Bill Bradley for President

An E-mail to Vice-President Gore


Mr. Vice-President,

I am a young Democrat who has dedicated his working life to upholding the honor of the Clinton administration. I currently work as the researcher and in-house writer for Democratic strategist James Carville and spent over a year writing AND THE HORSE HE RODE IN ON, the anti-Republican tract that worked to rally and consolidate Democratic support for the President during l'affaire Lewinsky. (I am also a former Adams House resident who spent a good deal of time roaming the halls of Dunster, and I shared an American Democracy section with your daughter Kristen).

There are many questions I'd like to ask you, but the most overarching and pertinent would be this: How do you sleep? The behavior of your campaign towards a fellow Democrat has been remarkably unbecoming. Unearthing the "tax and spend" slur from the GOP war chest - a Republican dirty trick used by every single GOP candidate in every single election for the past 25 years - is such a low, heartless, spineless, gutless move that it makes your Mediscare gambit seem like principled politics. How can you look yourself in the mirror when you must KNOW that the tactics you and your surrogates are using are so utterly despicable?

Moreover, how can you expect any Democrat - even the ones who have fought beside you and behind you for seven years - to vote for you in the general election, if you win the nomination using such a pathetic and unprincipled strategy? Although I have supported Senator Bradley for President since he announced his nomination, I had earlier assumed that should either candidate win the nomination I would gladly fall into ranks behind him. Your conduct in this campaign -- to say nothing of the behavior of your surrogates -- has ensured that, even if you win the Democratic nomination, I will not vote for you.

I am not alone in this sentiment. Dozens of Democrats young and old that I have spoken with are sickened by your distortions and your pandering. I'm sure you feel that you don't need us, and that you can safely rely on a similarly negative strategy in the general election to carry you through. Nevertheless, I thought you should know that your behavior has disgusted a sizable segment of independents and Democrats -- to say nothing of the Republicans who would never vote for you anyway.

I once thought of you as a statesman. The tone and rhetoric of your campaign has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that, quite the contrary, you are the lowest of politicians. If your negative campaign tactics somehow succeed in defeating Senator Bradley, you will ensure the election of the Republican Presidential candidate in November. When that happens, you will have no one to blame but yourself.

Kevin Murphy

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