Give It Up, Al

Citizen Gore's shadow campaign

Maybe Gore really is just dawdling. Maybe he's smart enough to sense that the Democrats have so bungled things there's little incentive for him to face Bush again in 2004. Maybe he thinks some other schmuck should charge into those propellers while Gore saves up for what will be his final presidential run for 2008.

It matters little either way, as the alternatives are equally bleak. Daschle and Gephardt are repugnant. John Kerry already folded on Iraq. And John Edwards seems a Clinton clone. Potential "progressive" candidates such as Dennis Kucinich lack the sort of national organization needed for a serious presidential run. And the less serious Greens, meanwhile, flirt with disaster, toying with running former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney for president in 2004. Such a choice would guarantee a Green campaign mired in what writer Micah Sifry calls the "fever swamps" of paranoia around Sept. 11.

So in this matchlessly dreary political moment, the least Al Gore can do to marginally improve matters is to get his mug off the tube and dig back in to wherever he lurks between his pop-up appearances. Go grow another beard, Al. Or write another book. But please, please, don't run for president again.

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