The other Tricky Dick, Dick Morris, offers his views on why Gore endorsed Dean.
It occurs to me that Gore may be quite deluded if he thinks that this early endorsement will make him, in 2008, the darling of those who have embraced Dean in 2004. Keep in mind that the Dean surge is not just a matter of ideology. Dean’s personality and style have also played a significant role. Gore is the un-Dean when it comes to style and personality. Remember, too, that Hillary, who will end of endorsing Dean, should be able to compete for a good chunk of the Dean vote. Will the feminist wing of the party prefer Gore to Ms. Clinton? Probably not. Hillary has not become a foreign policy hawk. And any resentment against her accommodationist views on Iraq may be offset not only by her liberalism on domestic issues, but by the desperation all Democrats will feel in 2008 if they lose in 2004. It was the same type of desperation that caused liberal Democrats to forgive Bill Clinton’s centrist tendencies in 1992.
Finally, it is important to note that Dean is not the first choice of a majority of Democrats. He benefits from being in a weak and fractured field. If Hillary and Gore compete in 2008, the field will probably consist of those two plus perhaps a left-wing alternative to Gore. In that context, it is far from clear that Gore will prevail even if most Dean supporters prefer him to Hillary.
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