Friday, July 20, 2007

Al and the News-Sentinel

Yesterday I wrote that I agreed with the Knoxville News-Sentinel editorial staff about something, and today I am back to disagreeing-or at least not knowing where the paper stands editorially.

Today's editorial seems to encourage Al Gore to run for President. Now the KNS is being careful to couch their language so that is doesn't sound too obvious that they really like the idea, but from the wording of the piece, it seems to me that the News-Sentinel editorial board can hardly contain their glee at the thought of Gore running for President again. There seems to be another factor at work here, however: I wonder if the cause of the sudden Goremania on Western Avenue is really Fred Thompson?

With every passing day, people become more and more disenchanted with the Republican field, and it becomes more and more likely that former Senator Fred Thompson will enter that field and carry Tennessee (and perhaps the rest of the South) along with him. Democrats, on the other hand, seem happy with their field of candidates, and most have chosen a horse to run with among the current top three: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John Edwards. The problem is that among those three, only Edwards has much of a prayer of doing well in the South and some parts of the Midwest-and Edwards seems to be far enough behind that it will be a struggle for him to win the nomination.

A Gore entry changes the equation only because a fight against Thompson would place Tennessee in play in a way not previously considered, and may be the Democrats' best chance to stop Fred. I still think Fred Thompson would carry Tennessee, but it would be a much closer race with Gore as the Democratic nominee.

As with Fred Thompson, there is a Draft Gore movement, but the difference between the two seems to be that the movement to Draft Gore is built on the hope that Gore will change his mind (he has already said several times that he isn't running). Thompson, on the other hand, not only hasn't ruled out running, he has a campaign apparatus in place (complete with outgoing Tennessee GOP Chairman Bob Davis) and all he needs to do is say the word.

With the movement for Gore fizzling, perhaps the News-Sentinel, the newspaper that endorsed Mike Ragsdale for Knox County Mayor (thus giving the strong impression that their idea of a good Republican is a crook), felt the need to rehabilitate Gore with a commentary that might as well have just said "oh please run for President Al."



At Saturday, July 21, 2007 3:38:00 AM, Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

I wish Gore would jump in, but he's not going to. He and Tipper are happy and healthy and are doing whatever they want.

I don't think Edwards is the only Dem who can win in the South. Obama or Hillary can win if they focus on Shelby County and Middle TN, and forgo East TN. Of course if Fred jumps in, then I would skip Tennessee all together. (If I'm doing strategy for Hil or Barack)

That all being said, Democrats can win without the South if they focus on some of the Western and Mid Western States.

I look for whomever the nominee is for the Dems to put Bill Richardson on the ticket so he can help with those Western states.

At Saturday, July 21, 2007 3:31:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

From a realistic point of view, the Dems have the West Coast sown up, they need the intermountain West in order to veto a Republican Solid South. They could carry New Mexico with Richardson on thwe ticket, but I am not so sure of the rest.

I do not believe Obama can carry Tennessee, I'll just be honest. If Harold Ford, Jr. could not win by running to the right of his Republican opponent, Barack Obama does not have a snowball's chance in Hell at winning Tennessee in a General Election-you know this in your mind, so do I, and I would wager so does he.

To win a General Election, Obama will need to carry Ohio-seems easy but the GOP still controls the legislature there by a healthy margin-and probably win Iowa, and one other Mountain West State besides New Mexico...not easy-not impossible but very, very difficult for him.

Edwards is the candidate with the best chance in a head-to-head against Fred, I believe.

Now if Fred is not the GOP nominee, that does change the equation, at least somewhat. It makes it easier on any Democrat to pick up a Southern State and carry some places they might not if Fred is in. In fact, if Fred is not the nominee, a Democrat will likely win the election.


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