Thursday, March 27, 2008

Is Al the Savior?

Many political pundits are suggesting that the democrats should start propping up Al Gore. A small but vocal minority of democrats believe Al Gore could be the savior of the democratic party. As we move closer to a brokered convention in Denver the voices will only get louder. Especially in light of recent polls showing 25-30 % of democratic voters jumping ship to John McCain if their candidate does not win the nomination. The democrats are are the verge of wasting a prime opportunity for control of the executive and legislative branch of government. A single party controlling both chambers in Congress and the white house is something Americans do not tolerate for long. George Bush controlled both chambers for less than half of his two terms. Bill Clinton controlled both chambers for about a quarter of his two terms. The first George Bush never controlled either chamber. So Americans flat out do not like the direction either party takes the country when they have unilateral power.

This should by all accounts be a huge Democratic year. The Democrats have far outpaced their Republican counter parts in financial donations. The War in Iraq will remain unpopular. Now the Democrats have found a way to squander this opportunity. The clamoring for Al Gore will only get louder as neither Hillary nor Obama will win the nomination without the super delegate vote. There remains a possibility of having a brokered convention where neither Barack nor Hillary wins the nomination. But can Al Gore save the day and bring the Democrats in control of both chambers of congress and the white house?

I do not think Al Gore could save the party. Al Gore would almost certainly have to select either Obama or Hillary as Vice President in order to sway enough delegates to gain the nomination. If he selected Hillary I believe this would alienate all of the new voters Barack has brought in to the process. I believe many Obama supporters would stay home including many African Americans. The Democrats would have a difficult time winning the white house without a large African American voter turnout. I believe many Obama supporters would change their support to McCain as an alternative. These would be voters that feel the nomination was stolen from them. If Al Gore selected Obama we would have many of the same issues. Many Hillary supporters would take this as a slap in the face. After all it was Bill that provided Al with a national stage in the first place.

No I do not believe Al Gore is the savior this go around. The Democrats will have to play the hand they were dealt. The Democrats need to make a decision soon. They need to get the super delegates to swing dramatically to one side or the other immediately following the APR 22 primary in Pennsylvania. If they do not and this process drags out until the convention the democrats are in a lot of trouble. Already the tracking polls are showing McCain leading both Hillary and Obama. Some recent polls show Obama and Hillary with slight leads but they are close usually within the margin of error. This is not good news for a party in a fight to the end for the nomination.

Six months ago the democrats were ecstatic about their candidates. Today they are a polarized party that will require time to heal. Both Hillary and Obama have opened up attacks that will be rehashed by McCain and his campaign during the general election. It becomes a lot easier for McCain to hammer away at a splintered party and a wounded candidate for 70-75 days than it would be for McCain to have to hammer away for over six months. Yes the longer this goes on, the more wounds the democratic nominee will have requiring time to heal. I do not believe there is a savior for the democrats they will have to accept one of these two candidates and do it soon or their dreams of moving the country far to the left will fall by the wayside.

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