Gettin’ Some Gore – Lessons for the 2008 Clinton Campaign
At this point, I would vote for Hillary before any of the Republican candidates. If it sounds like I’m damning her with faint praise, it’s because I am.
She’s a fine statesperson- She has the street cred. She’s a thoughtful, smart, and nose-to-the-grindstone type. Her work on the Hill is strong in the areas of health care and in world (not just Iraq) politics. As a carpetbagger back in 2000, she had to win the votes of a lot of conservative upstate New Yorkers. They seem, on the whole, pleased with their investment.
So what’s bugging me about her? Mostly that she’s exhibiting all of the same weaknesses Al Gore did during his 2000 election bid:
c.) Appears to blame voters for not recognizing her street cred or understanding how much of a smart, thoughtful and nose-to-the-grindstone type she is.
If she wants to win, she needs to take a page from Gore’s post vice-presidency, which oddly enough looks a lot like Obama’s current campaign. She needs to:
1) Lighten up
2) Passionately chase down her vision (kind of her strong point)
3) Present it in inspired ways
Granted, Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth to take one example, was just a slide show, one that even made a few debatable assumptions, but it was also simple, visually catchy and full of enough good and true information that it made a lot of Americans want to know more; no small feat, that.
Here’s an inconvenient truth for you, Hillary, and I speak from painful experience, if you know something in your heart of hearts, inside and out and you find that no amount of telling people about it is getting the point across, you may need to stop questioning your listeners’ thinking and listening abilities and rethink your delivery.
I believe Gore actually started learning his lessons during his campaign. And it’s not like his campaign was a failure. He actually won the 2000 election; he just didn’t “win” it. I sometimes wonder if he had “won,” whether or not he would have finished learning the lessons he began. I wonder if he would have become humbled (sorry, the Baptist in me) to the point that his intellect and passion had to pull him up in a new direction. I wonder if Hillary won’t have a similar experience (please, God, please, don’t let that mean we have to live through a Huckabee/Norris administration).
Obama may not have years of experience, (pardon me while I meme hop, but neither did another well-known Illinois senator when he became president–Jennie, ya hear me?), but he obviously has enough years of experience to be chill, smart, and confident about his plans and ideals without making people feel bad about themselves in the process – no, actually while making people feel GOOD about themselves in the process. If Obama doesn’t have to lose an election to learn those lessons and has some substance to put behind that form, good for him, and more importantly, good for us.