How much would/should Gore's son's arrest hurt his campaign?

I’m well aware that Gore has not announced intentions to run for PotUS and in fact states he probably will not. Let’s assume for the sake of the OP, though, that he did decide to run or even that he had already announced his candidacy.

In your opinion,

  1. How much WOULD his son’s arrest earlier this week for possession and dui/reckless speeding (100 mph IIRC) affect his candidacy?
    Again, this is how much ACTUAL HARM do you think it would do his campaign once his opponents and detractors took hold of it- very little or “no point running”?

  2. How much SHOULD the son/arrest affect his campaign. No right or wrong, just your opinion- would YOU be negatively influenced by the behavior of a candidate’s child or children? (We can flip it to a Republican candidate and suppose that the candidate was Jeb Bush, whose kids have had some substance problems and run-ins with the law.)

My own answers are

1- I think it would have an effect but that a year from now, so long as the kid stays out of the news, it would be mostly forgotten

2- I have to admit it bothers me more probably than it should. It wouldn’t make me vote against him if I agreed with his positions on the issues more than those of his opponents, but it might conceivably push the scales if I were on the fulcrum twixt him and another candidate. (It would definitely make me not vote for him were I to learn he worked behind the scenes to get the charges dropped/covered-up, or even if he were a “drug users should be jailed for 14 years” type candidate, but there’s no allegation that anything like this has happened.)

Jimmy Carter had a drunken fool of a brother in every sense of the word. If Billy Beer wasn’t a political distraction then nothing was. Bill Clinton had a drug dealing brother (whose sentence he commuted). The current President’s daughters were caught drinking under age a couple of times.

As far as Gore is concerned, he needs to be able to carry his own state before worrying about this.

No more than a blip on the radar – no substantial effect.

I think this could actually help his campaign.

Personally I hope Gore doesn’t run and just keeps focusing on the whole Captain Planet thing since that seems more productive to me, but I don’t think the son’s problems would change my view if he did run and I were going to vote for him. The son is 24, so it’s not like Papa Gore has all that much control over him at that age.
As for how I think it would affect a campaign, I think it might hurt him if it were like a week before the election, but at this point I’m sure the public would forget about it long before it mattered.

Gore doesn’t need to run–he’s a cinch to be the new head of the EPA once Obama or Clinton take office.

I don’t think his son getting into trouble would even register as a blip on the campaign trail. For all its faults the media is fairly good with ignoring the personal lives of family members of candidates/elected officials, IMO.

Why would he want that position? It is a step down from VP.

He’d be in a position to do some major good with the cause with which he is most concerned, without having to deal with the grind of campaigning and the media circus which accompanies it (besides the risk, of course, that he would not be elected).

Vice President (to FDR) John Nance Garner considered the office of Vice President to be not worth “a warm bucket of spit.” Virtually anyone, down to the White House executive chef, general has more influence on executive policy than the VP. (A notable exception is Walter Mondale, but his Vice Presidency under Carter was by far the exception, most likely because Carter didn’t feel he could trust anyone else.)

I’m not sure why Gore would want to head the EPA, though; he’d be hamstrung by existing regulations and laws, and limited in his lobbying capability. In his current capacity he has an increasingly powerful influence on American environmental policy. Plus, he gets all kinds of good press without a shred of responsibility for actually doing anything.


It should have precisely the same effect as George & Jeb Bush’s daughters being arrested for being alcoholics and prescription drug abusers. IOW, absolutely none.

Oh wait, the Bush girls are Republicans. Of course that doesn’t matter. Gore is what?!? Oh, fuck him. Crucify his whole family.

That’s my opinion, too.

I don’t like Gore at all, but like everyone else he really can’t control adult offspring so it shouldn’t be held against him. He’s still a douche though.

What? The daughters of the president were caught underage drinking. This makes them have a drinking problem?
Wow, I guess your college was way more sophisticated than mine.

Has he or his family been crucified in the media over this?

Which he or his are you talking about? The Bush family wasn’t crucified at all. Should Gore’s son’s behavior reflect on him? I think it should reflect on him the same way the Bush girls’ behavior reflects on Bush’s presidency.

I gave my opinion in answer to the OP’s question. What are you fishing for?

Gore’s. I haven’t seen anyone, not even Fox news, taking Gore to task over his son’s behavior. They’d look pretty silly if they did.

There are no positions that are a step down from VP, except maybe Lieutenant Governor.

Yeah, I haven’t heard anything on the news either, but I don’t watch much. Summer news is so dull.

I only heard about Gore’s son here on the Dope.

I was also surprised to hear the words “Gore” and “campaign” together. But the OP explained that hypothetical.

That’s a good reason and I thought that might be what you were thinking. I suspect that he might enjoy an external position where, as Stranger says, he can influence without the day-to-day responsibility. A leadership or visionary role without headaches of managing 17,000 employees and implementing policy.

I still contend that the Adminstrator of the EPA is a step way down from VP. I’ll conceed the VP has a smaller staff – 17k to, what, 1k? 500? The only reference I could find said it is classified. It is a cabinet-level position, but not a cabinet-level agency. It obviously is a step down in terms of Order of Presidential Succession (it’s not on there). I think it is a step down in terms of nationwide stature; although maybe not on beltway stature. I assume that anyone that makes it to the VP slot has a big enough ego to closely consider their stature; both nationally and among their peers. Finally, I think in the 66 years since Garner’s assessment, the VP role has changed quite a bit. Stranger mentioned Mondale and I’ll add Cheney. Certainly it is a staging area for future presidental candidates. And while that might be lessened since Gore had his chance; he is still generating a lot of presidental excitement (e.g. this very thread).

I apologize for the hijack. I hope it wasn’t too far off the OP.