 or 5 haven't arrived yet). Not to mention the one I had made: "Defeat Bush in '04 (Again)." I think people usually get the point, but then again I live in Atlanta. Anyway, so maybe this means we can please finish this little primary thingy sooner and start some ass-kickin' campaignin'? I'm just waiting to find out who to volunteer for and send my money to. Sooner.
posted by micropublishery at 8:43 PM on December 8, 2003

Gore AND Clinton endorsing Newsom for mayor of San Francisco isn't doing much good for him, even after he's outspent his Green opponent 10-1. So, is Gore going to win the election for Dean? Hardly.

If anything, Gore's can be as big of an albatross around Dean's neck as Clinton was for Gore. I'm not saying that Dean won't win the party nod, but there's the real possibility of Dean getting branded a phony liberal and an insider. Kucinich could take advantage of this perhaps, but most likely it will be either Nader or another Green candidate who does.

While some fair weather Greens now support Dean, their numbers are far from impressive, and Dean's platform as it stands isn't going to win most Greens over. Dean needs to seriously court third party voters and urge reconcilliation, and his best bet of doing that is to throw them a bone -- real debates. Real campaign finance reform. A populist issue which isn't so much about liberal or conservative ideology, but more about fairness and common sense.

It's not going to happen however. Dean's populist roots will be shown to be about an inch deep once the campaign going. As the race goes on, Dean will become more and more party line, until we're left wondering why we didn't draft Gore, who makes Dean look like a lightweight, and, indeed, makes him look just a little stiff.

If Dean loses the race, it won't be Nader's fault, any more than it will be the Libertarians. It will simply be because the reality of Dean as a progressive populist will be shown to be paper thin. If he loses, he will have *earned* defeat and ignominity because ultimately there's no *there* there.
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:09 PM on December 8, 2003

Gore promoted the internet at an early stage, sure, but to whom should we give credit for the Dean campaign's early use of the Net for fundraising? It wasn't Dean's idea, although he was quick to recognize the potential. So who?

Still, Dean knows how to work a crowd....a Florida crowd? Hmmm. We'll see.

Dean or not, my wallet is burning a hole in my pocket with the heat of it's disgust with the status quo.

Go, whoever....Go!
posted by troutfishing at 10:47 PM on December 8, 2003

If you want to know someone to thank for Dean's use of the net for fundraising and activism, there are two obvious choices, on the left or the right. Still, Dean wasn't the only one to draw the conclusions that he did regarding the use of the internet for raising money... he just entered the race earlier. Kucinich has also done very well with fundraising and activism over the internet (coming in 2nd on the MoveOn poll), but he threw his hat in the race a good half year after Dean.
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:14 AM on December 9, 2003

While some fair weather Greens

And you have a few libertarians who are willing to bet that Dean will do a better job on spending than Bush and therefore will vote Dean.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:57 AM on December 9, 2003

Some of us little-L libertarians are such propellerheads that we still can't vote for Dean because he's a Democrat and so part of the two-party problem.
posted by alumshubby at 5:11 AM on December 9, 2003

look, this could just be a trial balloon, so we'd better wait a sec until Gore actually comes out for Dean

but for the sake of the argument, imagine being Al Gore (icky, I know): if I were him, I'd endorse Dean and look like a good soldier to the Democratic base, keep up the admittedly good post-2000 speeches, stay with MoveOn, calmly wait for Chamberlain Dean to be smeared and WillieHortoned out of the horizon by the Rove machine (things will get real ugly, children, you just wait), mourn in front of the cameras when news of the (ahem, first) Bush victory come in November '04, and position myself for running in '08 when Hillary will just look like a lame duck (her negatives are still sky-high and remain there, it is a fact of life, ugly but it is, and anyway the first woman to be elected President will be a right-winger, deal with it, a white Condi Rice).
so when Jebby runs in the '08 Republican Primaries, democrats will vote for the strongest candidate, ie not for Hillary. Unless a kind of Clinton "new guy" jumps out of nowhere in the next 3 years, the strongets candidate to end the Bush Family democratic nightmare will be Al

it's Nixon '68 strategy all over again (lay low in '64, wait for Romney to burn out in '68, get elected)
posted by matteo at 5:14 AM on December 9, 2003

Some of us little-L libertarians are such propellerheads that we still can't vote for Dean because he's a Democrat and so part of the two-party problem.

Voting the man, not the party, means sometimes it's okay to vote for a Democrat or Republican. Protect the Union first and foremost; then work to improve it.
posted by rushmc at 6:16 AM on December 9, 2003

yeah, the Post was right. as I said, this endorsement makes sense if Gore believes Bush is going to win next year anyway and actually wants to run (or, better yet, be drafted by a desperate party) in '08.

I never really believed that Gore bowed out of the '04 race because of the "it's about the future not the past" thing -- I'm sure he decided back then that the political climate in the country was just too hawkish and the Rove plan to exploit terrorism and the war for electoral purposes was going to work for the GOP in the midterm '02 elections and in '04 as well. again, I think he's figured out a mirror-image "Nixon in '68" scenario where Dean is Goldwater and Hillary is Romney and Gore himself is Tricky Dick himself

posted by matteo at 6:51 AM on December 9, 2003

Seriously -- the DNC has Bush right where it wants him: they've lost the House, they've lost the Senate, and they've lost the White House! *Rubs hands together* Now, it's Hillary or Gore in '08 for sure!
posted by Mid at 7:10 AM on December 9, 2003

If you watched "Journeys with George", you'd have seen how Bush played the media like a fiddle.

And Rome Err... America Burned.
posted by Dreamghost at 7:30 AM on December 9, 2003

conspiracy theory

it's called planning your future political moves, not conspiracy theory. if Gore genuinely thinks his career is now over, then I'm badly underestimating the amount of drive one needs to want to be President of the USA *

unless you think Gore's career plan is to be a sad-looking guest of honor at a White House dinner now and then by invitation of President Dean, and remain in the history books forever as the Sore Loserman guy who ran a terrible campaign during a peacetime economic boom and managed to lose his home State and have Katherine Harris and the Five Supremes decide who was going to enter the White House next
if you think Gore (a former Senator himself and former Senator's son) is happy to be remembered as the guy who in the end got outfoxed and beat by a former alcoholic+cokehead+VietnamDodger with no foreign policy experience and a very shaky grasp of national politics as well, OK then, if you think that Gore is such a man and not a politician like any other, then I'm a conspiracy theorist.
but if you think that you probably also believe that Hillary is not itching to run for President herself and she just really, really did want to represent the good people of New York State in the Senate

* a very recent example of the kind of personal drive -- and borderline madness -- it takes to run for President? John Kerry's willingness to sacrifice his prostate -- ie sacrifice his sex life and ability to urinate normally (as opposed to Giuliani's decision to choose radiation therapy instead of surgery and his decision to bow out of the NY Senate race, a race he could have won, remember he's no Rick Lazio)

posted by matteo at 7:33 AM on December 9, 2003

Where does this obsession with Hillary Clinton come from? I'm used to seeing it from the Republican side of the aisle, where bitter, unreasoning hatred of all things Clinton is legendary, but flashes of the same insanity keep flaring up over on the Democratic side as well. How on earth could it ever be a good idea to nominate Hillary Clinton for President? She has all the moral baggage of Bill Clinton's term in office with none of his charisma or years of political experience. She would appeal to... um... uh... certain Democrats who see a lot more in her than I do, and really badly want a woman president, and approximately zero Republicans! Yeah, that's a real winning ticket.
posted by Mars Saxman at 8:23 AM on December 9, 2003

thanks Al, never has an endorsement cemented, to this point, a mans chance to be re-elected.
(I guess kerrys F-word did not cut it)

Kerry: "look at me kids I said "Fuck" in reference to the president, Howert Dean wouldn't do that, Howert Dean never fought, he was a spoo...er, doctor, and now Howert Dean gets support from Al Gore, the man who couldn't be president. And you know that Howert Dean will have that pinheaded general be his V.P."

and one more thing, Hillary will never become president.
posted by clavdivs at 8:43 AM on December 9, 2003

What about the William Safire "Hillary is 20 points over Dean in national polls" meme? Is there any such poll? Does he just make this stuff up?

TPM says that the only people who want Hillary to run for president are Republicans. I agree.
posted by Mid at 9:00 AM on December 9, 2003

he was a spoo...er, doctor...

Don't underestimate the Anyone But Bush vote, and the people who voted for Gore (a majority last time), and the unemployed (3 million of them), and the angry veterans and relatives of soldiers, and the steel workers, and the newly eligible to vote on campuses and online, and the general anger at this president (it's similar to the hatred repubs had for Clinton) --we're going to win in 04. : >
posted by amberglow at 9:00 AM on December 9, 2003

Dean & Hillary were just in Dallas, Tx last Friday, together raising money.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:14 AM on December 9, 2003

"and the unemployed (3 million of them), and the angry veterans and relatives of soldiers, and the steel workers..."

...and the textile industry...

PS: amberglow, I like your positive outlook!
posted by jennyb at 9:20 AM on December 9, 2003

"Watch Dean give a speech and he definitely seems like the kind of guy who would have no problem blowing all kinds of shit up in response to a terrorist attack. That should serve him well in the campaign."

via matthew Y.
posted by specialk420 at 10:07 AM on December 9, 2003

he was a spoo...er, doctor...

no, his brother Charlie was a spook. and was murdered by the Cambodians
posted by matteo at 11:15 AM on December 9, 2003

"I've seen a candidate who has what it takes to reach out to the independent, mainstream Americans who will make the difference . . . particularly in the South. He's going to send George Bush packing and bring the Democratic Party home" -- Al Gore endorsing Democratic presidential nominee Mike Dukakis in 1988.
posted by Durwood at 12:00 PM on December 9, 2003

The Dean Blog exploded yesterday when the rumors hit CNN. They're exploding more today.

I was on the fence between Dean and Clark, but I jumped into the Dean camp after attending a MeetUp and seeing the power of getting lots of people ponying up small pots of cash. His campaign seems like it's making all kinds of right moves, and the more I read Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, '72," the more I'm sure Dean ain't the second coming of George McGovern. The man's got fire, but he's turned that anger into hope. He's gotten people up and out the door and knocking on doors and making phone calls and he's convinced them that they're the driving influence behind everything. Whether you buy that or not, Howard Dean's campaign has energized its supporters, and he's done it in a way to convince the Dem establishment that he's going for the whole enchilada: this isn't about the White House; it's about winning back Congress, it's about winning back states, it's about winning back cities. The way the Dean Machine threw over $30,000 at Iowa's lone Dem Congressman shows that this just isn't a presidential campaign. It's a national movement.

And it's moved this SoCal native enough to go to Iowa to work the caucus. In January. Where it snows. And is cold. Jebus.
posted by RakDaddy at 12:06 PM on December 9, 2003

let us know what's it's like, RakDaddy (it seems very weird, compared to a reg. primary)
posted by amberglow at 1:43 PM on December 9, 2003

yeah, rakdaddy, amber's right, it'd be great if after a day's work (like, 18 hours I guess) you could find the time to update your blog a little
please do if you have the means
posted by matteo at 1:47 PM on December 9, 2003

You got it. I'm gonna bring my laptop and hope that HQ has WiFi and type away. Assuming my fingers haven't snapped off from the cold, that is.

Actually, I should ask all of you who live outside SoCal and actually have to deal with weather: what in hell should I wear? My list right now is:
-hiking boots
-wool socks
-thermal skivvies
-lined parka
-Dean knit cap

Any further recommendations?
posted by RakDaddy at 3:15 PM on December 9, 2003

turtlenecks, a lightweight fleece for under your parka, extra socks, bandaids (for blisters if you're walking a lot), more sweaters, earmuffs?, and maybe a thermos for coffee or hot cocoa? : >
posted by amberglow at 3:22 PM on December 9, 2003

matteo nails it.

Here's Tech Central Station to understand it to the rest of you:

Today's endorsement is a transformational event in two respects; (1) it will make Gov. Dean the prohibitive favorite to win the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination and, (2) it will make you think differently about Al Gore.

From Gore's point of view, the latter piece is what matters. He's doing something no one expected him to do. He's throwing down the gauntlet in front of Hillary and her husband's hired hacks at the Democratic National Committee. And he's picking a fight with all the conventional wisdom ("Gore's finished") in the world.

It's a very shrewd move. Start with the least likely outcome. If Governor Dean defeats President Bush in 2004, Al Gore becomes Secretary of State or a Supreme Court Justice or whatever he wants, the day after the election is over. That's how much Dean will owe him.

If Dean loses, Gore will be the rightful heir to the Dean apparatus; the single most impressive fund-raising and organizing operation in Democratic Party politics. He'll inherit the only network that is capable of competing with and defeating the Clinton network, which it has by proxy in the Dean v. Clark competition. If politics is finally a matter of real estate, as Norman Mailer argued in his classic study of the 1968 conventions, then title to the Dean property is without question the single most valuable asset of the 2004 experience. It will be Gore's and Gore's alone on "the day after Dean goes down."

posted by jfuller at 3:33 PM on December 9, 2003

it will make you think differently about Al Gore

He wishes.
posted by kindall at 3:52 PM on December 9, 2003

Thanks for the suggestions, amber. I think I'll also bring my CamelBack and fill it with cocoa.
posted by RakDaddy at 4:08 PM on December 9, 2003

jfuller, that's an interesting perspective, but how much of the value is in the "apparatus" itself, vs the people and the message that actually constitute it? Suppose you were to hand that apparatus to, say, Hillary? How long do you think it would last before it just plain disintegrated due to her complete inability to unite and inspire? Gore's problem wasn't that he didn't have access to a good political machine, his problem was that he didn't for one single moment act like a leader. Dean's apparatus is in his supporters, and I don't think for a moment that they'd be Gore's merely for the asking, no matter what he did today.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:59 PM on December 9, 2003

"...spoon fed baby cakes"
and Matteo, he was supposedly killed by the Pathet Lao not Cambodians.

Right amber, but perhaps what you spoke of, the discontent etc., will be the stuff to uncement this election. i don't see it yet, as it is still very early days.

me, i probably wont vote.
and i always have a dem fav pick. up until a few days ago it was Kerry, but the man is just, just, just...
posted by clavdivs at 8:55 AM on December 10, 2003

you should vote, clav...no matter who it's for (but i'd rather you voted for the dem) : >
posted by amberglow at 10:35 AM on December 10, 2003

a few days ago it was Kerry, but the man is just, just, just...

...he just blew it?

I agree, when it became clear he was running I thought he was going to be a strong presence in the field. it's weird how his campaign never managed to gain momentum -- it's hard to deny that Kerry -- for gravitas, background, experience, etc -- is the more presidential of the Democratic hopefuls. Edwards may have a few good ideas (like, he took the time to figure something similar to an embrionic platform, via Matthew Yglesias) and he may have kinda tapped into the Clintonian Southern "I'm-not-as-liberal-as-those-guys-think and I'm-in-this-to-win, too" thing.
but Kerry always looked the most presidential -- the "aloof" curse didn't help, nor the lack of political courage.

supposedly killed by the Pathet Lao not Cambodians

yes, my mistake, sorry.
also, don't you love how most of the media stories about Charlie Dean's death never mention the word CIA ?

you should vote, clav...no matter who it's for
bah. I've never really bought the "vote as citizen's duty" thing either.
choosing not to vote -- this is true for the informed of course, not for the really totally uninterested in the process -- is in fact a political statement
of course when only 38% of the (not-in-prison, of course) electorate shows up -- like it happened in 2000 -- one is free to ask some hard questions of the legitimacy of the whole (admittedly corrupt) process. this is ture for the USA and for all the other industrialized nations where voter turnout is increasingly low
posted by matteo at 11:56 AM on December 10, 2003

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