Gore in '04: What's the problem?

I’ve been seeing lots of poo-pooing regarding Gore’s possible running again in 2004. But what exactly is the huge problem? He won the popular vote two years ago. He lost the race in a photo finish, but it’s worth noting that the camera that took the photo was out of focus, had a flat battery, the film was loaded backwards and the lens cap was still on.

Why do you think it wouldn’t be just as close in '04?

• He’d presumably get all the same votes he did before, plus a few thousand more from democratic couch potatoes who didn’t vote in '00, and are still kicking themselves for it.

• Maybe a few thousand Greenies would have 2nd thoughts and actually cast a vote to put GWB out of the oval office, rather than cast ‘conscience votes’ that would do nothing but keep Gore from getting in.

• A few thousand people in Miami-Dade county would make a real effort to actually look at the ballot to see who they cast their vote for, and that they actually punched a hole clear through the ballot so it won’t be rejected by a machine.

• Pat Buchanan won’t run again, so a few thousand people in Palm Beach (3,407), Hillsborough (845), Marlon (563) & Pinellas (1,010) counties won’t accidentally vote for him.

• A few thousand fence sitters who voted for Bush but have grown sour on his performance (and that of his cabinet) might swing the other way this time.

Add Bill Clinton to the campaign trail (whether Gore wants him or not), and suddenly we’ve got a decent chance at the White House again.

A snowball’s chance in hell? I say not. More like a snowball’s chance in North Dakota.

He ran a lousy campaign last time
He wasn’t the best candidate (all my friends who voted Democrat said they were doing so holding their noses).
He really didn’t beat Bush by that big a margin.
Another Democrat will be better for the next nomination.

{vanilla-who will not be voting Green anymo}

In '00 he had many advantages he won’t have in '04. He was the sitting vice president during a time of peace and prosperity, he had a president to raise money for him, he had an unproven opponent with a skeleton in his closet, and he had a united party with no serious contenders for the nomination. He won’t have any of this next time. The biggest reason is that Gore has loser stink on him. That will be a huge obstacle to overcome.

I’ll be voting for John Ashcroft next time.

I am kidding :eek:

  1. It’s highly debatable whether he won the popular vote(just as it is highly debatable whether Bush won Flordida).

  2. Basically, he only tied a rather weak Republican candidate. What is he going to do against a really popular incumbant?

  3. I don’t believe Democrats have ever renominated someone who has lost.

  4. It’s not his turn. He had his shot…others are itching to go.

Gore was a bad candidate.

Maybe Gore would be a good choice. Excepting some disaster, Bush will probably win because people won’t want to give the impression of disunity to outsiders. Since Bush would win, this would be a chance for Democrats to eliminate Gore a candidate once and for all.

IIRC Gore won around half a million votes more than Bush.

He’ll lose badly. Same for any other Dem in 2004.

Adlai Stevenson lost badly to Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956.

Are the others any more likely to win? Hillary sounds like she’s sensibly aiming at 2008. Lieberman, Daschle, Gephardt, Kerry, Edwards, et. al. look pretty weak to me.

My guess it that Gore will get the nomination because he appears to want it badly.

I will vote to re-elect Gore in 2004.

Bush is not invincible, remember how just after the Gulf War, we all thought his father was unbeatable? Consider Bush’s liabilities:

1- He may not get Osama. More terror attacks may come, and the people may want a new sheriff if W can’t finish the deal.

2- The economy may not improve. People vote pocketbook- if your 401(k) is still hemorrhaging, are you going to want a change? I think a lot of people will.

3- Suppose the Iraq war is a disaster. This could go south if Saddam nukes incoming US troops, or the other OPEC countries stop selling oil, or suppose the successor to Saddam is even worse than he is?

4- Winning can be bad. Bush senior was given the exit after winning the Gulf war. The Brits did the same to Churchill. Would we do the same if W defeats Saddam?

5- The voters in Flori-duh might actually learn how to vote by 2004. That shill secretary of state will be gone.

She already is gone. Straight up to Congress.

Last time he faced Bush, he had the advantageous bully pulpit of the Vice Presidency, and the (squandered until the last minute) endorsement of a popular sitting President. And he lost. Round 2 would be even more of an uphill climb, and many Dems would feel too burned to support him this time around. My guess is that the Democratic nominee will be someone who isn’t yet well-known and has no ties to the Clinton administration.

But it can hardly be said that he used these advantages.

Dubya had won two statewide campaigns in one of our largest states. Unproven? Hardly. And anyone who can raise the sort of money Dubya did in 1999 isn’t exactly a rookie.

And it’s still ‘in the closet’, if it exists. What we know about his stock sale still isn’t enough to shave half a percentage point off of anyone’s support.

Bradley wasn’t serious?

I think it would serve the Democrats well if they would stop treating losing like a mortal sin. They oughta figure out what they stand for, stick with it, and try to get their message through. Sometimes that will involve losing now, to win later on.

But Gore didn’t embarrass the party; his problem was that he felt embarrassed by Clinton, with whom he was apparently barely on speaking terms with by 2000. His cardinal sin was that he couldn’t seem to figure out how to run as an incumbent on the successes of the Clinton/Gore record, and simultaneously put distance between him and Clinton’s Monica/Paula/etc. problems. That won’t be a problem in 2004.

Bush’s Florida win is a matter of reasonable debate, as papers presented at last year’s American Statistical Association meetings amply showed. But I’d like to see a cite on the debatability of Gore’s popular-vote win.

I’ll concede that Dubya’s going to present challenges as an incumbent that he didn’t in 2000, but I disagree (above) that he was a weak candidate then.

Adlai Stevenson, 1956.

I don’t think we do this by turns. Whoever runs, runs. Whoever is supported by the most Democrats gets to take on the Shrub.

I voted for Gore in 2000, and if I could vote in that election again, I’d still vote for Gore. I’ve never been a Gore fan, and I’m still not. I’ve been aware of him since 1984, when he first hit the national scene in that year’s Democratic primary.

That said, I doubt I’d support Gore in the 2004 primary, and he’ll very likely run. If he gets the nomination again, I’d vote to reëlect him. I think he’s got a good shot at winning.

Many people seem to think that Bush is popular, but what they’re really looking at is his approval rating, which is not necessarily an indicator of popularity. I think it’s more of a matter of loving the one you’re with. By 2004, when the people will have another option when it comes to considering the White House and who would fit best there, I’m sure opinions will change.

Bush was a weak candidate in 2000, as was Gore. Come 2004, this will still be the case. Currently, Bush is fooling some of the people all of the time, but I think they can see through that. Of course it’s too early to say whether Bush will get another term; you can’t really size anything like that up until you get closer to the election. At this point, things could go either way. I know I’d very much like to see Bush booted, but anyone who feels they can safely call the 2004 election right now has no idea what they’re talking about.

Clearly, Iraq is going to be a major influence on the election. If (when) we invade, its pertinence will be raised greatly. If attacking Iraq turns out to be a debacle, Bush is in deep doo-doo, as a former president used to say.

There are thirteen men whom I think of as potential Democratic candidates for president in 2004. Many of them actually want the job, which will go a long way to nudging Junior out of the Oval Office.

At any rate, I’d say wait until the midterm elections are over before you start thinking too hard about the next presidential race. The midterms will have a lot of bearing on the next presidential race.

To finally answer your question: Gore is currently the Democrats’ best shot. But at this point, it would be just as easy to predict who’s going to win the 2005 Super Bowl as it would to say who’s going to be at the 2004 Inauguration.

Now that I’ve said all that, I have trouble with the logic of the OP. It suggests that we’re starting over from November 2000, needing only a few thousand more votes in FL to get Gore over the top. That’s hardly a realistic way of looking at things. It’s a safe assumption that Gore will need to win millions of voters who didn’t pull his lever the last time, since Bush will undoubtedly have the support, by then, of a reasonable contingent of Gore voters from 2000.

However, that’s true of any Democratic candidate, so that doesn’t put Gore at a relative disadvantage.

In 2004, Bush will be the issue, unless his spinners can make his opponent the issue. There’s room to do that with an Edwards or a Kerry, but not a whole lot to work with in Gore’s case; his record is out there already. What can they do - run against Hillary’s health care plan? It’ll just remind people of Bush’s even more secretive energy plan, and of the lack of any Dubyan attempt to bring health care to the millions that lack it.

By 2004, we’ll have had a string of enormous deficits, once again ballooning the national debt. Gore can run as part of the team that had the budget in balance for the first time since 1969, and can run against the guy who’s having to slash government services to finance a tax cut for the rich. He can run as the guy who didn’t try to lose your Social Security money in the stock market.

Gore didn’t run the best campaign in 2000, but there’s no doubt that he’s capable of running the country. Eventually the War on Osama/Saddam/Boogeyman-of-the-Moment will stop being the driving issue, and once that happens, people will notice that Bush isn’t doing such a great job elsewhere. He won’t appear as out of touch as his dad (and that will make a real difference) but he’ll be vulnerable. And, IMHO, to Gore more than anyone else.

—He ran a lousy campaign last time—

That’s the common excuse, sure.

Personally, I think the “liberal” media did him in: they softballed absolutely outrageous policy lies by Bush, and focused in obsessively on Gore’s throat sounds. Ridiculous Bush campaign spin was repeated verbatim without any scrutiny: while Gore spin was picked to peices mercilessly even beyond what was warranted.

RT, I agree with almost everything in your post. I particular, I agree that Bush will have a string of enormous deficits. I even give Bush a good share of the blame for the deficits.

However, experience has shown that the voters don’t care much about deficits. For as far back as I can remember, the Democrats were the party of deficit spending, and the Republicans always lost Congress. Deficits are just too abstract to excite voters.

Social Security is a different story. People who depend on it can be easily frightened if there’s any sort of threat to its continued existence.

—However, experience has shown that the voters don’t care much about deficits.—

Surprise! The voters are right on this one. Deficits are not themselves a problem. It’s the original spending that’s a problem. Deficits (i.e. borrowing instead of taxing now to cover your losses) are one choice of how to finance this spending: and also perhaps a strategy for focing spending cuts in the future.

Bush’s tax cuts are responsble for SOME of the projected future red ink. However, that’s not the same thing as saying that they were a bad idea. Most people don’t understand the ins and outs of tax cuts vs. borrowing.

One of Gore’s main problems was people’s inability to clearly identify who he was and what he stood for. His words and actions seemed stiff, rehearsed and in response to polling. Not that that’s an exclusively Gore phenomenon when it comes to office-holders. But he seemd particularly bad at it.

Outside of California, the eastern seaboard and big cities, his “For the people, not the powerful” message was rejected.

Republican campaigners are attacking everything he says now as coming from someone trying desperately to be relevant. It’s not a bad tactic. That Gore fell off the political radar screen since 2000 may have been inevitable, but it’s not helping him now.

Anything can happen in two years, though. Can Gore re-invent himself and come back stronger than ever? It’s been done, most notably by Richard Nixon.

But it would be playing into his aformentioned “identity crisis” weakness, and could be counter-effective.

Personally I find a Joe Lieberman candidacy far more intriguing. The Kerrys would be formidable, too. John Edwards is a better bet than Gore, even, IMO.

These things have a tendency to sort themself out, over a period as long as two years.

As for the budget problems, perhaps they will be more of an issue in '04, but I don’t expect them to make a huge difference this November. People understand that in light of the economic downtown and necessary expenditures post 9/11, the budget had to suffer.

They may be less understanding two years from now.


Gore’s problem is he must decide whether he’s in or out for the 2004 election and very very soon. Is Bush going to be strong or weak? No one really knows but that’s the question Al must answer. He’s not likely to get three chances however.

Almost all “close” losers have received a second nomination if they really wanted it and worked for it. Humphrey fooled around in 1971 and early 1972, perhaps thinking the party would come to him. By the time he committed, his own chances at the nomination were almost zero.

Look at the history of major party nominating after a loss:Jackson,Clay,WH Harrison,Cleveland,Bryant,Dewey,Stevenson and Nixon. And half those people won the general election.

Not really, no. Before the first vote in the 2000 Democratic primaries had been cast, Gore had secured teh support of all the Super Delegates, who comprised 1/3 of the total voting delegates to the convention. Bradley would have had to win about 75% of the delegates in the primaries to have won the nomination outright, or trounced Gore so badly that the Super Delegates would switch sides. Neither was the least bit likely.

Digging up a cite would be difficult, but there were reports in 2001 that mail-in ballots in many large states that were blow outs for Gore were never counted because the number of mail in ballots was less than the margin of victory. Gore won by less than 0.5% of the popular vote, which is well within the margin of error for an election.