A minor point about the exaggerated political demise of Al Gore, inspired by two very different sources — first, echoing what’s become a dominant meme over the past few months, the always hilarious Walter Russell Mead:
Here in the US, Al Gore has unaccountably disappeared from the leadership of the climate change movement; John Kerry has taken over the leadership of America’s greens.
Second, the widely esteemed Iowahawk:
Exile soon proved an outrageous affront to Vicar Albert, causing him to so take leave of his faculties that he was taken to the mad-house at Ville de Nash. His days were there consumed in grim and bitter strictures against the vile knaves who had conspired in the theft of his birth-right; but then, some say, he was visited by a miraculous epiphany. The mad-house in those times was inhabited by soothsayers and astrologers and alchemists, all in accord that the Lord’s apocalypse was nigh and that man’s carbon wickedness had made it so. Whether in their peculiar benedictions Vicar Albert found a new and true faith is known only to his heart; but it is manifest that in its preaching he found his true earthly calling, and a wellspring of riches even beyond the imaginings of His Majesty’s explorers in the East Indies.
Everyone seems to be dancing on Al Gore’s grave these days, what with the unexpected and unfortunate Tipper split and the extremely embarrassing tale of the masseuse. But we’re forgetting that Gore is, unlike John Edwards, far less self-deluding (Edwards honestly thought he could demand the Attorney General slot of Obama all the way to the end) and far more canny and deliberate in his political moves.
Fast forward a few months: let us say the police find their initial conclusion was correct, and there’s insufficient evidence anything illegal happened. Gore will be viewed as semi-vindicated, even though everyone (or mostly everyone) believes he did it. He is still a wealthy man (no divorce, just separation), who’s turned his stiff, anti-social nature into an asset. He’s respected by many as a saint/guru/demigod bent on the salvation of the planet. He’ll do a softball interview with Jon Meacham, wherever he is; then an appearance on The Daily Show; then a benefit concert broadcast on the Discovery Channel, co-hosted by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Before you can say “this is locally grown, right?” Gore’s back on top, aided if anything by the fact he was only wounded, not destroyed. Of course no one wants to touch the guy now, but still … if Eliot Spitzer can mount a comeback, surely Al Gore can as well, and manfully, with earth tones.
I fully expect he will.