When? If push comes to shove... That is, if the race between Clinton and Obama seem to be "in a lull", I predict at that critical moment, Al Gore will rush in and break the tie in favor of Obama.
In previous post, we mentioned Clinton "legacy" hasn't helped anyone get elected but himself (Yes Hillary became senator, but she gained senatorship because she supported Bill, by being a good wife, so she won not with his help, but in spite of him). Gore happened to be one of those unfortunate souls to learn that lesson the hard way. I firmly believe that if there was no Monica incident, there would be a two-term Gore presidency now instead of Bush (of course the "dark lords" of power helped little too).
Gore has no debt to Clintons, just the opposite, he should be quite frustrated on how his political fortune turned out. Yes it might seem unfair Gore punishing Hillary because of Bill's misdeeds, but a second Clinton presidency will bring Bill in the White House -again- which Gore has no reason to support.
But here comes the real important factor: Ideology.
Gore is firmly in the Third Wave camp. Information Superhighway anyone? He did not invent the Internet, obviously, but he believed it to be important enough to want himself to be associated with it. Capisci? Keeping this in mind, watch carefully how people are labeling Obama supporters in his party - they are calling them Starbucks Democrats. Starbucks? The place opened to serve Seattle/Fresco white collar workers, computer geeks, researchers, people with "labtops"? That is the key link here - Obama is looking like the most TW candidate among the others in his party.
Bill Clinton has been good for TW, no doubt, but Obama will be better. Plus, he is younger.
Watch how TW organizations such as MoveOn.org endorsed Obama and Gore has always been a key player there. Watch how Gore has been an ardent opposer to Iraq War from start, just like Obama - we all now Bill and Hillary wavered on the issue.
Hence my prediction: Gore will support Obama if push comes to shove.
Of course he would rather not do this simply out of fear of dividing the Democratic Party - he would rather see a "winner" (read: Obama) and then endorse him, but if his support is badly needed by the Obama campaign, he will send in the cavalry and save the day.
One question remains: Would such a move help Gore's environment awareness efforts? He will be making this calculation before offering his support. The reasoning here could be that if Gore supported Obama and Hillary got elected as President (somehow), then Gore's earlier support could hurt environment friendly efforts... This reasoning is pretty weak IMHO. Gore will want to see a strong candidate coming out of DP and someone more TW than all others in his party. Sure, Gore might lose his influence in White House if Clinton wins primaries (unlikely) and wins the presidency (even more unlikely) after his support for Obama, but environment issue will be important in either presidency. Hence Gore will want his favorite in White House.
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