I Read Al Gore’s policy positions…

“Yeah, back in 1992 I met Bill Clinton and Al Gore. The man I really wanted to meet was Al Gore. I took a good look at all his policy positions, and I was impressed.”

This sort of crashed my whole worldview. I didn’t know a full-frontal Al Gore supporter actually existed. I assumed just about everyone who voted for Gore in the 2000 election voted for him in a vague sense of desperation, even technocratic Democrats… with the exception of some Jewish voters in Florida, Joe Lieberman’s ethnic vote.

A mildly amusing game I had during the 2000 campaign: I’d say “Just picture Al Gore’s State of the Union speech.” Whoever I was talking to would groan. “Now imagine George Bush’s State of the Union speech.” And, we’d have a deeper groan, or in the case of my mother who would go on to vote for Bush wishing she could vote for John McCain, a shake of the head. Granted, the reaction is somewhat visceral, and not tied with any reaction to policy — Bush’s mangled English versus Gore’s prissy mannerisms. A wonkish supporter of Gore would be better able to look past these surface problems, and — I guess by that virtue — look past the more substantial and meaningful problems with Al Gore.

“So, you think that Al Gore could beat George W Bush this time out?” At the time, Bush was riding high after the 2002 midterm elections.

“Well, sure. If he just lays it all out there and fights, and lays it all out there.”

It was right about then that I formulated by then-out of conventional thought that Al Gore would not run for president.

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