Al Gore’s Defining Moment

Generally, I avoid commenting on primarily political stories but this one merits an exception.

Former Vice-President Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, in conjunction with UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Regardless of what one thinks about Mr. Gore as a politician or of his heavily propagandistic but Oscar award winning film, the Nobel Prize represents the capstone of one of the most remarkable political comebacks in American politics since Richard Nixon.

It is true that Al Gore did not self-destruct after his razor-thin defeat in 2000 (yes, give it up, he lost) quite the way Nixon did when he lost the California Governorship in 1962 back to back with the presidency in 1960 but neither did “the New Nixon” of 1968 reach such illustrious heights. Americans with Nobels are rare; Americans with Peace Prizes are the most exclusive circle of all. Many conservatives are quite upset at this development and are venting, some of their complaints have my sympathy but their sense of timing does not. They are spitting into the wind right now and to the extent that anyone outside the movement conservative choir is paying any attention, bitter anti-Gore jeremiads only serve to alienate moderates.

For once, I can say the Bush administration struck the right political note with a simple gesture of congratulation to a former adversary enjoying a moment in the sun, without getting too excited about it. If anything, given recent decisions by the Nobel Committee to honor Communist frauds and terrorist kleptocrats, we should be relieved that the Peace Prize this year went to Al Gore and not, say, Kim Jong Il or Robert Mugabe. I’m the first not to confuse Mr. Gore with Andrei Sakharov or Aung San Suu Kyi but even I must concede he is a qualitative moral improvement over Yasser Arafat by many orders of magnitude.

Much speculation (i.e. wishful thinking) exists as to whether Gore will now jump into the race for the Democratic nomination for president. That would be fun to watch but I doubt that will happen as it would require that Gore extricate himself from around $100 million dollars of VC enterprises that he is deeply involved in, so as to compete at a complete organizational and financial disadvantage with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Why accept those headaches and fritter away his newfound political capital when as the Democratic Party’s star elder statesman and counterweight to the Clintons, Gore is a ” must-have” insider for a new Democratic administration? That’s a lot of clout to throw away on a last-minute vanity campaign.

Mr. Gore is enjoying his moment but in all probability, this episode represents his peak.

Cross-posted at Zenpundit

13 thoughts on “Al Gore’s Defining Moment”

  1. “…his party won’t want to give a second chance …”

    A sound tradition.

    Mayor Richard M. Daley: “Don’t back no losers.”

    Wisdom from when Democrats won pretty much all their elections.

    One of his best quotes, though not as good as: “Shoot to kill”.

  2. One political commenator noted that it is already pretty much too late for Gore to enter and besides, there is a Democratic field of outstanding candidates. At least Gore has not done what so many do: become a lobbyist for some large company

  3. “At least Gore has not done what so many do: become a lobbyist for some large company.”

    Instead he has become wealthy building a media empire promoting an artificial crisis.

  4. Gore ws very wealthy before he wrote a book etc–very wealthy. Besides, it is the American way to find a slot, do it right, make a bundle–and it is legal.You are not in good company if you thing he has created an artificial cause, unless you also believe the Nobel grou in n the scam. Bitter, are we?

  5. David Still,

    unless you also believe the Nobel grou in n the scam.

    Not exactly, but the Norwegian parliament has definitely fallen prey to the postmodernist urge to use the power and prestige they hold due prize in order to advance their own political views at the expense of the long term interest of the institution they serve.Its been over 30 years since someone from the Western Right won the prize especially for doing something the Left disapproved off.

    People win the prize for agreeing with or accomplishing the goal of Leftist. Henry Kissinger won the “Peace” prize for negotiating a “peace” settlement in Indochina that led directly to a massive war, invasion, political mass killings, 15+ years of continual warfare and the largest proportional democide in human history. The Left of the day hated Kissinger like few others but they wanted a communist victory so badly in Indochina that they gave him and his communist counter-part the prize.

    The prize committee appears to award the prize largely based on their desires to influence this or that political event in the direction they approve of. In this case, I don’t even understand what Global Warming has to do with “Peace.” The prize is supposed to go the the person who, “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”

    …and here I thought Global Warming was a scientific issue.

    We should call it the Western Leftist Intelligentsia Prize for the sake of fair advertising. No one who carries out an action or creates a peace that they disagree with will ever, ever see the prize.

    I don’t think many on the Right really give a damn because they’ve long lost respect for the prize itself.

  6. I wouldn’t call it an artificial crisis. It is more of a phony crisis.

    As for being bitter, not at all. As Zen points out, Gore is a very respectable choice given the caliber of the Nobel committee and the kinds of people they usually pick.

    As Laura Ingraham pointed out, all anyone needs to know to appreciate the significance of the Nobel Peace Prize is that neither Ronald Reagan nor Margaret Thatcher ever won it.

  7. Why would Al want to pursue the Presidency again and risk failure, when he can bask in his newfound wealth and adulation?

    Besides, there were lots of stories from Gore 2000 campaign contributors and volunteers about how he never thanked them for busting their butts for him after the loss. The ingrate just walked away and left them to clean up — real classy. Why reopen that history?

  8. The three Americans to win the Nobel Peace Prize in the Hoover Administration were Frank Kellogg, Jane Addams, and Nicholas Murray Butler. The more things change…

  9. Speaking of leftist garbage, the Norwegian government requires that corporations have at least 40% women on their boards of directors. Aftenposten reports that the Minister for Equality (!) is threatening to dissolve corporations that do not meet those quotas. Can you say totalitarian-loving scum? I knew you could!

  10. “Not exactly, but the Norwegian parliament has definitely fallen prey to the postmodernist urge to use the power and prestige they hold due prize in order to advance their own political views at the expense of the long term interest of the institution they serve”

    Well said, Shannon. The Nobel Committee accumulated a lot of political capital and legitimacy by honoring individuals whose integrity and moral defiance of tyranny were of heroic dimensions. Lately, they’ve been spending it on tyranny’s sycophants in order to take political shots at the West. Gore, for his multitudinous flaws and usefulness as an anti-Bush symbol, was a decided improvement. Hell, it could easily have been Chomsky going to Stockholm instead.

Comments are closed.