Tuesday, December 09, 2003

On the Gore endorsement of Dean
Salon.com News | Lieberman surprised by Gore's backing of Dean
And Joe Conason's take on it here.
Lieberman is conservative even for the DLC. Gore was riding that weak-kneed political group almost all the way to the White House last time, and selected Lieberman as his running mate not because Joe was the best guy for the job, but because Joe would make it more difficult to label the D's ticket as "liberal." Gore has always been a populist, which is why I like him so darned much and enthusiastically voted for him last time (and twice as Clinton's running mate.) Gore always seemed like a bad fit at the DLC - the populist who happened to be vice president, so they had to let him in their club. He, uncomfortable with the sellouts, but doing it for political reasons and out of loyalty to Clinton. But 2000 changed that. When, the day after the "election" the R's went to the wall for their guy, Gore saw the DLC sit in the corner and cower. The election was anti-populist in every conceivable way. But it freed Al Gore. He no longer had to answer to them. He no longer had to play nice with conservative sellouts like Lieberman. Now Howard Dean comes along, spewing populist rhetoric, the type Al Gore obviously had bubbling under the surface all these years, and Gore is supporting Dean. This is great for Dean. I am honestly on the fence about who I support. I like Dean, Clark, & Kerry. Kucinich has good policy positions, but a horrible personality and demeanor. No matter - I live in Oregon, and we will have no say in the nomination anyway. I can sit back and watch and focus my attention on the general election. But Gore's endorsement of Dean tells me something about Dean that weighs in his favor. Gore is a principled populist, and if he says Dean's a good guy, I'm more likely to be behind Dean 100%. Gore has nothing to lose. I think Clinton will wait to endorse someone until a winner is clear. Before the convention, Clinton will help the front runner by giving him an endorsement and making the party appear unified, even if that person is the non-DLC Dean.

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