I have Al Gore at 3 to 1, Hillary at 5 to 1, Obama at 6 to 1, Edwards at 10 to 1 and no one else worth rating.
Gore is not just a wannabe president, he is a should-have-been president. That must weigh on his mind each minute of each day. And he has some scores to settle. (One of them is with himself, for running such a lame campaign in 2000.)
Hillary and Obama will cancel each other out with their mutual popularity, their fat treasuries and their lack of electability, standing alone.
Gore will have to step in. If he does, and if gets a new tailor, a new hair stylist and a decent drama coach who can tell him how to talk, tell a joke and act like a genuine human being, he will be unbeatable. He has substance: he thinks, he acts, he leads, he writes, he is decent, he is not an asshole, he has relevant experience, he moves people. He is better than the American people deserve.
The Republicans have no one. McCain could have had it all, but in the dumbest political act of the last decade tied his star to George W. and became a sycophant for the religious right. He got what he deserved and disappeared into a political black hole. He is history. (This assessment of McCain was confirmed by the report in the N.Y. Times of July 3 that McCain raised only $11.2 million in Q2 [a third of what Obama raised] and as a result has had to lay off dozens of campaign workers.) Giuliani is a jerk and a joke, and it is impossible to imagine a president named Rudy. Fred who? Nothing could be better for the Democrats than that the Republicans should nominate Newt. George has left a wasteland behind.
So, the case for Al Gore is overwhelming. What next? His ticket and his cabinet. Now the fun begins.
There is only one possibility for the Vice Presidential position -- Barack Obama. It is not even close. The chemistry between Hillary and Al would be toxic. They would destroy each other. Edwards would add nothing to a ticket led by Gore. Obama brings brains, style, glamour, excitement, novelty and tons of money. It is a perfect fit with Al. The southern white candidate with a northern black running mate -- it is the realization of the American dream. And look -- the southern white is a global environmental superstar and the northern black was president of the Harvard Law Review. This is American power and possibility at its acme.
Now to the cabinet. Some picks are easy.
Patrick Fitzgerald must be the Attorney General.
Hillary must swallow her pride and become Secretary of Health and Human Services, finally to be in a position to drive this country to a sane national health care program. If she has integrity she will not pass it up. Moreover, look how it positions her for a future run if she succeeds here.
Secretary of State: my candidate is Bill Clinton. If you forget that he was the president and made a giant fool of himself, he has superb credentials for the post of Secretary of State.
Dept. of Treasury: I would leave Hank Paulson in place -- for the time being.
Dept. of Labor: John Edwards. It is not a perfect fit, but he is the only one to speak out on the ruinous issue of income inequality in America and this is as good a platform as any for him to address that problem. If not Edwards, then Robert Reich again.
Dept. of Defense: A tough call. Colin Powell might be a candidate. A chance for him to make a comeback from the shadows. Does he have the guts? He flinched last time around and played the whore at the UN. He might come back with a vengeance.
Dept. of Homeland Security: Abolish it.
Dept. of Interior: Candidate to be nominated by William A Newsom, Jr., of San Francisco.
Dept. of Housing and Urban Development: Why not Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco? He knows urban issues first hand. He needs executive experience at the cabinet level. (All the others are learning on the job. Why not Gavin?) This gives him a national platform and gets him out of the no-win cul-de-sac of San Francisco politics. He could do a great job here and later cross over to the governorship of California, after Arnie, or to the vice-presidency in Gore's second term or under Hillary in her first term.
All other cabinet positions are open.
The first Supreme Court position should go to Laurence H. Tribe of the Harvard Law School faculty. Any scholar writing an article entitled, "The Unbearable Wrongness of Bush v. Gore," should be appointed to the Supreme Court.
The open question is whether Gore can put together a winning campaign organization, by which I mean a Kennedy-style campaign that means to win and brings together the talent, organization, money and winning attitude to do it. Our recent Democratic candidates have failed horribly on this score.
This is a work in progress and all comments are welcome.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Posted by Ed Stadum at 9:38 PM