gore won't run
Al Gore has announced that he won't seek the Presidency in 2004.
More on this later.
Update: Okay, I've had a while to digest this news, and I have a couple of thoughts:
- Had I given it much thought, I should have taken Gore's appearance on Saturday Night Live as a signal that he'd given up on 2004. As Avendon Carol pointed out, yukking it up for the cameras doesn't go along with Gore's notion of propriety in a national leader. Having shelved his Presidential aspirations, Gore truly is free to let it rip.
- Gore's also clearly enjoying the opportunity to show how badly he's been mischaracterized by the right-wing spin machine, with the so-called "liberal media" playing right along. As people realize that the Gore they see doesn't jibe with the image they were sold, I think many will also wake up to the fact that more of them agreed with Gore's positions in 2000. There's also the fact that Bush has now exchanged his vague and empty campaign platitudes for actual policy, so the contrast will become all the more clear. (I wonder, will the man whose Administration launched the Total Information Awareness project--which gathers information on everyone--be able to smirk at the camera and say, "I trust people"?)
- Gore has shown tremendous savvy in going over the heads of the so-called "liberal [news] media" and appearing directly before viewers without righty spinmeisters poised to misrepresent his every statement.
- By removing himself as a potential candiate, I believe Gore intends to assert his prerogatives, as the man who won the 2000 popular vote, to critique Bush's policies, and I excpect the crtiticism to be relentless. Gore also won't have to worry about angering big-check donors, and thus will hopefully help his party take popular populist positions even if corporate plutocrats don't like it.
Frankly, I was looking forward to a Gore-Bush rematch. And I can't say I'm especially excited about any Democrats just yet, but there's plenty of time yet. And I, for one, am confident that, when voters have an opportunity to weigh Bush's policies in contrast with his personality, he will hardly be a shoo-in for re-election.