Jewish World Review July 12, 2002 / 3 Menachem-Av, 5762
Gore-watchers (and you know who you are), take note: "Damn" is out and "hell" is in. That's the most visible scuffmark du jour of Al Gore's latest attempt at metaphysical traction, this one made in a recent speech to a private gathering of donors and fund-raisers in Memphis, and instantly relayed to the media by a "Gore aide." "If I had it to do all over again, I'd just let it rip," Gore is said to have said, er, ripped, about having run for president and very, very possibly running again. "To hell with the polls, tactics and all the rest."
All the rest? No immediate reaction from the tin-can lady yet, but such comments make you wonder just how far the former vice president's second thoughts actually go. After all, Gore was recently hollering, literally, about how he thought, "Bill Clinton and I did a damn fine job." Now, it's "to hell" with everything. What exactly does the man mean?
As has always been the case, no one does justice to Al Gore like Al Gore. After his "private" remarks had been shared around the press, Gore emerged to elaborate to reporters. Through the 18 months and one beard since the presidential election, Gore has obviously been weighing what went wrong with his 2000 presidential effort. Now, he says, he sees that the problem was that the campaign was too programmed, too pollstered and too consultanted. (Not, as a top adviser later added, that Gore's comments should be interpreted as being an indictment of anyone on the campaign.) The solution? "I should have spent more time speaking from the heart on a few occasions each week," Gore said, "addressing the major challenges of the country in-depth, and spending a lot less time going to media events and making tactical moves."
In other words, let "it" rip, and from the heart -- but only "on a few occasions each week." This might make you wonder what Gore would have in store for the couple dozen other appearances a candidate might typically make on the stump during a campaign each week. It might also make you wonder about the sincerity of Gore's past commitment to a range of issues, from the Social Security Lockbox to the Democratic Convention Liplock. In other words, New, Spontaneous Gore may be leading to a lot of confusion. If the man really does run for president again, he'll just have to devise an effective way for the rest of us to tell the difference between speeches "from the heart" and ones that are, well, not.
Maybe something color-coded?
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JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.
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© 2001, Diana West