I disagree. Adlai’s joke meant he needed more than the “egghead” class to vote for him. It was a sign of humility, not contempt.
Also Al Gore will not lose twice because the Democrats will not nominate him again.
H.L. Mencken had no use for Stevenson’s politics, but had a high opinion of him as a prson.
I’d say Bryan. By settling himself far to the left, Gore risks being broadsided by moderate-liberals like Lieberman or centrist-actors like Kerry – especially when push comes to shove in the Spring of 2004. Considering his conduct over the past few months, however, the former vice president may not even carry enough stature to be a target in the Democrat primaries. If Gore continues to wreath his fiery speeches in hysterical, hyperbolic rhetoric (and fermenting sour grapes) between then and today, he will steadily mince himself into unelectable irrelevance; he’ll become a modern-day Henry Wallace. I don’t even think the Greens would want him, then.
My impression of Adlai was that he was at least a patriotic liberal, ala Moynihan. I remember after Gore’s speech you said something about how Gore was betting his political future on America doing badly. Also, remember how Adlai confronted the Soviets in the UN over the Cuban missiles? I have a hard time picturing Gore in his place.
I agree about the patriotism thing, in the past, leaders of the democratic party were americans first and democrats second, today its the other way around.
Adlai did a great job as UN ambassador during the cuban missle crisis. He was able to put aside his loss in the election(s) and get on with the job of serving the country.
I did have one favorite quote from him on his chances for election:
Advisor: Well sir, you’ve got the intellectual vote
Adlai: Yeah, but I need a majority…
I think Gore is much more like Bryan than
Stevenson. Hes not running to make the United States a better place or to fix a given problem, hes running to win. His platform is himself, as if that was all that mattered.
As the months go by and Bush’s approval rating remains high, the Clintons will assist gladly in giving Gore a shove under the train. It will all be behind the scenes, of course, but they will meet with him a few times and give encouragement, which he will come to realize around 2007 was actually betrayal (again).
Slate thought he did great on Letterman, and declares that a new Al is RFTW (ready for the world). Slate must not have seen Barbara Walters.
BTW, Hillary is on with Chris Matthews on Wed night for the whole hour…might be worth the price of admission.
I vote for Adlai. Bryant with all his defects, was at least a true populist, and a true believer, as well as an electrifying stump speaker. None of this applies to Algore. Also, I don’t quite see Al taking on a modern day Scopes trial. Methinks his newfound contempt of unilateralism, etc is part of a politically comfortable leftward lurch, ie necessarily truly believed.
Adlai, on the other hand, was like Al, a poseur and an insufferable prick, qualities which tend to show up on the campaign trail. Neither is/was as smart as their supposedly dense nemeses (Ike and W) and both they and their supporters lacked the gray matter or objectivity to perceive otherwise. Granted, Adlai at least did not try to be someone he was not, and posessed some positive qualities, but then again so does Al. Lets just keep him away from the kitchen for the next 20 years.
But what if the proper analogy is with Richard Nixon: http://www.amconmag.com/10_21/albert_m_nixon.html
Lloyd, you call Adlai a poser, and then two sentences later say he “did not try to be somone he was not”.
Either one was vastly more intelligent than Gore. The Telluride speech (cross of Gold) was a piece of rabble rousing populism, but it was a BRILLIANT speech, far better than Gore could ever pull off.
The interesting comparison is GWB to McKinley, especially since K Rove is said to have a special interest in McKinley. McK’s campaign slogan, when he ran with Hobart in 96, was “Protection, Sound Money” It’s a good platform today.
Interesting that McKinley is mentioned, since I remember a comment on of my history books from college about WJB that the opposition had basically stolen all of his ideas except free-silver. The quote was something to the effect of “left with the tattered undergarments of free-silver.” Bush’s move to let alot of liberal bills such as steel tariffs and the education bill go through early in his term does the same to Gore.
Ken, good point. However, a “poseur”, as opposed to a “poser” (one who poses) is defined in Websters to include one who is “an affected or insincere person”. While not insincere, I would maintain that Adlai was “affected”. Also, put a “not” in front of my “necessarily…”
Bryan was right about one thing – the US committed a colossal crime against the Philippines.
The US never should have tried nation-building in a thatch of remote islands with no tradition of anti-Americanism. http://1-14th.com/HistPhilInsurrect.htm “insurrection” my foot.
The US should instead have shown up in Manila, said “jolly good show” to Aguinaldo(who’d already trounced the Spaniards outside that town), set up an embassy, and got the troops the hell out. America could have used the Russian-Japanese war of 1905 as its pretext to set up a naval base.
That said, I don’t think Gore has anything similarly constructive to say about Iraq, Afghanistan, or the cracks in his own bath tub.
I agree with you, and disagree with Joanne Jacobs.
As Michael Barone asked, “Can you imagine Roosevelt or Truman making that comment?” Adlai was a snob, and so’s Al Gore.
But in the end, Al’s like the Beatles’ song: “I’m a loser.”