It is mind-boggling to think how different this nation and world would be had a few hundred votes for Pat Buchanan or Ralph Nader down in Florida have gone Al Gore's way in 2000. While it's a little like crying over spilled milk, his political star continues to rise, even as Bush and his administration are finding new ways to embarrass the United States and the Republican Party. Now, following the Democrats' pummeling of the GOP in the mid-term elections last November, all eyes have moved forward to the next big election, for president, and candidates are already lining up on both sides.
Unfortunately, it looks as if Al Gore really, truly, won't put his hat in the ring again. Content to fight his own campaign against global warming on a worldwide basis, he told reporters again today that he is out, officially. This leaves the already crowded Democrat party field with one less star, and potentially, a little less infighting before the general election.
Given how the last 6-plus years have lowered our expectations for what the US presidency represents, every candidate seems better than what we have now. While I think Barack Obama lacks experience, this may be to his benefit, as he's not beholden to a raft of questionable past votes. John Edwards and Hillary Clinton are very interesting candidates with strong principles and momentum. But this race could have been Al Gore's to take. While they fight it out in the snows of Iowa and New Hampshire, he will remain above the fray. (More: Daily Kos)
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