Ga-Ga For Gore

28 03 2007

I’m copying the whole article from this cached google listing because the original editorial has mysteriously disappeared.

Suddenly cool Al Gore looks like a good choice

Mercury News Editorial

Al Gore could become the only man to win an Oscar, a Nobel Prize and his party’s presidential nomination within a span of 12 months.

He already has collected an Oscar for his global-warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” (Actually, that’s two Oscars, if you count best song.) He’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by an admiring Norwegian lawmaker. But to have a shot at the trifecta — California’s presidential primary will be 11 months from tomorrow — Gore will have to declare himself a candidate for president.

We hope he goes for it.

Gore has said repeatedly that he’s happy doing what he’s doing, while not irrevocably ruling out a run. Friends and former aides are hedging bets.

In coming months, we’ll be seeing plenty of him. He’ll be promoting his new book and orchestrating a seven-continent concert extravaganza to raise awareness of global warming. (On 7/7/07, the sun will never set on impresario Al Gore’s empire.) But by fall, it may not be just the Earth that needs saving, but also the Democratic Party.

He wouldn’t be the only good candidate; at this point, every Democrat in the race looks Lincolnesque compared with George W. Bush. And for all the time Gore has spent around Hollywood, he’ll never be a great campaigner. Even Cameron Diaz can’t loosen him up. When he’s in front of a crowd, he still tends to sound patronizing.

But on the issues that most Americans and most in the valley care about — the war, the fragile state of the Earth, the transforming power of technology — Gore has been out front, resolute and right.

The man who has turned global warming from enviro-grumbling into a powerful cause is more popular now than seven years ago, when the majority of Americans thought they had elected him president.

Liberated from politics the past seven years, Gore has shown sides of himself that most Americans didn’t see when he was in Bill Clinton’s shadow and when he made that uninspiring run for president in 2000.

At this point, he may be the strongest, ablest Democratic candidate of his generation.

If, after what promises to be a long and tiring campaign summer, Hillary Rodham Clinton grates, Barack Obama falters, Joe Biden again stumbles, John Edwards fades and Bill Richardson crumbles — not unlikely scenarios — the nomination may be Gore’s for the taking.

Gore has stood by long-held convictions. He came out early and strongly against the war. What was dismissed then as sour grapes is now praised as wisdom.

The first President Bush mocked him as “ozone man.” Now, corporations seek his counsel on global warming.

Liberated from Washington, Gore has expanded his reach from Silicon Valley, which he has frequented for years, to Hollywood, where he was able to translate his knowledge into a populist movement. He’s on a first-name basis with Leonardo DiCaprio and Steve Jobs. He has served as an adviser to Google and board member of Apple. He’s developed a Silicon Valley perspective not for the sake of cocktail chatter or campaign cash but out of a longstanding fascination with the Internet. (His alleged claim to have invented the Internet is a bum rap, but he was talking it up long before most members of Congress had even heard of e-mail.)

“An Inconvenient Truth” has made environmental activism — and Gore, in all his woodenness — cool again. Thousands flock to his lectures on campuses. Rock stars go gaga over him.

But more important, international leaders, who turned against America when Bush scoffed at treaties and rejected diplomacy, respect and admire Gore.

However much he has achieved in the past seven years, President Gore could achieve what citizen Gore cannot. So bide your time, Al Gore, as Bobby Kennedy did in ’68. The campaign is too long as it is. But don’t waver when the moment comes. [emphasis added-ed]

Previous Inconvenience:

The Juggernaut




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