Life, they say, is all about timing. Just a few months ago the pundits had all but completed paving the road to the White House for Hillary Rodham Clinton. What was once called a “coronation” is now a campaign in damage control. Email server controversy, likability falling like a stone in the ocean, and the meteoric rise of Bernie Sanders all have Democrat leaders scrambling.
In contrast to the Republican Party’s never-ending list of Presidential candidates, the Democratic field is wide open. Only Clinton and Sanders, at this point, have looked like legitimate contenders for the nomination (Lincoln Chafee is not the horse to hitch the party wagon to). This has created an opportunity for a well-established, well-connected, and well-financed individual to swoop in and take the nomination, along with the White House itself.
So enter Al Gore. Since losing the 2000 Presidential Election to George W. Bush, the former Vice President has stayed, for the most part, out of politics. What he has done over the past 15 years is write books, produce movies, and give numerous speeches about saving the environment, all while building a folk-like hero status among his supporters. A strong Democrat, yet moderate on more mainstream issues, may be viewed as a better nominee than Bernie Sanders if the Clinton campaign goes down in flames.
Whispers of a potential entry by Al Gore may just be the wishful thinking of some Democrats who have soured on Clinton and find Sanders too extreme. A spokesperson for Gore downplayed the rumors say that they were “groundless,” but as we have seen time and time again, where there is smoke, there tends to be fire.
Gore, now 67, would need to move quickly to build a campaign team and find donors to his cause. It is not too late yet, but this window of opportunity will close faster than in previous elections. Top-tier candidates are expected to raise hundreds of millions of dollars and getting a late start will put any candidate at a significant disadvantage.
For some Democrats, Al Gore may be the party’s only hope. The extent to which this former political titan shifts the balance of power in the Democratic Party will be one of the main stories of the election. It is certainly one that we will be watching.
Image: Team Coco
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