Monday, June 19, 2006

Sticking it to Joe, the sequel

Once again, Al Gore has tried to put the brakes on Joe-mentum.

Back in December 2003, Gore stuck it to his '00 running mate, Joe Lieberman, when the latter was trying to kick-start his own '04 presidential campaign. Without notifying Lieberman in advance, Gore endorsed Howard Dean. I saw Lieberman the day it happened, in Durham, New Hampshire, and the guy could not hide the fact that he was stunned and hurt. Lieberman's staunch support for the Iraq war clearly was a factor in Gore's decision.

Now it's happened again. Lieberman, as I mentioned again Friday, is fighting for his political life in Connecticut, where the senator faces a tough challenge from antiwar candidate Ned Lamont in an Aug. 8 Democratic primary. And when Gore was asked this weekend by Bloomberg who he supported, he replied:

"I am not involved. I typically do not get involved in Democratic primaries. Joe is my close friend, Joe and Hadassah are close to Tipper and me and it would be very difficult for me to ever oppose him. But I don't get involved in primaries typically. He's a great guy and he's right on a lot of other issues."

First of all, Gore did get involved in those '04 Democratic primaries. And as for the line about it being "very difficult for me ever to oppose him"...well, he did oppose him once already. But this rift probably goes beyond their fundamental disagreement over the war. Gore is also broadly in tune with the left-leaning blogosphere, which has been campaigning for Lieberman's scalp. I doubt that Joe and Hadassah will be supping with their "close friends" Al and Tipper any time soon.

Meanwhile, regarding Gore, this is interesting: a new CNN poll finds that Gore, as a prospective '08 candidate, has the highest negative rating of any Democrat. The poll reports that 48 percent of Americans would not consider voting for him if he ran again. Perhaps that helps to explain why his name never appears in the movie ad for An Inconvenient Truth. In order to make money, the filmmakers need to attract the patrons who care about global warming but don't necessarily care for Gore.