Former Vice President Al Gore will hit the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton in the coming weeks, two senior Democrats sources told CNN on Tuesday.
Democrats are hoping that Gore, who served with Clinton’s husband during his administration, can help the Democratic presidential nominee appeal to millennial voters who are concerned about climate change.
With polls suggesting that third-party candidates including Gary Johnson and Jill Stein could potentially tip the election to Donald Trump if the final vote is close, Democrats are hoping that Gore can make the case that voting for an alternative candidate can have lasting consequences — a not so subtle reminder that Green Party candidate Ralph Nader may have tipped Florida from Gore to George W. Bush in 2000.
Clinton has struggled in recent polls with the millennial voter demographic, whose voters appear disproportionately open to backing Stein or Johnson. A Quinnipiac survey out last month found that 44% of voters 18-34 said they would vote one of those two third-party hopefuls.
Scenario: You’re the Democrat nominee for president, in an election people say you should win easily, largely because they think the Republican nominee is stupid and scary. The problem is that you’re not winning easily and are having a real difficult time connecting with people who aren’t old enough to remember when MTV played music videos. What do you do?
Naturally, you reach out for an assist from the last Democrat nominee who lost to a Republican everyone thought he could easily beat because they believed that Republican was stupid and scary.
I’ve recently begun to refer to the Democrats as the “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” party because they are so good at erasing their memories when it’s convenient to do so. Team Clinton is obviously focusing on Gore’s popularity as a professional climate fear hustler and blocking out the fact that he’s essentially a mush-mouthed sleep aid on the campaign trail. Ralph Nader didn’t tip voters from Gore to Bush in 2000, Gore’s glaring lack of a personality did.
This, more than anything, should give you an idea just how out of touch Hillary Clinton is with regular Americans. She has so much difficulty connecting with people that Al Gore is a step up in the people-skills department. Saying that one of these two is more dynamic in front of a crowd is akin to deciding that one coma patient is more exciting to read to than another.
Gore’s climate cred is obviously still big on the left, and it is understandable that they think he has a shot at outshining Johnson or Stein on the issue. How much of that credibility resonates with millennial voters though? Sure, he’s still a force, but it has been a decade since the peak of his popularity as a hysteria pimp. Millennials who are just hitting voting age this year were in the fourth grade when Al Gore was hanging out at the Oscars for “An Inconvenient Truth.” Is he really a game changer if the voters they hope he will attract have to Google him?
As I pointed out when rumors of this Gore tactic were first floated a few weeks ago, Mrs. Bill’s struggles with the youngsters aren’t new. The problem was written off in 2008 because her primary opponent was much, much younger than she was. Barack Obama probably would have been more popular with younger voters even had he not had the “historic first” aspect going for him. As the 2016 primary season played out and the youth voters were flocking to an opponent who is seven years older, it became apparent that her problem with the demographic runs very deep.
Her relatability problem is the reason the campaign has had to “reintroduce” Granny Maojackets to the American public every few months for the past year and a half. There aren’t any other people out there who have ferociously clung to coattails and ridden them to three powerful positions like Mrs. Clinton. She’s in an elitist class all by herself, but Democrats are desperate to have everyone believe she’s lived life as a struggling working mom. Her stints as first lady, United States senator, and secretary of State are what they love to point to, for good reason obviously, but they also undermine the Everygal vibe they’d like her to give.
She’s gotten this far because Democrats are willing to forgive a lot for their historic firsts. If you look very closely, however, you won’t find many supporters who are both enthusiastic about the prospect of Mrs. Clinton being president, and not on her payroll. The fact that she’s using Al Gore to pick off a few twenty-somethings from Jill Stein even though she’s facing a Republican who has a good chunk of likely GOP voters opposed to him is indicative of her overall weakness as a candidate.
The upside for Hillary may be the fickle history of the youth vote her campaign is trying to woo right now. Historically, they make a lot of noise but don’t turn out on election day proportionate to the clamor. The much-talked-about youth turnout for Barack Obama in 2008 was largely fiction. Yes, it was a larger turnout than in 2004, but barely so. Dorm-room “Hope” posters weren’t really translating into a rush at the polls. If they weren’t turning out for Obama in the droves everyone thought they would, they probably won’t vote for Jill Stein and Gary Johnson in large enough numbers to do damage to Hillary.
What was whipping Bernie’s youthful throngs into frenzies probably wasn’t the climate nonsense anyway. The Socialist Scamp was practically offering them cradle-to-grave government subsidization of their lives, all to be paid for by some mysterious “oligarchy” that kept him up at night. Hillary is still promising free college to everyone just like Bernie was, it’s just that the kids aren’t listening now.
I could be completely wrong here. Maybe the monotone political relic from the 1990s will be just the ticket to make the young’uns think Granny is the bomb.