With Democrats beginning to voice fears about a long summer of two candidates sniping over electability, the name of unofficial party elder Al Gore has resurfaced. Gore was tossed around early and often as a potential nominee, complete with his own grass roots recruiting party. However, the former Vice President and Nobel laureate assiduously avoided exhortations to run.
Nevertheless, the Gore question is coming back. Joe Klein is the latest to make the case for Al Gore coming into the Democratic race in the case of a brokered convention:
"Let's say the elders of the Democratic Party decide, when the primaries end, that neither Obama nor Clinton is viable. ... All they'd have to do would be to convince a significant fraction of their superdelegate friends, maybe fewer than 100, to announce that they were taking a pass on the first ballot at the Denver convention, which would deny the 2,025 votes necessary to Obama or Clinton. What if they then approached Gore and asked him to be the nominee, for the good of the party-and suggested that he take Obama as his running mate? ... A prominent fund raiser told me, 'Gore-Obama is the ticket a lot of people wanted in the first place.'"
Meanwhile, Jason Horowitz this week tried to outline the timing of a Gore endorsement:
"If Gore were to weigh in, he would have to do so before the superdelegates begin breaking for either Obama or Clinton," said a former Gore adviser, after laying out the various scenarios that might prompt the former vice president to get involved. "The superdelegates constitute the last true contest in this race. And for many, Gore is someone they talk to, listen to, and whom a lot of them admire and respect. Having him make a closing argument for either candidate would carry significant weight with some of these last-man-standing voters."
And earlier this week, Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL) suggested that Al Gore as an alternate coming out of a brokered convention:
"If it (the nomination process) goes into the convention, don't be surprised if someone different is at the top of the ticket," Mahoney said.
A compromise candidate could be someone such as former vice president Al Gore, Mahoney said last week during a meeting with this news organization's editorial board.
If either Clinton or Obama suggested to a deadlocked convention a ticket of Gore-Clinton or Gore-Obama, the Democratic Party would accept it, Mahoney said.