Opinion: Early reaction to Al Gore’s Obama endorsement: Yawn


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Some early overnight reaction to the belated endorsement of Barack Obama by Al Gore. And it might disappoint the former vice president and loser in the 2000 White House race.

Exactly what Gore was waiting for in the past two weeks since Obama sewed up his party’s nomination is unclear. Maybe he just wanted to go to Michigan where his prize-winning environmental pitch is so very less welcome than other places that don’t make so many large cars.


Or maybe he was waiting until his endorsement meant absolutely nothing.

Anyway, as The Ticket reported, Gore said all the right things in his endorsement speech, except he noticeably left out the last Democratic president, the one who chose to elevate Gore from has-been senator to his running mate and has been the only Democrat elected president twice since World War II, which is like the Middle Ages for today’s voters.

But within minutes online reaction was underwhelming. Joe Gandelman, editor in chief over at the Moderate Voice, who is usually, well, very moderate, posted an item titled ‘Obama Gets ‘the’ Endorsement: The Lousy Timing of Al Gore.’

He had this to say:

‘Perhaps one day someone will write a chapter in a new book about Al Gore titled ‘Profiles in Uncourage.’ ... But it came so late in the game that the person who’ll be most impressed with it will be Tipper Gore.’

After that the item went downhill. Gandelman said the endorsement so long sought by Obama and Hillary Clinton was by now such an anti-climax that it resembled the ponderings about whether Ralph Nader would run yet again.

Ouch, how’d you like to be compared to the 21st century’s Harold Stassen?

Or as Jay Leno described the Gore endorsement: “You could feel the excitement in the room. It was unbelievable. And then Al Gore walked in.”

‘Not exactly ‘Man bites dog’ news. Who is Gore going to endorse? John McCain?’ asked John Mariner in The Ticket’s comments section.

Sam Patel added: ‘It’s a sad day to see one of the Clinton’s most loyal supporters essentially dis-own them! Like Bill Richardson, Al Gore was a complete nobody had it not been for Bill Clinton’s risky generosity. I bet he now regrets some of those appointments.’

Up at the San Francisco Chronicle’s politics blog, Joe Garofoli wrote: ‘We know this will never happen, but hopefully Al will tell us tonight why he didn’t endorse somebody when it WOULD HAVE MEANT SOMETHING. Like in February.

‘Then again, think of it from his perspective. In his foreseeable role as Captain Planet, he’s going to need to work with whoever would be president, so why burn a bridge with a nomination. But isn’t Al big enough now (is that a Nobel in your pocket?) that he doesn’t have to worry about such petty political matters.’

Guess not.

--Andrew Malcolm