Say it ain't so, Al! Gore Endorses Dean
This is just politics at its pettiest as Al Gore desperately tries to remain relevant in the Democratic Party. He's a sore loser looking for revenge. MoveOn.org gave him a couple of nice handjobs over the last year, providing partisan forums where he could safely bash Bush (where was that passion when it could have helped?) and now he's addicted to the rush.
How can he possibly justify circumventing the primary process (knowing exactly how influential his endorsement is at this early stage of the game) and hop on the bandwagon of a venal opportunist who's branded himself an insurgent and selectively bashed the so-called "insiders" that he's now openly sucking up to? If Al Gore isn't an insider, who the hell is?!?!
This pretty much makes the primaries another rubber stamp formality, justifying the states that have decided to cancel theirs. It's now a question of who will throw in the towel and when.
Gephardt is hoping against hope that he can still pull off Iowa, otherwise he's out of the game. Kerry needs to take 2nd in Iowa and win New Hampshire or else all the profanity and ketchup money in the world won't keep his sinking ship afloat. Edwards will try to stick it out to the South Carolina primary but without a victory there, he's done. Leiberman? I almost feel sorry for the little guy. Have to give him credit for sticking to his beliefs, unlike his backstabbing buddy, Gore.
Kucinich, Sharpton and Mosley-Braun? Thanks for playing along. You may return to your seats now.
The interesting subplot to all of this is Wesley Clark, who stands to benefit the most if/when Kerry and Gephardt pull out - especially as the Southern primaries come around - but he'll need Bill Clinton - a behind-the-scenes supporter of his - to step forward and endorse him ASAP to keep him in the running. Clinton has so far chosen not to endorse anyone, saying "I don't intend to take a position until the voters decide who the nominee is." Imagine THAT for a concept.
If Clinton sticks to that, Dean's got the nod. If he steps up to bat for Clark - simultaneously bitch-slapping Al Gore - it becomes a battle-royal that could actually be fun to watch, especially as the two jockey for VP candidates. Tops on that list? I'd say Carol Mosley-Braun. She's not even a blip in the national polls but she's a woman and has NOW's endorsement, which Dean or Clark would love to have by proxy. Personally, I think it's the only reason NOW endorsed a candidate that had barely raised any money, was ready to drop out of the race back in September and, other than appearing at the debates, was making no real effort to attain the nomination. I think her goal has been the VP slot all along.
Of all the likely combinations (in other words, accepting that none of these knuckleheads will tag Kucinich as their running mate), Clark/Mosley-Braun is the most intriguing to me. Time for some more research...