Gore Endorses Obama, Finally! What this Means for Obama

Al Gore endorses Obama, Democrats rejoice

Al Gore announced (finally) that he will formerly endorse Obama as part a Detroit Michigan Rally taking place at 8:30 EDT.

A few hours from now I will step on stage in Detroit, Michigan to announce my support for Senator Barack Obama. From now through Election Day, I intend to do whatever I can to make sure he is elected President of the United States.
Over the next four years, we are going to face many difficult challenges — including bringing our troops home from Iraq, fixing our economy, and solving the climate crisis. Barack Obama is clearly the candidate best able to solve these problems and bring change to America.
This moment and this election are too important to let pass without taking action.
That’s why I am asking you to join me in showing your support by making a contribution to this campaign today:
Over the past 18 months, Barack Obama has united a movement. He knows change does not come from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or Capitol Hill. It begins when people stand up and take action.
With the help of millions of supporters like you, Barack Obama will bring the change we so desperately need in order to solve our country’s most pressing problems.
If you’ve already contributed to this campaign, I ask that you consider making another contribution right now. If you haven’t, please take the next step and own a piece of this campaign today:
On the issues that matter most, Barack Obama is clearly the right choice to lead our nation.
We have a lot of work to do in the next few months to elect Barack Obama president, and it begins by making a contribution to this campaign today.
Thank you for joining me,
Al Gore

What took you so long? Granted Gore timed his endorsement to offend the least, for if it came too close on the heels of Hillary’s withdrawal from the campaign, it could result in ex-Hillary supporters getting their panties in a twirl have had a diminished effect in building party unity.

Gore’s endorsement does three main things:

1) Unifies more disenchanted Hillary supporters behind Obama, who now see another important party standard bearer providing his endorsement.

2) Focuses media coverage onto Obama.

3) Nets Obama a surrogate who is great for fund raising, unifying the Democratic base, but until now has proved worthless in helping Democrats on offense.

The second and third points are critical in gauging the overall effect of a Gore endorsement.  

With the Obama camp doing a mediocre at best job of controlling the 24hr new cycle, they are definitely in need of an upstaging event (like this) to focus attention back on Obama.

Nevertheless, they are pulling attention at a time when their biggest weakness has been offensive production, which has been all but non-existent from their surrogates and media war room!
Al Gore needs to be a surrogate for Obama capable of attacking McCain on Energy Policy

The timing of tonight’s likely puff piece Gore endorsement speech only further hurts Obama’s sputtering offense against McCain as it pushes today’s McCain Energy Policy speech, which called for more drilling, to the back pages – an unforgivable missed opportunity as McCain’s poorly received energy policy speech today reinforces the one offensive message that Obama has successfully gotten to stick – that McCain is merely McBush – another oil obsessed Republican in big business’ corner.

The Obama’s rapid response team will hopefully pounce on the opportunity to keep this issue alive by having Gore wage a direct attack on McCain’s energy policy, extending what would have been a two-day news event (Gore endorses + 1 days of pundit analysis) into a one week McCain stomp (Gore endorses and attacks, Pundits talk, McCain defends, Obama and a bunch of celebrities further attack as the story gains legs – viola! Rinse and repeat.)

The real question is just which Gore is showing up tonight? The hard swinging Incredible Hulk orator who can single handedly turn public perception (just refer to his masterful speech assailing Bush at the Commonwealth Club of California (Link))? Or the weak Bruce Banner Gore, who seemed tentative in attacking Satan Bush during his 2000 loss, often hides under his “elder statesman” blanket, and is so frequently conspicuously absent when his party is in need?

Democrats Need the Hulk Gore, not the Bruce Banner Gore

Clearly for an Obama campaign doing a good job of advancing their positive message, but a lousy job attacking McCain, they need Gore unleashed… the fire and brimstone Gore… The smash mouth Gore… A Gore that provides them with offensive production!   

If Gore delivers an inspired speech that acts as a reprise of his 2002 Commonwealth Club speech, only this time directed at McCain, watch out!  If he delivers what I expect, this endorsement will be more or less a  yawn.

He’s been sitting on the sideline all year… Let’s hope he’s been putting that time to good use.


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