Clinton-Gore ’08

bill_clinton_al_gore.jpgI saw someone on TV (sorry–I have no idea who it was or even what channel it was on) who argued that the Obama-Clinton appearance yesterday was more important for Bill than for Obama. Sure, the appearance was about reassuring everyone that there are no more (stated) hard feelings about the primary. But it also gave Bill an opportunity to bask in the glow of Obama’s goodwill, perhaps to exorcise some of the bad feelings from South Carolina.

I would add to this insight that the timing is key. Obama didn’t campaign with Bill until polls show him with a big lead, particularly in Electoral College Votes. That is, Obama invited Bill to campaign with him after it became highly probable that he will win; though Bill has campaigned for the campaign already (with Biden in PA, in VA, and in AR), if Obama wins it will be his win, on his own merits. Which is, I guess, where the room for this gesture comes from.

Don’t get me wrong–Bill no doubt will help Obama build a bigger lead in FL, which is currently the closest of the big swing states (even OH shows a bigger Obama lead!). But as for the election–rather than the state–Bill has been helpful, but by no means instrumental to Obama’s success thus far. (I’m particularly reminded of all the complaints that Gore didn’t invite Clinton to campaign with him in 2000.) At that level, then, it seems as much symbolic as anything else.

And now we have news that Gore himself (with Tipper) will campaign for Obama in FL.

Gore will appear at "Vote for Change" rallies in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, according to a release just issued by the Obama campaign.

Gore returns (on Halloween, no less) to the land of butterfly ballots, hanging chads and a 36-day national recount drama that determined Gore lost and George W. Bush won the 2000 presidential election.

Talk about symbolism! Gore, like Clinton, has campaigned for Obama before (for example, at Gore’s endorsement of Obama in Detroit earlier this year, which I screwed up royally by missing). But at a time when the outcome of the race–but not Florida–seems more and more favorable to Obama, Obama has invited Gore to the scene of the 2000 crime. West Palm Beach and Broward County, no less!

Like Bill’s visit, Gore’s will no doubt help Obama build his lead in FL. I’m sure a lot of those elderly Jews who "voted" for Buchanan in 2000, for example, will welcome the opportunity to support Gore again. And any margin in FL will help push Obama beyond the point where shenanigans might deprive him of the state.

But above all, this is really wonderful symbolism–to have Clinton and Gore and Obama, all three, work together to put Florida in the Democratic column.

32 replies
  1. bobschacht says:

    Gore, like Clinton, has campaigned for Obama before (for example, at Gore’s endorsement of Obama in Detroit earlier this year, which I screwed up royally by missing).

    It actually was a very good speech– unfortunately, it was delivered in what seemed like a great hurry. It had some great applause lines, but Al didn’t give the applause time to “bloom.” He rushed on to the next point. It was really bizarre, as if he was told just before he went on that he had two minutes less time than he was scheduled for. Read the transcript, and then watch how it was delivered live.

    Bob in HI

  2. Ishmael says:

    I think a similar Obama/Clinton dynamic was in play when Obama resisted all the supporters of Hillary to be VP – Obama made a calculated risk that he would win without Hillary, despite her very strong showing in the primary and the disappointment of her supporters, in order to ensure that he would be in control of the party machinery when he won, and not beholden to any of the Clinton people who have dominated the party since 1992. Or it could have been that Obama and Hillary were about as compatible as Kennedy & Johnson personally – who knows? But its fun to speculate!

  3. BoxTurtle says:

    msg to Bill: As long as you’re out and about anyway, a stop or two in Ohio would be helpful. I’m starting to worry.

    The sheer volume of evil mailers and phone calls is starting to have an evvect. Anything printed in full color on heavy cardstock seems to be automatically believed. Actual conversation(!):

    Man in line at cashier: I ain’t voting for no muslim terrorist.
    Me: He’s neither Muslim nor terrorist. He goes to a protestant (sp) church.
    MiL: You know what a deep sleeper agent is? I think he’s part of one of them sleeper cells.
    Me: Where’d you get that?
    MiL: Urgent mailing from the board of elections.
    Me: Board of elections?
    MiL: Yeah. Came registered, I had to sign for it. Special messenger!
    Me: Messenger?
    Mil: Yeah, said he was a volunteer, had to deliver to my entire neighborhood.

    I dunno if the Messenger misrepresented himself or if the MiL simply misunderstood.

    I didn’t get one, might have something to do with a couple of muddy Husky’s in my front yard.

    Boxturtle (Siberian Husky’s for Obama!)

    • emptywheel says:

      Jeebus, that’s ugly. You ought to tell the local Obama folks to make sure they know, as it’s is almost certainly fraudulent. They can make a big legal stink about it which might embarrass a few of the idiots who have listened to it that it’s fake.

      And in other news, Obama just got a vote in MI!! And I even got to vote for stem cell research and medical marijuana.

      • BoxTurtle says:

        Like an idiot, I didn’t get a neighborhood where this was done. But nobody who isn’t a local resident shops at that Handyman. I’ll stop by DHQ on my bike ride and give them a heads up.

        Boxturtle (If the entire neighborhood got hit, they ought to be able to find someone with first hand info)

    • emptywheel says:

      DOn’t know where you’re at–but remember that he didn’t fight for all the undervotes in Jacksonville to be recounted, which by itself would have flipped the election.

      • JimWhite says:

        I’m in Gainesville, just under two hours from Jacksonville. And since Corrine Brown is about the only one who was willing to go to the mat over those undervotes, she’s now seen as a radical kook [but is running unopposed]. You probably saw the NYTimes article showing folks there are still upset over that and worried about a repeat.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Tools for anyone you know working in Florida… or in AZ. Or anywhere…

      At Google, an app for mobiles to help people locate voting locations for voters on the go:…..on-go.html

      And at, one of the iPhone apps for counting down to the election:…..hange.html

      And one for reading election updates on your iPhone:…..ons08.html

      And I should have left this Apple link for bmaz’s new Mac some time ago:…

      I started wondering a few days ago whether we’re watching the first iElection, though I still have to think through the implications of what that term means. FWIW, Steve Jobs’ visionary thinking is driving more of this social change and transformation than anyone seems to be giving him credit for…

      Al Gore is the elected official that I associate most closely with nurturing the kinds of technical developments that seem to be manifesting in the kinds of cognitive shifts now being called “the iBrain“:

      Behind the social and culture transformations we’re seeing lie cognitive changes; the unwitting outcomes of the personal computer and networking, which were produced by visionary minds in a political environment that supported technical innovation. Among those visionary minds, none were more bold or astute than Steve Jobs. I doubt that Jobs ever consciously set out to change American politics, but I sure have a hunch that the products and technologies he helped nurture: the personal computer, the mobile device, and digital media underlie the personal and social transformations that we’re watching play out in this election.

      Al Gore in Florida is the icing on the cake for me in this election; I hope he has his iPod, his iPhone, and that he helps all us iBrains everywhere believe that if you take the high road, over the long haul you come out on top. I look forward to using ‘the google’ on ‘the toobz’ to follow Gore’s campaigning in Florida in 2008, and I’ll watch it on my iMac ;-))

      To paraphrase Nancy Pelosi, “I don’t think you’re describing even the half of it.”

  4. freepatriot says:

    Bill Clinton is the biggest ASSET President Obama will have on the world stage

    so come on, brainiacs

    how do we use him ???

    and skdadl, Joe Biden referred to himself as “Joe The Biden” at an ice cream shop, yesterday

    apparently, eating an ice cream cone while campaigning is a major gaff now

  5. skdadl says:

    Oh, bmaz — oh, no, I wasn’t.

    Oh, I am so sorry. I think every once in a while to ask in the mornings why she isn’t here to share coffee with me. Oh, I am sorry. If you can, please feel free to write to me @ skdadl @

    What a lovely friend she was to me online. I’m glad she had that splendid trip in late summer — to Algonquin, I think.

  6. TheraP says:

    Excellent analysis, EW. Yes, it’s clear that Obama has the “power.” And that he can now campaign with Clinton and Gore without in any way being diminished. Indeed, it actually burnishes Clinton to be seen with him at this point, I think. And Gore is simply in a category by himself. A man who should have been where Obama is. A man who has gained in stature by the manner in which he “lost” an election.

    Beautiful the way things sometimes turn out.

  7. AZ Matt says:

    From Sam Stein at Huff Po: Norm Coleman Sues Al Franken For Defamation

    Sen. Norm Coleman announced on Thursday that he was filing a lawsuit against his Democratic opponent Al Franken and the Franken campaign over what he deemed defamation of character.

    If the move seems dramatic, it shouldn’t. This is now the fourth time that the Minnesota Republican has filed a suit late in the course of his runs for office.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      I would love to see the standard of proof needed to convict a COMEDIAN running for office of something he said.

      Boxturtle (Besides the 1st amendment issuea, Al can make a strong case that nothing he says should be taken too seriously)

  8. perris says:

    And now we have news that Gore himself (with Tipper) will campaign for Obama in FL.

    I am surprised we have not seen or heard more from gore this election

  9. Loo Hoo. says:

    Marie Roget was the gal who turned us on to Andres Useche’s “Si, Se Puede Cambiar.” Go listen, it will make you cry. (can’t do links on this toy computer)

  10. JimWhite says:

    Sorry to post so many consecutive comments and blog-whore here, but I just put up an Oxdown diary that I’d like some feedback on. I was doing oppo research on my gooper Congressman and found a photo of him with Georges Sada, author of Saddam’s Secrets, where he claims the WMD were smuggled to Syria. With just a little digging, I found some evidence that I think pokes major holes in Sada’s story. I couldn’t find anyone else using this particular evidence against Sada’s claims and would like to know if my arguments sound convincing.

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