Al Gore's Golden Moment
by Tom Rinaldo, Fri Jan 26, 2007 at 01:36:16 PM EST
No I'm not talking about the approaching Academy Awards Ceremony, and the golden Oscar I have to assume that Gore is favored to win for "An Inconvenient Truth" for best documentary. I'm talking about the gentle glow of praise and respect Al Gore is now enveloped in emanating from grassroots Democratic activists, and in particular the netroots. Most of us like Al Gore, we genuinely do. For one thing, we all know that he was robbed. Al Gore should be sitting in the White House now, not the Son of a Bush who currently resides there.
But it's more than that. Al Gore is at the top of his non-political political game right now. He is far along on a high profile mission to stop Global Warming and save the planet. How can you not love that? Al Gore is providing important leadership on a critical issue. For now Global Warming is Al Gore's signature issue and none of us are second guessing him on it. We all applaud Al Gore for what he is doing.
I'm not saying that a deep commitment to stopping Global Warming is all that Al Gore has to bring to the political table. Gore is a serious and thoughtful man with real leadership experience. The thing is though, that as long as Al Gore hovers above the daily political fray with his eyes fixed on Earth's eco-sphere, he is safely out of the line of intramural Democratic fire.
From the few recent comments that Al Gore has made regarding the current situation in Iraq, his position seems to be very similar to that taken by Wes Clark for example. Unlike Al Gore though, Wes Clark has been highly identified with an Iraq position precisely because he has talked and written a great deal about it. Unlike fighting Global Warming, there is not near unanimity among Democrats about the best policy for dealing with America's occupation of Iraq right now. Anyone who stakes out a clear and highly visible position regarding Iraq is going to get dragged through the mud by someone. Clark certainly has, but not Al Gore.
It is very rare indeed nowadays that I see a Democratic activist even ask what Al Gore thinks we should be doing about Iraq. He has side stepped virtually all scrutiny on that for now, or on his position regarding Iran also, for that matter. The fact that Al Gore is making very few political statements currently makes it easier for the netroots to focus on Gore's many good points and positive qualities, and not be diverted into comparing his current specific position on Free Trade or whatever with that of Edwards, or Obama, or Clinton, or Clark, or Kucinich, or anyone else.
I have no doubt that Al Gore will remain popular should he fully re-enter the political fray. He has much to offer beyond chilling the planet As it currently stands Al Gore occupies a unique position in the Democratic Party as a wise elder statesman and world wide environmental leader, but no one can coast into a presidential nomination on that alone without going through the trench warfare of primary politics first. Where does Al Gore stand on how to deal with whatever level threat you believe Iran now poses? I don't know, do you? But we all know where he stands on Global Warming.
I am sure Al Gore can hold his own in the competitive tussle of competing with other Democrats for the big prize, if he decides to make a third try for the White House. But this is a uniquely golden moment for Al Gore. Right now, before anyone starts throwing punches. I hope Al Gore is able to savor it. He's certainly earned that.