The Power of Al Gore

Al Gore, the man who would be President today had he simply won his home state of Tennessee in 2000, has had a little-reported role in this year’s Democratic primary season.

He has helped two candidates to fail miserably so far, though their misery cannot be blamed solely on him. It looks like Democratic voters are now beginning to see Al Gore as being as washed-up as the GOP has known him to be for years, and they don’t want any of what Gore is selling.

Joe Lieberman

Once the likable and middle-of-the-road candidate for the Democrats, Joe Lieberman fell pathetically short of even making a dent in the delegate count and ended his quest last night. His best performance in a primary was yesterday in Delaware, a state he considered a “must-win,” where he collected only 11 percent of the vote and zero delegates. Somehow he went from Vice Presidential candidate to lower-tier candidate for the Democratic nomination.

So, what happened? Other than sounding not shrill and lacking any detectable vitriol, Joe Lieberman reminded Americans that he would be the Vice President today if it weren’t for that darned Electoral College or for those Bush-loving, ultra-right-wing Supreme Court Justices who gave George Bush the election or for that nasty Katherine Harris or whatever. Hearing these rants brought back the images and sounds of the vanquished Al Gore ??¢â???¬ ¦quot; a man who, despite the number of votes he captured in 2000, was still the loser ??¢â???¬ ¦quot; and a sore one at that.

Of course, it could have been worse ??¢â???¬ ¦quot; Gore could have endorsed him. . .

Howard Dean

On December 9, 2003, Howard Dean was the definite front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination. Many looked at Dean as the almost-certain Bush opponent for 2004. The press was licking their chops for a contentious battle for the White House with the bombastic Dean likely to lose his top before the November elections, and the Bush team was rumored to be excited about and rooting for Howard Dean, feeling that a match-up with him would be a cakewalk.

Also on December 9, 2003, Al Gore endorsed Howard Dean. Dean has yet to recover.

Here’s how he has done in the nine states that have held their primaries/caucuses (source: CNN):

  • Arizona: 3rd Place ??¢â???¬ ¦quot; 14% of the vote
  • Delaware: 4th Place ??¢â???¬ ¦quot; 10% of the vote
  • Iowa: 3rd Place ??¢â???¬ ¦quot; 18% of the vote
  • Missouri: 3rd Place ??¢â???¬ ¦quot; 9% of the vote
  • New Hampshire: 2nd Place ??¢â???¬ ¦quot; 26% of the vote
  • New Mexico: 3rd Place ??¢â???¬ ¦quot; 16% of the vote
  • North Dakota: 3rd Place ??¢â???¬ ¦quot; 12% of the vote
  • Oklahoma: 5th Place ??¢â???¬ ¦quot; 4% of the vote
  • South Carolina: 5th Place ??¢â???¬ ¦quot; 5% of the vote

Now, if we can just get him to say something flattering about John Kerry. . .