Gore continues to grab media attention as he promotes his new book and declines to say specifically that he’s running for President. Today, Gore adds specific criticism of Bush to the media mix. Check out these articles in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today.
If he runs, Gore plans a bolder campaign. What does this mean? Here’s a glimpse from the LAT article:
…Gore said that if he runs he would “do it in a very different way” by devoting most of his time to small meetings and “relaxed conversations” with individuals and families. And he said he would offer bolder ideas, like his recent endorsement of a single-payer system that would fundamentally restructure health care in America.
“I think I made a lot of mistakes in 2000, and among them was at times holding back because of respect for the need to have a politically viable set of positions that could attract a majority,” Gore said.
Hmmmm…that’s an interesting statement. It’s an admission that presidential campaigns are won in the political middle ground–no great revelation there. But Gore is specifically saying that pandering to that middle was a mistake in 2000. In other words, he lost a war of attrition instead of a war of leadership. What might have happened if Gore had bucked conventional wisdom and campaigned solidly on the left? Hard to say. But, in the current media-political climate, it’s difficult to see how this approach can help him now. Then again, it may be the only approach to avoid the me-tooism of the middle.