As published in the Huffington Post:
Vice President Al Gore made a stunning, unexpected return to politics for the 2012 Iowa Caucus as a political analyst for his own cable channel, Current TV.
For those who migrated over to watch Keith Olbermann, there was a moment of shock and awe as the former vice president and 2000 presidential candidate gave his political views on the Republican candidates, Supreme Court decisions, Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and the perils of being called a “flip flopper.”
With hands pressed together, fingers intertwined, and wearing a sports coat with an open collar French blue shirt, VP Gore pointed out the “most significant endorsement of the day” occurred outside of Iowa: Rupert Murdoch electrified the Twitteratti with his tacit endorsement of candidate Rick Santorum as the “only candidate with genuine big vision” for the United States. Gore went on to point out the political impact for all the candidates of the Murdoch tweets saying, “Romney cannot be very happy.” With his analyst hat squarely on his head, Gore reminded the audience of Senator Santorum’s very big loss in his re-election bid in Pennsylvania: “For an incumbent to lose by 18 points…. the vulnerabilities in his record is responsible for the 18-point loss.”
Gore was angry when he talked about Ron Paul’s comments about race saying, “The messages were so shockingly racist, outright racist. It’s just not enough to let that stand there when there are things beyond the newsletters…. I think we are kidding ourselves.”
Surrounded by unidentified “Young Turks” and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Gore reminded the audience of how his re-election campaign bloodied GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole “in 1996 because the Clinton Gore campaign ran a lot of ads in the heartland… against Dole.”
He compared it to the negative ads run by independent groups against Gingrich in Iowa saying, “that opened the proverbial flood gates… devastating on Newt Gingrich.”
The former vice president seemed to struggle to be measured about Gingrich, stating, “He has an interesting mind. I am trying to be charitable. I don’t think we have seen the last of him. Unlike the proverbial cat he probably only has three lives… he has a role to play in this unfolding drama.”
When asked by Current TV host Cenk Uygur if Gingrich will survive this, Gore replied, “He still has something to say,” and with a nod “the media on all sides has an interest in keeping this going. He will go to South Carolina and probably Florida.”
Gore spoke directly to Democrats saying that, “Should they count so much corporate money and special interest money trying to defeat president Obama we cannot lose sight of how it tilts the playing field,” with this final warning, “And nobody knows where it comes from.”
Like the veteran vote counter he is, Gore points out: “It’s no long winner take all before March 1 on the republican side. It stays that way… that is the delegates they will get and it still gives a slingshot effect. The person that wins, gets the prize. It’s still a significant thing to come in first.” No one in politics knows the pain and truth of these words more than Vice President Gore.
Welcome back to politics, Mr. Vice President.
Tammy Haddad, President, Haddad Media, co-founder, White House Correspondents Insider, and former MSNBC Vice President for Washington.