Election Year

This is the Al Gore who should have run in 2000. Too bad it took such terrible events to bring this part of Al Gore out.

Is there anybody who believes that the current sitting President could even draft an essay with language like this? Or have a knowledge of who Madison and Franklin were?

“The Bush administration’s objective of establishing U.S. domination over any potential adversary led to the hubristic, tragic miscalculation of the Iraq war, a painful adventure marked by one disaster after another based on one mistaken assumption after another. But the people who paid the price have been the U.S. soldiers trapped over there and the Iraqis in prison. The top-heavy focus on dominance as a goal for the U.S. role in the world is exactly paralleled in their aspiration for the role of the president to be completely dominant in the constitutional system.”

  • Paul Gutman

    I fear that there are too many who believe that.

  • byronicwoman

    “hubristic” is the perfect description of the current administration. in the dictionary it says simply “overbearing pride or presumption,” but as a literary device, hubris inevitably leads to the downfall of the powerful. *crosses fingers*

  • David

    Excellent stuff. I was personally saddened when Al Gore lost his Presidential bid… Looking forward to Bill’s insight on the matter next Tuesday.

  • joy

    The path we should take now is…? Perhaps the subjective approach…?

  • mihow

    Last year, Toby and I had the speech below printed out and hung on our fridge.

    I was moved by it, entirely. I love it when I’m moved by a politician. That has yet to happen under the Bush Administration, but I’m waiting. Even Giuliani, who was busy “cleaning up New York City” by shipping the homeless to Queens, burning down abandoned buildings that housed a hundred squatters, or ridding Times Square of its porn and noncommercial, independent personality, managed to somehow move me.

    Anyway, thank you for getting me my Gore fix 2004. I am a big fan of his speeches/arguments.

    Totally, only sort of unrelated, some people have accused me (and others) in the past for speaking from the heart in reference to politics. I suppose the opposite of this is speaking from the head (or something). My question is, what’s wrong with that sometimes? Maybe we need a bit more human mixed into our political diets. I’m not saying we should all run around and create documentaries on how much we hate the president, but motivating people is something entirely different. If that takes a little less “business” and a little more heart, then I’m all for it.

    I never understood this “you’re speaking with your heart and not your head” attack. But it usually does silence me.

  • Deborah

    Al Gore is a bitter man. Another forgettable individual in history.

  • bdk&e

    Deborah don’t go there. Just because, what is it you think, Al Gore is a “Forgettable individual in history.” Why? Because he is thoughtful, intelligent and kind of a nerd. Don’t you know that nerds are cool? I know. I know. He didn’t do enough stunts when he was running for president. Perhaps if Al Gore had done something like suit up and land on an air craft carrier you would like him better. Would he not be so forgettable then?

    You probably the kind that thinks Jimmy Carter was a failure as president and thank Ronald Reagan for the release of the Iran Hostages back in 1980. I am sure Jimmy Carter is forgettable too with his quiet and kind demeanor and all of that silly humanitarian work he does. What? Will we remember him as the great peanut farmer of the 20th century?

    Why are people so sold on the flash and not the substance? Why don’t people read?

  • Tristram

    Give me a break. Look, I voted for Nader, and am sure that Gore would have been better than this twit we’re stuck with. But you just look silly when you compare Ronnie and Jimmy. Sure, Ronnie made some huge mistakes as president, and cost us many more lives than Jimmy did in the short term. But when a full assessment is made, there is no doubt but that Ronnie’s administration was superior to Jimmy’s. Jimmy is a more moral, more thoughtful person, but Reagan surely was the better president for his era.

  • mihow

    Deborah, who, by your standards, do you consider “unforgettable”? I need a point of reference here. Right Said Fred? Your dog? Bush?

  • Deborah

    No, I dont’ think Carter is forgettable in the slightest. I believe something admirable about Carter is that not only is he a thoughtful individual with some good ideas to improve society, he also has LIVED THEM OUT. More so than Gore and Clinton combined.

    As far as being sold out on flash… How do you think Clinton got elected? He has/had an amazing presence, he was/is likable, he speaks incredibly well. He’s a shell of a human being though. I remember an interview with one of the journalists on 60 minutes Leslie Stahl comment on Bill Clinton. I remember it distinctly, because i wasn’t expecting it. Her comment was it seemed to her as she saw him in the midst of his presidency, and that he wore a mask in essence, it was all a show, and you really didn’t know who you were dealing with…You know, pulling it back to Carter, i really think Carter will be remembered for his character in the best sense. Clinton will not.

  • bdk&e

    Tristram. I completely respect your point, but I think you missed mine.

    Have you been watching too many of the Reagan Retrospectives? I was all teary when his love letters to his wife were read on 20/20 or CNN or was it Dateline? And when I fly into National, I mean Reagan National Airport I feel like I have done my patriotic duty and chosen this airport instead of Dulles or BWI for the Gipper. Now how silly am I?

    My Point: I do not think Al Gore is forgettable. And as far as Jimmy Carter goes, I will stick to my opinion, silly or not.

    BTW: Do you really want to admit that you voted for Nader and then say that Gore would be better than this twit? Word on the street is that you people who voted for Nader caused Gore the election.

  • patatomic

    I have to defend my vote for Nader:

    I was in California and knew that Gore had the state wrapped up. For the most part I like what Nader has to say and wish that he could be part of the debates. My vote was better well spent on Nader than Gore for the percentage points that it takes to become part of the debating process.

    Now if I was in Florida (or somewhere where the outcome was in doubt) I would have voted for Gore.

    Gore would be better than this “twit”. But then again, so would a stuffed bunny.

  • Tristram


    First, I live in New York, which Gore took by a wide margin. So my vote for Nader had nothing to do with the outcome. If I had lived in a contested state, I would have had a tougher decision.

    Second, most of the Reagan retrospectives have been overblown, maudlin propaganda that unfairly ignore the real problems with Reagan and his presidency. But he was still a better president than Carter. Check out Edmund Morris’s article in the most recent New Yorker for a fuller argument.

    As for Gore, I guess I don’t really know what “forgettable” means. Goldwater was unforgettable, but that doesn’t mean I care for his policies. Al Smith is forgotten, but it one of the most influential politicians of the 20th century. Gore is smart, a good politician, and right on many issues. He ran a crummy presidential campaign, and made crucial mistakes by distancing himself from Clinton and his record and by trying to recreate “cross-of-gold” Bryan in his stump speech. We’ll see what his next act is.

  • dj blurb

    Hey. Does anybody believe that the current sitting president could craft or even read a speech like the one I linked to? A simple yes or no will do.

    Also, have any of you right wing nutjobs read the Richard Clarke book, _Against All Enemies_?

  • Dave Thomas


    But, as has been noted, people don’t win in politics just because they’re good, or smart or capable. You can be all those things but you won’t win in politics unless you’re a good politician. As Tristram outlines, Gore sucked eggs as a politician.

    It’s too bad, but then again, no one complains that Dave Thomas’s superior moral clarity should make him a successful NFL linebacker.

  • Jae


  • Dave Thomas

    Okay, Tristram called Gore a good politician, but also points out his deadly errors (distancing from the Clinton legacy, etc.), not to mention all his “people against the powerful” nonsense. Mach 5 political incompetence.

  • rb

    i get the feeling that everytime Bush says something that hasn’t been entirely scripted for him by someone else, his whole administration cringes. Because it seems to me that whenever he does, he makes an ass of himself. We have all heard the ‘bushisms’, he can barely string a sentence together, so do i think he could write an essay? ummmm…… no!

  • rb

    not that my own grasp of the english language is any better!

  • Hannah


  • Madcap

    No, I don’t think that Bush could craft a speech all on his own that was as eloquent and intelligent as the one Gore gave. But I’m not sure Gore could, either. I don’t doubt that Al Gore uses speech writers, like most high-level politicians.

    That’s not to say that Gore didn’t have input on the speech, and didn’t mean every word he said. But applauding his word choice as a sign of intelligence is like saying an actor’s smart because he played Albert Einstein on stage. If you’re going to judge Gore by what he says, you should go by the unrehearsed, candid comments. And he’s made some pretty big verbal blunders in the past, when not given time to consult his writers.

    By the way, I’m anti-Bush, and I agree that Gore would have been better in the White House. But you can’t make that assessment solely from one pre-written speech, no matter how eloquent it was.

  • ehulett

    Amen rb.

    and a resounding NO.

  • kath

    Bush can’t even pronounce Abu Graib, a name that has been all over the news for months now. We already know that he doesn’t read the papers — he said so HIMSELF — and I believe this makes it clear enough that he doesn’t listen to TV or radio news either. Not that I’m surprised, why should he care what’s going on, someone will tell him what to do and what to say anyway.

  • bw

    Though a confirmed foe of Bush, Al Gore’s new found elqoquence and fiery oratory makes me feel rather cheated. I voted for Nader because, in 2000, his utterances were more nuanced than eloquent, i.e. they seemed crafted with ambiguity (and voter acceptance) in mind. I would have gladly voted for this AL Gore, had he been running in 2000.

    That said, yeah, he’s right and we need to dump our simian chief executive.

  • Evelyn

    Jon, you made my day with those words “right wing nutjobs.” Those wonderful words will stay with me for many years to come, I predict.

    I am hoping that John Kerry will be able to adroitly and successfully handle whatever dirty tricks the Republican big-kahunas will come up with, this time around. If not, we can kiss our “democracy” good bye for good.

    Been remembering lately what happened to the ancient Roman Republic when it went from democracy to authoritarian dictatorship. Do we really HAVE TO repeat that history?

    Congrats and applause from me for standing up to binky addiction and persevering. You two are doing a great job with Leta.


  • rb

    “If this were a dictatorship it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just as long as I’m the dictator.”
    G.W Bush

    i agree with you Evelyn. If Bush does get back in you can kiss your democracy goodbye. So can the rest of us westerners i reckon.
    I know it has been said before but if the American government was really interested in democracy and freedom they would be doing something about the regime in Saudi Arabia, as well as a few other places…
    Hmmm… i wonder why they dont?”

  • Tracy

    No fucking way Bush could write a speech like that. You’re so right – had Gore shown this kind of passion and intellectual verve during the 2000 elections, he’d be in the Oval Office today, and we would all be better off for it.