Monday, March 20, 2006

The Re-emergence of Al Gore

Ezra Klein, one of the most noteworthy political writers in the US liberal blogosphere has produced the cover story for the latest edition of American Prospect. True to Ezra's style he provides the excitement and exposure of a politician who, despite his 2000 loss to Bush, has maintained a passion for the real issues and has emerged as a highly attractive candidate for 2008.

Gore’s coming film on the global warming crisis -- “An Inconvenient Truth,” to be released in May -- point to a new narrative: Gore as warrior against the gatekeepers of the press. As it has turned out, Al Gore as presented by Al Gore is infinitely more electric and attractive than the anodyne stiff the media popularized and the voters remembered.

Since his loss, Gore has undergone a resurrection of sorts, shrugging off the consultants and the caution that hampered him during the campaign and -- aided by new distribution technologies -- evolving into perhaps the most articulate, animated, and forceful critic of the Bush administration. And now, with Democrats taking a fresh look at a man they thought they knew and speculation mounting around his ambitions in 2008, it seems that the man much mocked for inventing the Internet is in fact using the direct communication it enables to reinvent himself.

Al Gore, it can be said, was easy to dislike, particularly during the 2000 campaign. He was stilted and sometimes painful to watch. Ezra takes this on and issues a reminder of what Al Gore has done and been willing to do since then.

Gore’s policy involvement has stretched beyond his crusade against global warming; his speeches shredding the rationale for the invasion of Iraq were true ripsnorters, and his recent address on the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program, symbolically delivered on the birthday of the oft-surveilled Martin Luther King Jr., evinced a clarity, fearlessness, and wider vision all too absent from the nightly news. Other addresses have reached similar rhetorical heights, confronting a score of weighty issues with a thoughtful, even soaring, eloquence that has restored Gore’s reputation by glittering in contrast to the leaden rhetoric of contemporary Democratic leaders.

Is Al Gore re-emerging as the candidate for 2008? I hope so. The White House needs a combination of talent, passion, intelligence and a willingness to embrace the future for future generations. The world needs Al Gore.

Ezra's story is well worth the read.

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