So President Al Gore has chosen Howard Dean as his successor. I think of Ev Dirksen, leader of the Taft forces at the Republican Convention in 1952 (and no, dammit, I’m not old enough to remember it) pointing down at Thomas E. Dewey and rumbling, “Do … not … follow … that … man! He led us down the road to defeat!”
Meanwhile, 50,000 people apparently haven’t gotten the word that Dean is inevitable. That’s how many showed up at Clark meetups around the country last Monday. I’m banking on them rather than Gore. I’ve been wrong before, but that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
Update I thought Clark showed class by not knocking Gore. And though at first blush it’s hard to believe his statement that “I think it’s wonderful,” it’s actually not hard to tell a story where this is good rather than bad. It’s clearly a slap at Lieberman, and less clearly at Kerry. That can only be good for Clark.
But Gore’s advisors, always eager to curry press favor for themselves by making the boss look weak and conniving — that’s part of the reason he’s not running for re-election now — gave the story a spin that might be even better news for Clark:
The endorsement has advantages and disadvantages for Gore, sources close to the former vice president told NBC News Andrea Mitchell. The sources described the endorsement as a way for Gore to maneuver himself to challenge former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, for supremacy within the Democratic Party.
Well, I can think of a counter-maneuver the Clintons might use. And a Gore endorsement isn’t worth 10% of the value of a Bill Clinton endorsement.