Bob Kuttner raises the question, and runs the checklist:
National security credibility? Check.
Believable as president if need be? That, too.
Boring? That was the old Gore, not the new one. (And compared to whom? Biden? Bayh?)
Help carry a key state? Gore is in his own unique state, and the regional effect has been overrated since LBJ.
Upstage Obama? Funnily, doesn’t seem so.
I think I like this a lot, though I think Earth in the Balance was one of the all-time terrible books. As a VP choice, Gore is both surprising and reassuring. And he could start his acceptance speech with a joke about recycling … Vice-Presidents.
Query: how much hostility is there to “Ozone Man” among industrial workers in Mich/Ohio/Pa?
As of October, CBS had him 46/29 favorable over unfavorable, while Gallup had him 58/37. Those are pretty respectable numbers.
Yes, at first blush another Vice Presidency would be beneath Gore. But Obama has no huge emotional investment in either energy/environment/climate change or science & technology, and Gore cares about them passionately. Obama could give him primary authority in those areas without having a full “co-Presidency.” It’s hard to see how Gore does more for what he cares about from the outside.
And Gore is only 60: he’d be (barely) young enough run to succeed Obama. Is that taste out of his mouth entirely?
I’d be happy with Sebelius or Reed, certainly ahead of rumored favorites Biden and Bayh. Wes Clark would have some big advantages; unlike John McCain, he actually does know how to win a war.
But Gore would be an inspired choice.