September 30, 2002

HOWARD KURTZ REPORTS some complications in the Peretz / Gore relationship. Peretz apparently “advised” Gore on the speech, even though The New Republic editorialized quite harshly against it.

Hmm. Of course, maybe the Gore people didn’t take Peretz’s advice, which would explain why Peretz is so “uncharacteristically tight-lipped” on the subject.

James Robbins, meanwhile, writes in NRO that the speech was “superb.” No, really:

The most immediate intra-party effect of the speech is to make other Democratic leaders look weak, vacillating, and prone to compromise principles for political expediency. This is an important objective, because these are Gore’s likely opponents in the 2004 primary race. Gore has to separate himself from the pack, and make himself relevant despite the fact that he is a private citizen and has no direct input in the policy or legislative arenas. Opposing the president’s war agenda is the best tool available.

Call it reverse-triangulation. For Clinton, this would work. For Gore, I don’t think so. Mark Steyn, meanwhile, isn’t as impressed with the speech as Robbins.