Saturday, April 08, 2006
Will Al Gore Use Current TV For 2008 Launchpad? Network Expands to 28-Million Households With New Comcast Deal
Under a new deal with Comcast, Al Gore's Current TV network will expand its reach by an additional 8 million households by June 1, to a total of 28-million. Current was created as an outlet for viewer-created content, or VC2, which currently accounts for about a third of all programming. Targeted primarily to tech-savvy viewers 18 to 34 years old, it features short, fast-paced programs called pods produced by both professionals and amateurs. The deal increases Current's household reach substantially, to most of the cable company's subscribers. Current TV was previously only available to about 500,000 Comcast customers.
Some in Democratic circles are speculating that Gore, who founded the network in 2004 along with other investors, could very well be planning to use his access to 28 million households as a major launchpad for what could be a very different 2008 presidential campaign. Over the last few years, the grassroots/'netroots movements have allowed candidates like Howard Dean to raise tremendous funds using alternative media, attracting younger people into the election process and forever changing how the political game is played.
Many are hopeful that Gore will be running, despite his half-hearted attempts to squash such rumors. The field of Democrats is weak, with Hillary Clinton leading the pack. While she appears at this stage to have frontrunner status and could likely win the nomination, most rational Democrats believe she doesn't have much chance of winning the national election. Gore on the other hand not only has the gravitas to win the nomination, but to go all the way in the presidential contest as well.
As Jason Maoz wrote last week in the TheJewishPress.com, "It was a far-fetched scenario as recently as a year ago, but Al Gore is quietly making something of a political comeback. Moderate Democrats who despair that the early frontrunner for their party’s 2008 presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, is likely unelectable, can’t help remembering that Gore won half a million more votes than George W. Bush in 2000. Meanwhile, the party’s base voters, appreciably more to the left than the country at large and angry at what they perceive to be Clinton’s drift to the center, are looking for someone other than her to carry the anti-Bush, antiwar banner."
Several major pundits on both sides of the aisle, from Robert Novak and Pat Buchanan to Eleanor Clift and Donna Brazile, believe The Goracle can and should become the party's top candidate. And many political experts also believe Gore will eventually toss his hat into the ring.
If and when he does, do not underestimate the power he'll have using Current TV to gain traction for the campaign.