For the last several months Iâ€™ve read multiple columns suggesting that Democrats solve their nomination problems by choosing Al Gore. Today, thereâ€™s yet another pro-Gore column, this time from the Boston Phoenix. I wonâ€™t bore you with a quote. The gist is simple: Gore is well-liked and isnâ€™t as damaged/fundamentally flawed as Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.
That is, of course, nonsense. He only looks good because no oneâ€™s been beating him up for the last few months. Obama and Clinton are both still very viable. The licks theyâ€™ve taken during the primary campaign are no different than the licks they would have taken if either were already the presumptive nominee. No candidate can get through a presidential campaign without some damage to their image, particularly in this age of ubiquitous cameras and gotcha-style journalism.
A lot of people are fretting that the Democratic party looks bad because they canâ€™t seem to wrap up their nomination process. Thatâ€™s just silly. If they REALLY want to look bad, they can decide to throw out the last four months of elections and choose a guy whose name hasnâ€™t appeared on a single ballot. Picking Gore is a maneuver that would have worked just fine in the nineteenth century. But in 2008, it would look ridiculously undemocratic.
Once again, I advise Democrats to chill. The party is going to end up with a competitive candidate. Neither Obama nor Clinton are going to be ruined by a long primary campaign. Heck, if they canâ€™t survive a little intramural sparing, theyâ€™ll never survive the real contest anyway. Theyâ€™ll be fine. Leave Gore on the shelf.