Al Gore Supports Bush Dog Leonard Boswell

by: Matt Stoller

Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 19:36

This is interesting.

Former Vice President Al Gore has sent out an e-mail to Democrats asking for financial donations and support for Boswell's campaign. Boswell is being challenged in the 3rd District Democratic primary by Ed Fallon, a former state legislator from Des Moines.

"The congressman is honored that Vice President Gore has endorsed his candidacy for re-election and is actively participating in this campaign," said Boswell campaign manager Scott Ourth in a telephone interview with Iowa Independent.

The fundraising e-mail notes Boswell's support for Gore during the presidential campaign of 2000. "I will never forget traveling across Iowa back in 1999 and 2000 during my presidential campaign with Leonard and his wife, Dody, joining Tipper and me. Few people fought as hard for me as Leonard did," stated Gore. "From our very first bus trip until election night -- every step of the way, he was right there beside me, standing up to pharmaceutical companies, fighting to make Iowa a leader in alternative energy. As you remember, we won the caucus."

Fallon did not support Gore during the 2000 presidential campaign, opting instead to endorse and work on behalf of Green Party candidate Ralph Nader. Many Democrats still blame Nader for playing a part in Gore's 2000 loss to George Bush.

It's basic political loyalty, and I don't begrudge Al Gore his right to engage in some payback against someone that hurt him in 2000.  Still, Leonard Boswell has a bad showing on subsidies for oil companies, the war in Iraq, and constitutional rights in Guantanamo.  

Gore is not above politics, and despite his post-2000 persona, his political instincts remain constant.  He praises John McCain and supports Boswell, much as he pushed for Free Trade in the 1990s and failed to fight for the Presidency in 2000.  In other words, Gore is like a lot of antipartisan Democrats who emerged in the 1970s, speaking in media circles as a liberal while operationally supporting the status quo.

UPDATE:  I suppose it's possible Gore did not know that Boswell is in a primary with a progressive primary opponent, so I sent a request for information to Al Gore's spokesperson, Kalee Kreider.

Before sending an email solicitation for Leonard Boswell's reelection campaign, did Al Gore know that there's a primary, and that Ed Fallon (Boswell's opponent) supports a moratorium on coal fired power plants?  If so, why did he choose to endorse a candidate who prefers a less optimal solution on climate change than his opponent?
Matt Stoller :: Al Gore Supports Bush Dog Leonard Boswell

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and this is why i'm not disappointed he didn't run. (4.00 / 2)
I like Al Gore when he's not tied to the actual mechanics of our political system. Al Gore in 2000 sucked the big one. Al Gore in the 90s might as well be a wholly different person than Al Gore now.

Failed to fight for the Presidency!? (0.00 / 0)
The election went to the Supreme Court for crying our loud!  What, would you have liked him to lead a bloody revolution?  The man fought tooth and nail and, without question, suffered the most devastating political travesties of the 20th century.

Fallon should be LUCKY all Gore might do is send out a fundraising letter.

Netroots for Gore

What's with this s*** anyway? (0.00 / 0)
It's like the breakup of the Beatles.  A year ago, MyDD was the finest political site on the Web, thanks largely to the brilliant writing and insights of Matt Stoller and Chris Bowers.  

Now MyDD is a forum for Jerome's rants and political fanboy nonsense.  And when I come over here, Matt's writing nonsense about how Gore didn't really fight for the Presidency in 2000.

One great site has split into two crappy ones.

[ Parent ]
it shouldn't have even been that close. (0.00 / 0)
he should have had a little more political backbone during the actual campaign.

[ Parent ]
He CONTESTED The Election, He Didn't FIGHT For It (4.00 / 2)
Rather than go into all sorts of excruciating detail, here's one telling one that almost no one knows, but that's utterly key to the whole story:  Did you know that many counties never conducted a recount?  Imstead of a recount, they simply re-ran their tabulation software--which is not what Florida law required.

This alone was enough to invalidate the whole process, not to mention doing great damage to the favored Bush talking point.  But Gore's people seemingly never even realized it.

It's like going to Game 7 of the World Series, but not tying your shoes.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Yes I did know that, (0.00 / 0)
thank you very much.  Did you know that Gore was in favor of and pushed for a full state-wide recount in every county?  To say the man didn't fight is like saying he didn't want to win the election which is idiotic considering how devastating the whole thing was to him personally.

Netroots for Gore

[ Parent ]
I Reviewed At Least Five or Six Books About The Florida Contest (4.00 / 2)
Most of them for Publishers Weekly, so yes, I do think I know a thing or two about it.

But my familiarity was not just post facto.

I was involved in an election fraud investigation in Los Angeles in 1992-93, and became qute familiar with various arcana, including different sorts of suspicious voting patterns that can result from ballot manipulaiton, including mis-alignments, so I immediately understood the general thrust of what had happened in Palm Beach.  The first thing in the morning after election day on 2000, I called the local party offices in Florida to urge them to more right away to challenge the results.  I paid little attention to anything else for the next five weeks, and co-wrote a widely-circulated document debunking some of the most prominent myths being propagated at the time.

During this time, I lived through many hours of anguish, anger and frustration over the way that Gore and the Democrats were fighting with one hand tied behind their back.  The idea that Gore fought hard is pure fantasy.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I was right! (4.00 / 1)
Permit me a moment of self-indulgent gloating.

I have been telling people on all over the blogosphere to stop seeing Gore as if he had a blue halo.

He wanted Lieberman as his VP.

He praises McCain.

He endorses a Bush dog.

I begrudge him.

He is great on global warming. He wrote a great book, Assault on Reason.

But everyone who was frothing at the mouth at the idea of him running were all seeing the global warming crusader and wanted to see a progressive gladiator. Not quite the same.

I still like and respect him and all he is done.
But he is not the staunch progressive we wish he was.

We won the Battle. Now the Real Fight for Change Begins. Join and fight for progressive change.  

Being Outspoken On The Iraq War Was Pushing The Envelope (4.00 / 1)
And I don't think he would ever have done that kind of thing before 2000, and his subsequent soul-searching.  So I do think that he has changed in some fundamental way.

Just, not quite fundamental enough.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Despite his Boswell endorsement .. (0.00 / 0)
if you think Gore of 2000 .. and Gore of today are the same .. you are sadly mistaken .. it sounds like you read The Assault on Reason ... that ought to lay it out ... after all .. no one is perfect .. even Feingold(the Democrat I most admire) has his faults(see his ripping of Edwards a few months ago) .. Gore is a lot more progressive now then he was in 2000

[ Parent ]
he did not endorse McCain (0.00 / 0)
Only the reporters/bloggers attempts to put words in his mouth made it appear that way.

Same as asking Clinton 5 times off camera if she thinks Obama is a muslim, finally turning on the camera: "you surely don't think he's a muslim do you?....Of course not. (not enough:) but don' but really: don't you....????? look. (bugs eyes sarcasticly at stupid 60 minutes:) as far as I know.

as far as I know.

You all are attempting to take down another good Democrat in Gore with the same technique.

"Former Vice President Gore thinks that both candidates are very strong. Both of them have offered plans to address the climate crisis ... as has Senator McCain," she said.

Now, we know that dot dot dot (...) means something has been left out.

for instance, lets say the reporter left out this:

   "Former Vice President Gore thinks that both candidates are very strong. Both of them have offered plans to address the climate crisis, and have also made speeches about global warming as has Senator McCain," she said.

That is the most likely thing a Gore spokeswoman actually said. Its true. McCain talks about it. He does not have a plan. Any fool going to the three sites sees that two have a plan, and McCain does not. One has a good plan that is Gore driven, Pew Climate Center driven, Center For American Progress driven and one has a plan driven by the ethanol lobby and the nuclear lobby, ( but they both do have plans at their sites. McCain has no plan, and his non votes on climate change to go along with that no plan.

However, Gore knows this, and praises any tiny movement on the part of the flatearth party, like even making pretty speeches because we must get more defectors to vote with us or get a 60 vote majority in the Senate. For McCain to make speeches about it is significantly different than Inohofe's stance: the Republican standard. Gore knows the difference very well. He is flattering a Senator, not endorsing a president.

John McCain vetoes every Environmental Bill already.

[ Parent ]
Has Fallon Explained Why... (0.00 / 0)
...he supported Nader, in a very important swing state, over Gore?

Anyone who thinks that there is no difference between the two parties should look at that election.  Its perfectionist purists like Nader, and apparently Fallon,  that enabled the Iraq War and continued inaction on global warming as much as any oil company executive.  Frankly, I can't imagine getting behind anyone who supported Nader (and Bush) over Gore.  It really speaks to the man's judgement.  I'd hear Fallon out but gosh, this is sort of shocking.  Can't Iowa Democrats find someone else to run against Boswell?  Has Fallon committed to supporting the Democratic noiminee over McCain?

You could look it up (4.00 / 1)
You'd find that he has apologized, supported Edwards in the primary, is now supporting Obama, and will support whoever the nominee is.

As for this "can't Iowa Democrats find someone else to run against Boswell?" I think you are living in a fantasy land if you think it is that easy. Challenging incumbents is extremely difficult, and you have to burn a lot of bridges to do it. And, depending on how you define "Iowa Democrats" they aren't exactly trying to find someone to challenge Boswell at all. The Iowa house is changing the rules so that you can't draw a salary from your campaign, specifically to hurt Fallon.

Any challenger takes a big risk in taking on the establishment. It's pretty obvious in the American political system that third parties are a counter productive way to do that, but to punish him (and therefore reward the type of politician who make the base so disaffected in the first place) would be a very backwards response.

Anyway, there have been a whole series of front-page posts on Open Left about this race, I recommend you look them up.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
no, Howard, the entire Iowa Democratic Party establishment (0.00 / 0)
is behind Boswell. No one else was willing to step up to the plate to challenge Boswell, nor could any other credible candidate have been found to challenge Boswell. People are too afraid to burn bridges with the Democratic power-brokers in this state.

Fallon backed the Democratic nominee in every other election, including the 2004 and 2008 presidential races.

I do think it was wrong for anyone in a swing state to vote for Nader, and that includes Fallon.

However, I think it's only fair to remember how disappointing the Clinton administration's record on environmental and some economic issues was. That was why 3 million people voted for Nader (I was not one of them).

What did Clinton do to combat global warming? Pretty much nothing.  

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
Clinton and Gore had The Contract On America to deal with (0.00 / 0)
Nobody could have gotten congress to do anything back then on global warming, with the Republicans controlling congress.

John McCain vetoes every Environmental Bill already.

[ Parent ]
I posted the entire Gore e-mail on Boswell's behalf (0.00 / 0)
at Bleeding Heartland, in case anyone is interested:


Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

incidentally, Boswell will NOT commit (4.00 / 1)
to supporting the winner of the June 3 primary.

Fallon has been saying all year that he will support the winner of the primary. I've been trying for weeks to get an unequivocal statement on this out of the Boswell campaign.

If Boswell is going to bash Fallon for supporting a third-party candidate in 2000, he should at least rule out pulling a Lieberman in the event that he loses the primary.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

...but... (4.00 / 1)
Gore is not above politics, and despite his post-2000 persona, his political instincts remain constant.

I dunno, isn't it at least possible that Gore is supporting Boswell out of a sense of personal loyalty rather than political calculation?  They're friends, he helped him in his campaign in 2000, where's the cold conniving crime in that?

By the same token, as much as I appreciate Bill Richardson's courageous endorsement of Obama, I wouldn't have begrudged him in the slightest had he sided with Clinton or witheld endorsement altogether.  Personal ties don't counterbalance perfectly against political goals like always siding with the most progressive candidate.  

Also it occurs to me that Gore might have good-faith reasons not to consider Fallon the best candidate.  I don't think he walks on water by any means but he's earned some benefit of the doubt.

Contrast with Obama backing his mentor Joe Lieberman in Connecticut...someone remind me, where is Holy Joe these days?  Of course, that goes beyond political instincts, seems more like entering political senility, but any way you slice it, that's bad behavior.

The Wages of Sin is about $5.15 an Hour.

Purity test (0.00 / 0)
Sorry Gore isn't pure enough for you, Matt.


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