Politics

The resurgence of Al Gore

An Oscar, an Emmy and the Nobel Peace Prize. Will Al Gore now seek the ultimate reward and Oval Office mantel space? Don’t count on it. Odds are that the former vice president won’t risk his Nobel-burnished image and huge public platform with a return to the rough-and-tumble world of presidential politics — at least not in 2008, advisers say.

“We face a true planetary emergency,” Gore said in a statement shortly after winning the prize on Friday. “The climate crisis is not a political issue.”

Much-needed levity comes to politics

Can it be? Are Republicans being funnier on the presidential campaign trail than Democrats this time around?

True, we live in perilous times. All the more reason it’s imperative to have a chortle or two, a witticism now and then, even a staged joke as we stagger along with the candidates to the finish line.

So far it’s been sort of a grim race. A Gallup Poll commissioned by USA Today found that Americans are in the mood for more laughs in politics, with 83 percent saying a sense of humor is a good attribute even for the most serious presidential candidate.

The right should race to Rudy

“The most important ‘traditional value’ in this election is keeping the Clintons out of the White House,” says Greg Alterton, an evangelical Christian who writes for SoConsForRudy.com and counts himself among Rudolph Giuliani’s social-conservative supporters.

People like Alterton are important, if overlooked, in the Republican presidential sweepstakes. Anti-Giuliani Religious Rightists are far more visible. Also conspicuous are pundits whose cartoon version of social conservatism regards abortion and gay rights as “the social issues,” excluding other traditionalist concerns.

Where’s the GOP?

It’s an old kids’ hide-and-seek game message, and Hispanic leaders are sending the call out to Republican presidential candidates: Come out, come out, wherever you are!

Rudy and Mitt spit and spat

Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani quarreled over tax and spending cuts Tuesday, each claiming greater commitment than the other in a debate in the nation’s struggling manufacturing heartland.

The government “is spending money of future generations and those yet to be born,” added Fred Thompson, making his debut on a debate stage after a late entry into the race. He said future retirees should receive smaller Social Security benefits than they have been promised.

Bartlett on Fred: ‘He’s a dud’

Dan Bartlett used to speak for President Bush, one of his most trusted and ubiquitous aides for 14 years.

Now, Bartlett is speaking for himself, and handicapping the Republican presidential field with uncommon candor and surprising conclusions.

His vote for all-around “best candidate?” Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor considered a long-shot to break into the top tier in the crowded race.

“Biggest dud?” Fred Thompson, the actor-politician who raised hopes he could be the GOP’s next Ronald Reagan until his campaign began stumbling.

Thompson sticks to dull script

Fred Thompson remembered his lines in his first stage performance.

The newcomer to the Republican presidential field neither stood out nor bombed Tuesday in his inaugural debate of the 2008 White House race. He largely held his own but hardly came off as the Ronald Reagan-like savior of the GOP that backers have long built him up to be.

A liberal by any other name

Happily, fiercely emboldened by an unpopular Republican president, liberals have been trying to cover up past political sins by renaming themselves “progressives” even as they resume their bad, old ways with more loud-voiced arrogance than ever.

Those ways include program proposals filled more with good intentions than good sense if they are in fact something other than outright hoaxes, along with debate tactics that merrily skip over any discussion of an issue’s merits. There’s something else, you see, that better fits their analytical inadequacies: ad hominem attack.

Union says ‘nada’ to Democrats

None of the Democratic presidential primary contenders will get the endorsement they’ve been fervently seeking from the Service Employees International Union, an especially painful blow to John Edwards.

The union said Monday it won’t choose a national candidate for the primary elections, underscoring divisions that had been apparent among SEIU supporters of Edwards and the Democrats he trails in national polls: Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

Still socialist after all these years

With her intimidating lead in the polls, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential juggernaut looks increasingly unstoppable. This may have emboldened the New York Democrat to stop masquerading as a moderate and instead flaunt her full-throated, left-wing radicalism.

With a Sept. 27-30 ABC News/Washington Post poll showing her eclipsing Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., 53 percent to his 20, the ever-calculating Clinton now may feel free to peddle higher-octane liberalism.

Consider her Sept. 28 pitch to a Congressional Black Caucus symposium: