Gore Launches Campaign ...
With Attack on the President
by Jeffrey Steinberg
On June 16, Vice President Albert Gore formally launched his bid for the year 2000 Democratic Presidential nomination, with an act of clinical, suicidal insanity, that is certain to accelerate the collapse of his drive for the White House. First, in a kickoff rally in his home town of Carthage, Tennessee, and later in an exclusive interview with ABC New's "20/20" program, Gore launched into a nasty attack against President Bill Clinton, ostensibly because of the President's extramarital affair.
Gore's strategy of "distancing himself" from Clinton was pre-scripted, to ensure maximum media coverage of his declaration of independence—from one of the most popular American Presidents of this century.
The idea of Gore formulating a campaign strategy, based on distancing himself from President Clinton, was characterized by Lyndon LaRouche, one of only two other Democrats challenging Gore for the nomination, as a "politically fatal folly." LaRouche observed, "It prompts me to recall the adage, 'Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad!' "
Premature campaign launch
Originally, Gore had not planned to formally launch his Presidential bid until after Labor Day. However, his continued sinking in the polls, the growing strength of the Bill Bradley campaign in New Hampshire and Iowa, and the persistent mocking media coverage of Gore as the most boring man in America, prompted the Vice President's political "handlers" to take the high-risk step of launching his campaign before the Fourth of July.
If one particular piece of bad press drove Gore over the edge into his current flight-forward, it might have been the June 7 article, plastered on the front page of the Washington Post Style section, the mother of all "respectable" political gossip sheets. The article was given a banner headline: "After Six Years in Suspended Animation, Al Gore Shows No Signs of Stirring from THE BIG SLEEPY." Under a large cigar-store-Indian picture of the Vice President, was the caption: "Maybe the nicest thing you can say about the Vice President is that he's remarkably lifelike."
Post writer Kevin Merida interspersed quotes from voters, complaining about Gore the bore, with the latest polling data, showing that a majority of Americans consider Gore too dull to be President. At one point, Merida reported that Gore had inspired a new term to describe how people react upon hearing the Vice President speak: "MEGO," which means "my eyes glaze over. As in: Did you catch Al Gore's speech on global warming on C-SPAN? MEGO."
If there was a message to Big Al buried in the fuselade of nasty one-liners, it was Merida's not-so-veiled warning at the beginning of the article: "More than a description, it's a condition, an albatross, an image worth ditching. It speaks to something many people are but nobody wants to be. White paint, brown socks, plain yogurt, Lite beer. Boring.... Which brings us to Al Gore, the highest-ranking boring man in the land. Or so the polls say.... This doesn't have to be absolute truth to be a problem. In America, when an impression takes root it multiplies until it becomes commonplace until it becomes parody until it becomes accepted fact. And then it's too late. It has become legend. We don't have to speculate about this phenomenon. We have Al Gore."
Stern words, especially, considering that they came from a minion of Katherine Graham, one of the "grand dames" of the Democratic National Committee, and a kingmaker that Gore needs in his corner, if his campaign is to survive the heat of the summer of '99.
If the timing of Gore's campaign launch was bad, the delivery was even worse. Appearing on "20/20," Gore launched into a carefully rehearsed attack on President Clinton that immediately grabbed worldwide headlines. "Gore Attacks Clinton," the BBC World Service headlined its gloating coverage. "Gore's Running—Away From Bill," Rupert Murdoch's New York Post chortled.
"I've said previously, and I will repeat to you," Gore told ABC's Diane Sawyer, "I think what [Clinton] did was inexcusable. If you've ever had a friend who disappointed you and you worked with that person, and you rebuilt the relationship, and moved forward from the disappointment, that's exactly what that was like for me." Continuing in the same patronizing tones, Gore added, "I use the term 'inexcusable,' I use the word 'awful, terrible, horrible.' You know, the man was a friend of mine, and I am—we have a close working relationship and he had—he's gone through a lot in this.... I thought it was awful. I thought it was inexcusable. But I made a commitment to serve this country as vice president. I have a commitment to help him be the best President he's capable of being."
Gore also made it clear that his differences with President Clinton are over policy matters, as well as so-called "personal morality." Gore told Sawyer that he kept his political differences to himself, "because I took an oath under the Constitution to serve my country as vice president, which means ... not arguing with the policies of the administration. But everything changes on Wednesday when I become a candidate, because I will be describing my vision for the future. If that happens to be different from what the administration wants, I think that's understandable to people."
The Wall Street Journal, one of the most vicious of the City of London-allied "Get Clinton" propaganda organs, not surprisingly, hailed Gore's break with the President. In a lead editorial, headlined "Gore's Chore," the Journal wrote, on June 17, "Vice President Gore formally joined the race for the White House yesterday, and we wish him luck, All the more so since he seems to be self-consciously struggling with the burden of separating himself from the boss he served so slavishly for seven years.... But if Mr. Gore now wants to critique the Clinton years, we welcome him."
Indeed, when the history of the Clinton Presidency is written, it will show that, almost every time that President Clinton launched an initiative that genuinely served the general welfare of the United States, whether in foreign policy or on domestic affairs, Vice President Gore not only opposed him, but fought, behind the scenes, to sabotage the President's efforts.
The most egregious instance of such Gore sabotage was his support on behalf of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, the so-called welfare to work bill that President Clinton, tragically, signed into law—against his own better judgment, and against the advice of such senior advisers as Labor Secretary Robert Reich, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes, and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.
The bill, a cornerstone of the Gingrich revolution's "Contract on America," was championed, inside the Clinton administration, by Vice President Gore and campaign svengali Dick Morris, according to numerous published accounts. The President's decision not to veto the Conservative Revolution's perverted Act, which has delivered millions of already impoverished Americans onto the scrap heap, sank the Democratic Party in the 1996 Congressional elections, and set the stage for the Republican's impeachment drive against the President. The impeachment drive would have been dead on arrival, had the Democrats retaken control of the House of Representatives.
During last summer's Russian debt crisis, Vice President Gore was caught red-handed, working with some of Wall Street and the City of London's biggest financial pirates, to impose Russian kleptocrat Viktor Chernomyrdin back into the prime ministership—to ensure that Gore, Inc. speculators, including George Soros and David E. Shaw, got their pound of Russian flesh, following the Kiriyenko government's freezing of some Russian commercial debt, and its demand to renegotiate billions of dollars in Russian short-term treasury bonds. Gore's actions, taken behind President Clinton's back in the midst of the most vicious attacks on the First Family by special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, did provoke a significant rift between the President and the Vice President.
In March of this year, Gore once again joined forces with the same Wall Street sharks to help bring down Russia's only successful post-communist prime minister, Yevgeni Primakov. Gore, Inc. was desperate to stop a face-to-face meeting between President Clinton and Primakov, out of fear that the two men would strike a policy partnership that would leave London and Wall Street out in the cold.
The list goes on.
Coehlo joins the Clinton bashing
Among the issues that have further strained the Clinton-Gore relationship is First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat from New York that will open up with the retirement of Daniel Patrick Moynihan. It is no secret that the Gore camp is furious at the prospect of Hillary upstaging the Vice President in a state with one of the largest pools of electoral college votes, and with some of the deepest Democratic Party campaign pockets. Tony Coehlo, a former Congressman from California who quit the House under a cloud of personal financial scandals, and who is now the head of the Gore for President effort, uncorked against the First Lady in a New York Times interview given just hours after Gore launched his campaign.
"I look forward to the Republicans beating up on [Hillary Clinton]. I know she won't be happy to hear me say that, but they will beat up on her, so much so that you're going to have a lot of women in New York and a lot of women all over the country who are going to deeply resent what they say and how they say it. And as a result of that, Al and Tipper Gore will benefit because of what the Republicans try to do to Hillary. I encourage the Republicans to take her on," he foamed.