NBC’s First Read gives us our political Quote of the Day with this contrast between to men who ran for President and lost, John Kerry and Al Gore:
*** John Kerry and Al Gore — two different paths: In the past week, we’ve seen a confluence of events surrounding the last two defeated Democratic presidential nominees. John Kerry, who lost the 2004 election, overwhelmingly won confirmation to be secretary of state, and he delivered his farewell speech to the Senate as his colleagues (Democrat and Republican) celebrated him on the way out. And then there’s Al Gore, who lost the 2000 election (but won the popular vote), as he’s been giving numerous TV interviews to sell his new book. In her own interview with Gore, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked him about his sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera, which made Gore million and millions of dollars. “Well, I think it’s important to focus on Al Jazeera itself. I completely understand the criticism and the point of view that you’re reporting,” Gore told Mitchell. “But the fact is that Al Jazeera stands all around the world as a highly respected international newsgathering organization. And its climate reporting has been outstanding far better than what’s available now.” As the saying goes, there are always second acts in politics. And it’s interesting to see the two VERY different paths Kerry and Gore have taken. The other aspect of watching these two men who both came so close to the presidency: Kerry appears to be the same guy he was in 2004. Gore, on the other hand, seems quite different.
The bottom line: Kerry seems the same because Gore seems to be spinning amid criticism. Neither were in danger of being on welfare lines the past few years but Gore has leapfrogged his global warming schtick into Current and then sold it to a company tied to folks in the oil industry. He can talk about the great reporting on Al Jazeera — and it has indeed gotten rave reviews for the quality of his reporting — but he’s trying to negate bad optics and the fact his image has take a hit. If Gore gave a major speech or did a major project now on global warming would it have the same impact as his movie? Fat chance due to his imagery shift and what comes across as a change in…Al Gore.