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12/17/99 - Now that's what I call Leadership.
In typical Beta Male fashion, Al Gore has been following Senator Bradley's lead all week. Just before he faces Bill Bradley twice in debate, Al Gore has changed his stances on two important issues to mirror those of his opponent. First, on gays in the military, Al has come out against the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, long after Senator Bradley (and subsequently the First Lady) voiced a similar opinion. Then, on the day Senator Bradley and Republican candidate John McCain met to decry soft money, Mr. "No Controlling Legal Authority" declared he too would not accept soft money should McCain be the GOP candidate. In July, Gore campaign chairman Tony Coelho had attacked Bradley's no soft money position.
12/16/99 - What he said.
Russ Smith of the New York Press and Jewish World Review has some choice words for the Vice President's campaign, particularly their reaction to Senator Bradley's recent episode of atrial fibrillation.
12/14/99 - More Temple Trouble.
Al Gore's renowned Buddhist temple fundraiser is back in the news. Michael Isikoff of Newsweek reports that documents have been discovered outlining a quid pro quo situation, whereby after the six-digit fundraiser the Vice-President helped this temple become "a federally sanctioned testing center for Asian immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship." These documents were found "misfiled" with information regarding a Gore-chaired aviation security panel.
12/13/99 - There he goes again.
Well, Al Gore has taken credit for something again. This time it's the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Al said, "I was the author of that proposal." Unfortunately for him, it was passed into law the year before Al Gore was elected to the Senate.
12/11/99 - At long last, Mr. Gore, have you no sense of decency?
"I kind of thought that after the trouble Bob Dole got into in New Hampshire in '88, that it would be the next millennium, not this one, before a candidate in New Hampshire said once again, `He's lying about my record,'" declared the Vice-President in an outbreak of whining to the Boston Globe. Gore seems to think that because of Dole's remarks he should be able to lie with impunity, not only about Bradley's record but his own. No Dice.
12/10/99 - He may have invented the Internet, but does he check his e-mail?
Last Wednesday, Al Gore e-mailed Bill Bradley the most recent salvo in his Mediscare gambit, using the e-mail account email@example.com. So, hey, why not write him back? My e-mail to the Vice-President can be read here.
12/8/99 - The Backlash begins.
Al Gore's recent unearthing of the tax and spend slur from the GOP war chest was pathetic enough to outrage the media. The Washington Post editorial board and Jacob Weisberg of Slate are the first objective viewers to rally against Gore for his absurdly negative attacks. Can the Democratic electorate be far behind? In a related story, proving once again that his hypocrisy knows no bounds, Gore himself refused to take a No New Taxes pledge this afternoon in Washington.
12/4/99 - Mediscare Al hits Rock Bottom
Short of creating another Willie Horton or attacking Bradley's wife and daughter (no doubt both are fixtures of Gore's spring campaign strategy), Mediscare Al has hit rock bottom. Echoing the words of every Republican candidate in any electoral race in the past twenty years, the Gore campaign has decided to spread the lie that Bradley will raise taxes. When the Senator, like Candidate Clinton in 1992, refused to take a "Read my Lips" pledge to the Washington Post on Thursday, the Gore campaign launched their broadside: a news release entitled "Bill Bradley: Considering Raising Taxes," and claiming that "Sen. Bradley stated he would be willing to raise taxes to pay for his trillion dollar health care plan. ... He wants to pay for this all by raising taxes." Once again, Mediscare Al has shown he's desperate enough to pull out all the stops against a fellow Democratic candidate. Aside from definitively losing my vote for the general election, these distortion tactics prompted 40 Gore endorsers to join Team Bradley on Friday.
12/4/99 - Couldn't have said it better myself
Outraged by Gore's politics of distortion, Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN) and several New Hampshire state senators took the vice-president to task for his pathetic tactics. "Democrats should agree to leave negative attacks, distortions and misinformation to the Republicans," remarked State Senator Clifton Below (D-Lebanon). "Our Democratic candidates have too many good ideas to stoop so low." State Sentator Mark Fernald (D-Sharon). In this debate here in New Hampshire in 1999, the Gore campaign has stooped to ‘Harry and Louise’ tactics...Where Vice President Gore was the victim of ‘Harry and Louise’ tactics in 1993, he should know better than to use them himself."
12/2/99 - Love Story redux
He's done it again. As when he created the Internet and inspired Erich Segal's Love Story, Al Gore has once again rhetorically bitten off more than he can chew. This time, he has taken credit for uncovering the renowned toxic leak in Love Canal in Upstate NY during the '70s. In a response to a student's question about toxic waste, Gore declared, "I found a little place in upstate New York called Love Canal. Had the first hearing on that issue...That was the one that started it all..." He did not mention that this hearing which "found" Love Canal took place two months after Love Canal had been evacuated and President Carter had declared the neighborhood a disaster area.
11/24/99 - The Fortunate Son in Wartime
More and more, Al Gore has been trying to differentiate himself from Bill Bradley by less and less subtly invoking his tour in Vietnam. Most recently, General Al has claimed he would not accept National Guard duty during Vietnam - like Bradley and Bush - because "it did not feel right." But now the Los Angeles Times and Village Voice have blown holes in Gore's military cred. In the words of Voice writer James Ridgeway, "eight Vietnam vets who served with the Vice President now claim that Gore was never in the middle of a battle and that his unit was supposed to keep him safe because he was a Senator's son." One of these vets speaks out in an Oct. 15 Los Angeles Times story by Richard Serrano: "H. Alan Leo said soldiers were ordered to serve as Gore's bodyguards, to keep him out of harm's way. 'It blew me
away,' Leo said. 'I was to make sure he didn't get into a situation he could not get out of. They didn't want him to get into trouble. So we went into the field after the fact after combat actions , and that limited his exposure to any hazards.'"
11/24/99 - What's good for the Goose is not good for the Gore
In Iowa yesterday, Al Gore fretted that Senator Bradley's recent remarks on campaign finance reform were (gasp) way too personal. "Personal attacks have no place in a Presidential campaign," the oh-so-high-minded veep proclaimed. This from the man who (a) chose to make this a negative campaign over a month ago and (b) first brought Willie Horton - the granddaddy of negative attack ads - into the national parlance in 1988?!? I think Mr. Gore has some explaining to do, particularly concerning his current strategy so brazenly outlined below by an anonymous campaign staffer.
11/22/99 - The Gore strategy, in a nutshell
"Help! How did I get in this nutshell?" All too seriously, an anonymous Gore advisor recently encapsulated Al Gore's cynical strategy in US News & World Report. He said, "Bradley has authenticity? Ok, so he's real, he's a great guy, he's the thinking man's candidate. But most people don't vote that way. Everybody says negative ads are terrible and thrashing somebody is terrible - but it works!...The brie-and-cheese set, the 'thinking' voters, will always be for there, and they'll be for Bradley. But heat wins elections, and Gore is going to continue to put the heat on Bradley."
11/22/99 - Al Gore on being Vice-President
"Running for president of this country is far more important than being the best vice president I can possibly be," said Al Gore recently of his current elected role. He skipped the last Cabinet meeting and has not eaten lunch with the President, once a weekly fixture of his vice-Presidential schedule, since Aug. 10. Of his new "dis Clinton" approach, one "Democratic strategist close to the White House" said to the Washington Post, "It's idiotic...He's got all the negatives no matter what; he might as well take advantage of the positives."
11/20/99 - Veep Pandering irks DLC.
Gore's recent descent into special interest pandering and Democratic wedge politicking have drawn the ire of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, who have criticized Gore in a letter to 1000 party leaders. Gore's approach, according to this letter, "was central to the failed Democratic presidential campaigns of the 1980s" and the exact opposite of the victorious 1992/96 Clinton strategy. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CN), called the letter a "warning sign" provoked by Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile's recent assertion that the "four pillars" of the Democratic Party are blacks, women, labor, and ethnic minorities. As one "Democratic strategist sympathetic to the DLC position" put it in the Washington Post, "People have given up thinking Gore is going to run a good campaign. He may still win, but it will be in spite of his campaign."
11/18/99 - Al's dubious street cred.
It seems no matter where he goes, Al Gore can find new ways to sound ridiculous pandering to a constituency. First, there was the Veep's multiple mentions of the "ALT-CONTROL-DELETE button" at Microsoft last week (Shouldn't that be Ctrl-Alt-Del. buttons?). Today the Washington Postbrings to light other examples of this tendency: "'I love Ricky Martin,' he told [Univision] interviewer Rosa Maria Villalpando, after humming a few bars of Martin's blockbuster hit, "La Vida Loca." And with predominantly black audiences, Gore invokes such terms as 'diss,' the slang for disrepect, and 'DWB,' street shorthand for 'driving while black.' He predicted one aspiring actor would be the next Danny Glover and he even made a valiant attempt to dance..." I am reminded of Gore's meeting with Courtney Love a while back. Gore effused, "I'm a really big fan!," to which Love replied "Name one song, Al." The veep was silent for a moment, then weakly answered, "I'm a really big fan."
11/18/99 - Rabid Beta Male attacks Mother of Three.
Looks like the Veep is trying to flex those beta male muscles on someone he can actually bully. In response to Bradley's first advertisement, of which one segment feature Maureen Drumm, mother of three, thanking Senator Bradley for his sponsorship and support of the mandatory 48 hour hospital stay bill, Gore's campaign has declared war on this stay-at-home mom. Driven to tears by Gore's attacks, Mrs. Drumm replied, ``It's my life, it's not fiction. I can understand now why people don't go into public service...These other campaigns, they're picking apart my life and trying to say I'm misleading people. I said what's in my heart.'' Nice job, Al. You're a big dog now.
11/18/99 - Bait & Switch: Al's tobacco hypocrisy reaches new lows.
Desperate to find traction anywhere, the Gore campaign started a whispering campaign against Alex Kroll, the leader of Senator Bradley's Madison Ave. ad campaign team, alleging that he was instrumental in creating RJR Nabisco's infamous Joe Camel. On Tuesday of this week, Gore's campain insinuated Kroll was behind the nefarious camel - by Wednesday they refused to comment. As it turns out, although RJR Nabisco was one of his firm's 5000 clients, neither Kroll nor his firm had anything to do with Joe Camel. Top Gore aide Carter Eskew, on the other hand, was paid by Phillip Morris specifically to create ads to fight a federal lawsuit. And let's not forget the words of the Man himself. Al Gore on Tobacco in 1988: "I want you to know that with my own hands, all my life, I've put it (tobacco) in the plant beds and transferred it, I've hoed it! I've suckered it! I've sprayed it!"
11/17/99 - So much for those endorsements.
President Clinton's recent controversial decisions to let the GOP restrict international funding for family plannings groups (in exchange for paying UN dues) and to allow China into the World Trade Organization has ticked off many of Gore's early endorsers. "Disgustingly hypocritical," said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney of the China move. "If Gore doesn't speak up [on the family planning issue], said Gloria Feldt, the President of Planned Parenthood, his silence will be eloquent and will be noted." True to form, the Vice-President has deserted Clinton yet again in order to shore up his endorsement list.
11/15/99 - Gore bites the hand that fed him...again.
In a New Yorker interview conducted by Joe Kleine and Jane Mayer, Gore had this to say about his boss and President: "Bill Clinton sees a car going down the street and he says, ‘What are the political implications of that car? I see the car going down the street and I think, ‘How can we replace the internal-combustion engine on that car?'" Less than a year ago, Al Gore described Clinton as "one of the greatest Presidents in history."
11/15/99 - Mediscare Al.
Leaving no Democratic dirty trick unturned in his desperate quest to retain his lead, Al Gore has now turned one of the party's main rhetorical ICBM's back on his own. In a classic Clintonic Mediscare gambit, Gore claimed on Friday that Bradley's revamping of the Medicaid program would disproportionately hurt blacks, latinos, and AIDS patients. Team Bradley responded quickly to Gore's scare tactics. ``This inaccurate attack is precisely the kind of thing that makes it impossible to get anything done in Washington,'' replied Bradley. Senator Paul Wellstone, arguably the most unabashed liberal in the Senate, also took Gore to task for his ridiculous hyperbole.
11/15/99 - Al Gore is a Chucker.
Tim Russert of Meet the Press recently asked around about Al Gore's basketball ability. The responses were underwhelming. "I could never
get him to have a soft shot," said George Harrington, his freshman coach at Harvard. "What left Gore's hands and arrived at the basket was quite often, well, a brick, clanging off the rim or ricocheting off the backboard with regularity." Jim Hudson, a high school teammate, adds, "He tended to like the limelight. If he passed it to him to try and get something going, to get a better shot inside, Al would simply go ahead and shoot. When the
ball got to him, that's as far as it got."