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The Green Knight

All true. I remember loathing Lieberman at the time, as well. The specific moment was hearing him giving a speech about morality in the public square, and thinking he sounded just like a Jerry Falwell.

Holdie Lewie

When you're running for national office, give the people what they want, no matter how much it sticks in your craw.

What bothers me (I don't know if it bothers Al) is that Southerners won't vote for a ticket that doesn't include a Southerner. People in other regions don't have this hang-up because they're more healthy psychologically.

So, yes, you're right on the money. Clinton didn't put Al on the ticket because he wanted two Southerners on the ballot. He put Al there for ... well, I hate the word, but ... for gravitas.

In 2000, Al mistakenly thought he was the Southern half of the ticket. It's a mistake that someone with Clinton's skills would never had made. Maybe that's forgiveable. Elevating Lieberman isn't.

Kit Stolz

Al Gore bandwagon? Surely you're kidding...there is no Al Gore bandwagon, and if there was one, that post-election beard of his would have stopped it in its tracks. I don't think the American people will ever forgive him for that, far less his other, better known, traits.

nothstine

Absolutely right about Joementum. For reasons you mention [the Bushies were dirtier in 2000 than most people dreamed, and Al's been sounding a lot smarter in the last couple of years] I've mostly quit slamming Gore for handing the keys over to Junior in 2000.

But my forgiving thoughts won't mean much in the long run, because there's still a special circle in hell waiting for the man who elevated that weasel Lieberman to the national stage, where he would never have arrived on his own dubious merits.

bn

Dave G.

Bravo, Lance. Right out there with you on this.

Kevin Wolf

Good pair of posts, Lance. Though it depresses me to think of the sort of people we're dealing with. With this cast of characters it's a wonder the government hasn't collapsed of its own dead weight.

Lieberman is without doubt one of the worst politicians to emerge during these horrific Bush years.

Jim

Holdie Lewie makes a point that's been driving me nuts for years: I am so sick of the Confederate states having some sort of veto power in presidential politics--to say nothing of the House and the Senate. I have no solution, of course, just wanted to get that off my chest.

One other thing that bugs me though is lefties/liberal/dems/progressives blaming Gore and Kerry for Bush. To paraphrase a certain well-known sociopath, you campaign with the electorate you have, not the electorate you wish you had. If the American people had the sort of intelligence and maturity assumed by the Constitution--or maybe not assumed, considering the Electoral College--the candidacy of GWB would have never been taken any more seriously that Dan Quayle's or Steve Forbes'.

Okay, thanks, I feel better now. Still no solutions, but I can go walk my dog now.

Lance

Jim, Holdie, we shouldn't forget that tens of millions of Southerners voted for John Kerry.

Molly, NYC

Lieberman should change parties, not just because he's a GOP kiss-ass, but because, while many Republicans think he's okay (which I suppose has been his goal in taking the positions he does), I don't know many Democrats who don't despise him.

The Heretik

Well said, LM. Twice. Twice.

harry near indy

lance, i bet the majority of kerry's southern votes came from blacks.

i never underestimate the appeal the gop has to bigots who want to return the negroes to a subserviant place in society.

they are old bigots, too -- folks in their 70s and 80s who sure than that martin luther king was an agitator.

and it's a rule of thumb that the older you get, the more likely you are to vote.

the boomers? honky, please! i know enough of them who dislike blacks.

it might be the generation coming up -- the folks in their teens and 20s, like my nephews and nieces -- who finally bury the black-white antagonisms that have haunted the u.s. since colonial days.

that's where i'm putting my hope.

mac macgillicuddy

"Someday they're going to erect a statue to me in this town!"

"Well, don't start posing for it now!"

Campaspe

Lieberman, yes, but the only people who like him are Republicans anyway. I was particularly aggrieved when he used his nomination to trash Clinton for--what, exactly? Lack of sexual probity? Gosh, how very crucial THAT is to the presidency.

But I also feel unbelievably intense bitterness toward Ralph Nader and anyone in a swing state who voted for the man. Every time I see Nader swearing that there is no difference between the two major parties I get violent impulses no lady should have.

daveminnj

i love bill as much as the rest of you-
and i know that al ran a poor campaign, but you're underestimating the difficulty of gore's embracing the clinton legacy, and i think you're letting bill off much too easily.
1)only twice in the previous 175 years had a sitting vice president won election to succeed a sitting two-term president. in both cases (van buren and bush,sr) the veep
had effectively taken over day-to-day operations of the government. also in each
case, the president (jackson and reagan, had amiably receded and was granted, deservedly or not, an affectionate veneration
by a good chunk of the population. bill is
many things-but venerable is not one of them. a far more relevant comparison is
eisenhower in 1960-resentment,competition
and unconscious belittling. and look how that cost nixon in that election.

2)clinton encouraged and relished a cult of
personality at the expense of the democratic party as a whole, and of al gore in particular. remember triangulation. so many times he left gore to do the cleaning
up (remember gore after the impeachment,out on the white house lawn, having to say that clinton would be remembered as one of the great presidents-
you could tell right then he was forced into a corner that he couldn't escape from and that many wouldn't forgive). this is a
slightly silly comparison- but in the godfather, no one could be angry at don corleone. the second-in-command, the consigliere, got the blame. that's understandable, but it makes the leader teflon, and the number two velcro.

3)clinton, the perpetual adolescent,misunderstand (or willfully
ignored) the language of southern baptist's
sin and redemption, and again gore was forced to pay the price. all clinton had
to do, after he escaped conviction, was to say,hey-i messed up big-time, and there is no excusing it,the responsibility is mine, and redemption comes from god. and then he needed to say gore wasn't to blame for HIS
mistakes, but was indespensible to the clinton administration's accomplishments. AND THEN HE NEEDED TO RECEDE INTO THE BACKGROUND. instead, at the convention, he hogged the camera, and made gore's claim
"i am my own man" seem like a betrayal.

again, clinton saying nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah is understandable, given his curious
self-absorption- but it denied gore the chance to create healthy distance. and, truthfully, if clinton had cleared the air better beforehand, gore might not have made the historic error of nominating lieberman.

4)of course gore needed clinton's
help- in the south, in the rocky mountain states, in new hampshire- but i wonder if
clinton really wanted gore to win. being the vice-president is a bloody business and
there is a great deal of image refurbishing
necessary in the year or two before the veep's own election-yet i recall anonymous
and on the record interviews, by clinton or his surrogates- undercutting gore's campaign from april onward. including that
timeless character slam from clinton that gore was an introvert and more suited to being a university professor. what i'm saying is there were three levels of drag
on gore from clinton in 2000:
the usual imcumbent fatigue of a two-term administration.
the constant scandals. and yes, i know most of it was bull****, but it was there,
and clinton did NOTHING to help insulate gore.
clinton's own pathological need to be the center of attention.

i agree that were so many accomplishments
of the clinton-gore administration that gore did not capitalize on- and that these
are the failures of an ungifted politician.
but clinton WAS a gifted politician, the most gifted we've seen in two generations-
and yet he couldn't stop himself from sabotaging gore at every step of the way.

it makes me wonder if he really wanted a legacy.

Jim

another point to be made about "Gore should have won in a landslide": as I recall, in June of 2000, before the conventions, Bush had a huge lead, more than 25 points, wasn't it? People were sick of Clinton--the Clenis shouldn't have mattered but it did--and Gore's "I stand here tonight at my own man" probably closed the gap. Clinton was a good campaigner, and probably could have delivered Arkansas if he had been used more effectively, but Gore did do some good for himself.

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