The Ostroy Report

The Ostroy Report is a fresh, aggressive voice for Democrats and a watchdog of the GOP/Tea Party. We support President Obama and the Democratic agenda and seek to preserve the Senate majority while taking back the House. But we're also not afraid to criticize the left when necessary.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

This Blogger's Getting a Little Worried About Al Gore


He's everywhere you turn these days. Saturday Night Live, Letterman, Larry King, The View to name a few. What's next, Desperate Housewives? His movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," as well as the book of the same name, have been out for weeks and The Goracle's been in heavy-duty promo mode. The problem is, with the exception of the hilarious SNL bit, Al seems more like his old stiff self than the passionate Democrat firebrand we've seen on the lecture circuit these past couple of years. Perhaps it's true that Al indeed suffers from TV camera-itis. Seems like whenever he's in front of that magic lens his body stiffens, his speech slows, and there's sighing. Oh God, lots and lots of sighing. His performances at times have made me wince.

As my readers know, I am a huge Gore supporter and proponent of a 2008 run for the White House. I've been front and center on this, and still believe he's the best candidate for the job. But as we've seen in 2000, Gore's not the best politician. In his televised interviews, he's not being the kind of Al Gore that he must be to win over the hearts and minds of voters. I want passion, fire, animation, personality; a genuine connection. I want a guy who's going to look straight into that camera and not be afraid to say, "This country's a mess, and here's why Bush and the Republican leadership is responsible. And here's what we need to do about it." I want a guy who's going to give a believable answer when asked the inevitable question of "will you run in '08", not some eye-rolling, sighing, long-paused duck as if he's taken aback by such a left-field question. When I want coy, I'll watch Paris Hilton (message to Al: you don't do coy well).

As much as I'm rooting for Al, I can't help but see much of the old nerd making people fall asleep. Forget Bill Clinton. I'd be happy if Al showed the charisma of Hillary, for Pete's sake. Yes, it's indeed true that in private Al's a very funny, charming, affable, laid-back guy. So say his closest friends and colleagues. And it's also true that on the lecture circuit he's amazing. But if he's going to run for president again, which I most certainly think he will, he's going to have to face the camera and learn how to speak in talking points and soundbytes. How to deliver some fiery partisan rhetoric and truly connect with voters. He may never be the guy you want to go grab a beer with, but he certainly shouldn't have the effect of Ambien either.

That said, we continue to believe he's the most qualified Democrat for the job, and here's our Top 10 reasons why:

1. Legislative Experience: two terms in the House, two in the Senate
2. Executive Experience: two terms as vice president
3. Economic Experience: presided over historic seven years of prosperity
4. Iraq: His staunch anti-war stand was early and forceful
5. Environment: His decades of sounding the global warming alarm give him more credibility on this issue than any other candidate
6. Family Values: Stemming from their record-label-warning campaign days, the Gores project strong family values and a sense of morality
7. Passion: Since 2000 he's been the most outspoken critic of Bush and the GOP
8. Results: He won the popular vote in 2000; was robbed of the electoral college. He won 51-million votes in 2000, more than any other Democrat candidate in history, more than any Republican except Ronald Reagan in 1984, and 500,000 more than George Bush. Just think of the numbers he could put up after eight dreadful years of Bush
9. Fundraising: Gore has big, powerful, wealthy benefactors waiting on the sidelines to pour money into his campaign, and has the ability to compete with Hillary Clinton in this critical area. He also has the support of grass-roots organizations like MoveOn.org, and is a favorite in the ever-increasingly important blogosphere
10. Skeleton-Free Closet: At this point in his career, if there was any dirt to dredge up, we'd have seen it by now

Despite these credentials and assets, he'll go nowhere without a serious injection of personality mojo. And it can be done. Maybe not with the people he's been surrounded by for years, but with some fresh new blood. Al, you out there? I'm ready to serve......

18 Comments:

  • At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Andy, I'm really disappointed that you think Al needs to be Mr. Personality. After the swaggering cowboy, the brainy type is damn refreshing.

    When did being tv friendly become the sole requirement for credentials? JFK and Clinton broke the mold but they are the exceptions.

    You're representative of what's wrong with Americans. Snappy reparte' and a quick smile is not what's going to save us.

    Gore can only be who he is and guess what? He won.

    Why does he have to change?

     
  • At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I believe ostroy said he wants from Gore "passion, fire, animation, personality; a genuine connection" with voters. If you don't agree that a candidate who intends to win a presidential election needs these qualities, then it is you who is a bot out of touch. With the (possible) exception of Bush 41 (who benefited greately from Reagan's coattails), name me a president since Nixon who didn't demonstrate personality and charisma? Like it or not, Americans vote for who they like. Sadly, their qualifications are put second.
    Bob

     
  • At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Both observations are true. Therefore, the answer for Gore is to work with a coach who is capable of teaching him how to relax and present himself as he really is without his nervous mannerisms. Surely other successful public figures have done this. Gore should start now.

     
  • At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Cathy said…

    Excuse me. Didn't people vote for Bush because he's the kind of guy they wanted to have a beer with?

    It's time for the grownups to be in charge. We are hiring someone to do a job (president), not a personality or drinking buddy.

    If after the horrors of Bush, someone still votes for personality, then as now, we get what we deserve.

    Cathy
    From the once great but proud State of Michigan

     
  • At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cathy - Do you think the "Larry's" of the country are going to change and vote as mature adults? His comments should have opened our eyes to what our country is up against. He's one among many.

     
  • At 8:30 AM, Anonymous johnny said…

    Andy, after seeing Inconvenient Truth this week (I hope you did also) there is no doubt that Al will be a contender in 2008. The theater was packed and when the movie was running you could hear a pin drop. When it ended the crowd broke out in a thunderous applause, rare for a movie like that I’d say.

    Has Al learned anything since 2000? You damn right he has and I think he’s right on schedule for his plan of taking the White House. Al has kind of laid low for those years following 2000, kept out of the lime light but behind he was cooking up his next moves. He’s gotten in with some really high rollers and started Current TV, again not much of a spot light move. He’ backed Dean and has been vocal against this so called war. He’s been giving his “slide show” all over the world, again no big press on that. Now he’s got a movie out that is packing people in and more so making them think. The movie really doesn’t come across as political which is good and I’m sure intentional.

    Look, the second Al even gives a hint that he’s running, even a micro hint, the Repubs will be saying his movie is nothing more than a political movie to promote AL GORE. He has learned from 2000 and 2004 how these people play and it’s not pretty, right Dean and Kerry? This is Al’s best chance to win the White House (again) and he’s got this all figured out so hang in there Andy he’s playing it coy.

    As for his lack of fire and fist swinging that would only show that he’s running and I believe that he is NOT going to let any thing stop him this time, ANY THING!

     
  • At 1:18 PM, Anonymous johnny said…

    I saw Al and Tipper on The View today (home for lunch) and he was very good, funny and relaxed. They gave them a standing O when introduced and both Al and Tipper were hounded about him running. They BOTH brushed it off and changed the subject so like I said in the previous statement, Al IS running but he’ll play it real cool until the time is right.

    His book is going NUMBER ONE this weekend and his movie is a hit. The DVD’s of it will be out I bet by Thanksgiving at least. I also predict that one of the rich Liberals, maybe George Sores will fund the showing of the movie next spring on national TV or can we also say for free on the network that Al just happens to run, Current TV. As I said Andy, think about what Al has built up in the past 6 years and tell me he doesn’t have a plan.

     
  • At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As for the above "name me a president since Nixon who hasn't demonstrated power and charisma" there is this:

    Power corrupts. Read Ronnie Boy.
    Bush Sr. Bush Jr.

    Charisma fools the uninformed. Read Reagan, Bush Jr.

    Carter had neither power or charisma and accomplished as much as he could with hostages taken (read Reagan).

    My kids complain about how much they hate their teachers when they do poorly. My kids job is to do the work. That's it. Personality conflicts are an excuse.

    On a national level, presidents don't need to be our best friend.
    They need to do their job.

    Give me Al Gore and all his faults
    ANYDAY.

     
  • At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Gore needs to study video clips of Clinton. Clinton possesses both power and stage presence. Clinton is always at ease with the crowd and the camera.

    Hopefully Gore will run and win. Then, he can work to get the country back on track. I really do hope the Dems will start to take a hard look at all he has to offer...experience, brains, and power to rise above the dirty deal he was handed in 2000.

    Oh, here come the "others", typing furiously on how we're are idiots to think Gore can win!

    Who cares what they think!
    J

     
  • At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Andeeeee, whatcha been smokin, huh? Or did you, you devil, take a pg from Uncle Karl's Spielbuch and just throw in some contrarian stuff to see what comes up? If you've started to find AG boring or tedious (and I'm pretty hip to such things as a director/actor with the mad eye for bores)then you must be pregnant or something. I also saw AIT this weekend, and it was riveting, as was Al. No, he ain't Big Dawg. He's Al. He's thoughtful, truthful (no offense, Bill, we love ya)and yep, speaks in stuff other than soundbytes. Go figger.

    He probably won't run, cause ya know, life is short and he's on a mission from god. But then again....whatever he does, he's a real Mensch and IMO, The Brain King. Works for me.

     
  • At 7:08 PM, Blogger Redzilla said…

    I too wish Al could show a little more of the passion we know he has. It's not the brainiac fans he has to impressive but the 86 IQ Club he needs to connect with. That said, at least he doesn't sound like Kerry--the best sleep aid I ever saw on television. Indeed, who among us does not love NASCAR?

     
  • At 7:34 PM, Blogger Marc McDonald said…

    I'd like to mention a couple of points on the Al Gore piece.
    1. I really don't blame Gore for not running. Who in his right mind would want to face four long years of being viciously attacked every single day by the likes of the Great Republican Slime Machine? Which brings me to my second point:
    2. You mention that Gore has a "skeleton-free closet." Doesn't matter. The Right Wing will simply make up bullsh*t about Gore. Remember, 99 percent of the slime they tried to tar Clinton with was complete and total BS. For example, absolutely no wrong-doing was ever found with Whitewater. And Clinton didn't murder Vince Foster (although Rush and his millions of brainwashed followers believe otherwise to this day). At the end of the day, the only charge that the GOP could successfully hang on Clinton was lying about a blowjob (an issue, incidentally, that the American people never cared about, as witnessed by Clinton's approval ratings in the high 60s at the height of the witchhunt/impeachment "crisis"). It really doesn't matter how squeaky clean the Dem candidate is in '08. The GOP Slime Machine will still viciously attack whomever the Dems put up as a candidate. I personally don't blame Gore for not wishing to participate in the sick, corrupt, freakshow that American politics has become. Just my two cents.
    Marc McDonald
    BeggarsCanBeChoosers.com
    http://www.beggarscanbechoosers.com

     
  • At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Two comments:

    It's time we stopped the Republican bullies and fight back with whatever it takes. For example Chris Matthews showed clips of Bush revealing the program to trace the terrorists' finances right after 9/11 and then in 2003. Lou Dobbs asked tonight why it was all right for Bush to reveal this information in 2001 and 2003 and not all right for the newspaeprs. It is the very same information they're going after the TIMES for printing. Those clips of Bush talking should be spread in every paper and on every network. What is wrong with us???? Even tonight when Matthews was interviewing a White House rep who said the Times was trecherous, Matthews didn't mentioned what he'd shown last night but instead agreed that the TIMES was wrong to print the story. DId some one shut Matthews up? We should get to the bottom of that kind of tyrany.

    Another point: Gore was on the DAILY SHOW tonight and was charming and witty and "gave as good as he got" He could fight back too.

     
  • At 4:54 AM, Anonymous Carol said…

    But what's different about Al's "skeleton-free" closet and Bill's pasting is that Al has already gone through the fire of a national campaign three times. Who would believe anything they made up now? The natural answer would be, if it was true, why wasn't it mentioned before now? And back then there wasn't the blogsphere to check on the lies or liars as it is now. We'd have stumbled on Monica long before a Ken Starr did, and frankly if there was any new stuff on Al, someone would have seen or heard something and blogged anonymously by now too.

    So it's back to just being mean and nasty....or worse.

     
  • At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "name me a president since Nixon who didn't demonstrate personality and charisma?"

    Hey anonymous, if you go back and re-read what I posted, you'll see I werote "personality" (see direct quote above) and not "power." So, I'm not sure about your whole "power corrupts" tangent, as it has nothing to do with what I wrote.
    Bob

     
  • At 12:23 PM, Anonymous chris said…

    everyone should read "johnnys" first entry on this subject, he is absoultley right and his observations will provide comfort to those among us who are worried for the sake of the planet that Al Gore wont run in 2008.

     
  • At 3:51 PM, Blogger Cranky Daze said…

    I haven't seen a lot of Al Gore on TV recently, but I've liked what I did see. One was a speech that was broadcast on C-SPAN a couple (or more) months ago, and he showed more fire than I've ever seen in him. Of course, he was talking about global warming, something about which he feels most passionate.

    In some respects, I tend to agree with Marc McDonald when he asks "Who in his right mind" would want to face four years of being viciously attacked. The last four presidential campaigns have been brutal beyond belief, and I think we can be absolutely certain that now that the Republicans have tasted blood, they'll definitely go out for more. (Have they ever actually stopped?) But, dirty job though it may be, somebody has to do it.

    While I could support almost any Democrat, I do think we have to have someone who is willing to confront the lies and spin we know the RNC will sponsor, and give back as good as he gets. It's quite evident that trying to be gentlemanly doesn't work.

    I wonder if Gore's problem (assuming he has one) may be that he does better standing at the podium than he does in a one-on-one basis? I saw him on Letterman about a week ago, and he looked physically uncomfortable, kept shifting around in his chair, and tugging on his jacket. Naturally, candidates have to have face-to-face contact with reporters and the public, and if Gore eventually does agree to run maybe he needs to practice up a little on his chit-chat. I think he would do extremely well in the debates though. He definitely knows his business, and is very well qualified to present it to the public.

    Let's keep in mind that, had the Pubs not stacked the deck in Florida in 2000, Gore would be president...and that was the old Al Gore, stiff and uneasy and still saddled with Bill Clinton's misdeeds. Things have changed. He's a viable candidate, and I hope he'll change his mind.

     
  • At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Perhaps if you stopped looking at everything from a political perspective and actually watched his interviews, you would notice that he is a very down to earth man. I met him at a booksigning a few weeks ago and frankly, I don't know what the hell you are talking about. However, I do believe that the political rhetoric that this and other blogs pump out regarding tying his movie and his work on the climate crisis to a political agenda only takes the conversation off the issue. So thanks for proving that nothing has changed on any side regarding the bs political tactics. No wonder he has no plans or intentions to run, and I don't blame him one damn bit. It is the CLIMATE CRIIS that we should be paying attention to and taking action on. Not worrying about how he comes across in an interview...it is THE MESSAGE. Again, what bs.

     

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