By Brent Budowsky - 10/16/07 04:48 PM EDT
Gore is the Rocky Balboa of American politics with a comeback that is a triumph of purpose and goodwill. He is America’s first presidential-level conviction politician since Ronald Reagan and the most authentic heir to the Democratic legacies of FDR and JFK.
The political classes miss the point analyzing Gore in terms of tactics and insiderism. Gore towers above what Americans most dislike about our politics, and what the world most dislikes about America’s actions in the first decade of the 21st century.
He is not Candidate Gore, Politician Gore, or even Nobel Laureate Gore. He is Citizen Gore, who at age 59 has an extraordinary body of work over a lifetime, and now begins a new journey that transcends the limits of politics, with indescribable potential to move the world.
Will Gore be elected president in 2008?
Probably not, possibly yes, here is how:
Almost certainly, between now and Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize speech, three things will happen:
First: The presidential candidates will be on the attack, with the low-concept politics that thoroughly alienates American voters.
Second: Gore will conduct himself as a world statesman and moral leader. He will not run for president, authorize his name to be placed on ballots, or endorse any candidate. Gore will address world issues as Citizen Gore with stature and substance.
Third: The supporters of Gore, who are many and organized, could begin an authentic write-in campaign that asks voters of New Hampshire to fire the cannon that will be heard around the world, in the first primary that is America’s truest exercise of citizen democracy.
It has happened before.
New Hampshire voters may or may not agree with the views here, but they do not take dictation from Washington insiders or march to “Meet The Press.” They do not appreciate being informed of what they believe or instructed about what they must inevitably do.
The case for Gore’s supporters to champion another New Hampshire stunner is this:
With the president and Congress facing national disrepute, Gore was a congressman in the best tradition of the people’s House; a senator of stature in the great deliberative body; and a vice president who elevated the office.
Gore’s call for protection of the planet has been the mission of a lifetime carried for a generation with passion, substance and determination. Gore had the commander in chief-quality experience, judgment and courage to oppose the Iraq war when it mattered the most, when lesser voices put their fingers to the wind and stood silent or supportive while this terrible tragedy unfolded.
Gore spoke with deep patriotism when our country began the dark march to torture, when our president asserted unitary power over the Bill of Rights, and lesser voices stood silent, submissive or supportive.
Gore was a voice for civil rights when the South was emerging from segregation and a leader championing nuclear arms control while Reagan was meeting with Gorbachev and under attack from many who attack Gore today.
This is an extraordinary body of work over a relatively young lifetime for a man usually ahead of his time, often sailing against the wind, sometimes courageous, uncommonly wise, and always informed by respect for knowledge, facts, reason, judgment and his aspirations for an Americanism of our highest ideals.
Al Gore is not always right, but he always aspires to be right, with a profound respect for the search for truth, and a conviction that if American leaders tell the truth, any generation can be a great generation.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy whip of the House. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog , where today readers will find an elaboration on this op-ed.