Saturday, February 16, 2008

Could Al Gore Throw His Hat In The Ring For A Second Democratic Ballot?

My money is still on a Clinton/Obama ticket but an Obama/Gore combo isn't beyond the realm of possibility either. In fact, it makes a lot of sense. Most people I've talked to who thought a Clinton/Obama ticket would never happen cited their egos and the acrimony the campaign has stirred up between the two Democratic frontrunners. If the problems between them are as deep as they are said to be, could this save the Democrats from a bitter and divisive second ballot, if it comes to that?

Theoretically, Gore would help mitigate some of the concerns voters have about the Obamessiah's lack of experience and, for his part, Obama's inspiring oratory would certainly lend some charisma points to Gore's campaign. So, what are we thinking? Could it happen?

Story at Newsweek:

The last time a political convention went to a second ballot was 1952, but this is a year with so many twists and turns that nothing is impossible. Gore would be tempted on so many levels. He would only have to endure two months of campaigning, not long enough for voters to remember what they didn't like about him eight years ago. Gore has sat out the primary process, refusing to offer even so much as a hint of where his sentiments lie. Years of playing second-fiddle to Hillary in the White House no doubt precluded his endorsement for her. Surely he would happily take Obama as his running mate, ending the Clinton dynasty and positioning the Democrats for a potential 16-year reign at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. A Gore-Obama ticket would be unstoppable, the thinking goes, matching the presumptive Republican nominee, McCain, on national security and experience, while embodying a powerful message of change.

The Gore second-ballot scenario isn't being seriously considered by Democratic Party leaders (as far as we know). But a number of individual high-profile Democrats are talking about it, along with any number of other ideas to end the seemingly intractable stalemate.

How could this unfold? Superdelegates are not bound to any candidate. They can do what they want, including changing their mind or withholding an endorsement until the balloting begins. Delegates won in the primaries go to the party's convention with a signed pledge of support for a particular candidate, but one of the biggest myths of the delegate selection process, according to a Democratic National Committee document, is that delegates are bound to follow that pledge on the first ballot. A delegate is asked to "in good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them," a provision designed in part to make the convention a deliberative body. If Hillary's attempts to secure the nomination are seen as illegitimate, and they fail, yet Obama is not seen as a clear victor, Gore's name could be introduced. All it would take is a delegate perhaps from Tennessee, his home state, to raise a point of order, and with backing from five other state delegations, Gore's name could be put in play as a prospective nominee.

Gore's global warming agenda has been one of biggest and most transparent power grabs in the history of Western politics and it was only a matter of time before he felt the time was right to throw his hat back in the race.

Allah has some good insight, as always:

Solomonic broker between the Glacier and Messiah — or consensus second-ballot nominee himself? He’s the worst of both worlds: As left-wing as Obama but without the likeability, as establishment as Hillary but without the organization. Or is it the best of both worlds: As messianic as Obama and as experienced as Hillary? Whatevs. “Gore 2008: Another white man after all.”

Exit question: Tougher to beat than Hill or Barry O? McCain’s maverickiness on global warming would neutralize the Goracle on his signature issue so he’d run mainly on his personal credentials, likely with Obama as VP to leverage his personnel and fundraising. Supplementary exit question: Why would Obama go for it?

H/t Hot Air

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