Al Gore, Jerry Brown Send Democrats Back To The ’90s For Hillary Challenge
If Hillary Clinton’s email saga wasn’t a sufficient reminder of the 1990s, the Democrats have a treat for you.
Instead of more current alternatives like Elizabeth Warren and Martin O’Malley, the most prominent names being floated as possible Hillary challengers date back to when she was first lady — and in some cases, go back even further than that.
Thus the 2016 chatter around former Vice President Al Gore and 76-year-old California Gov. Jerry Brown, two blasts from the past.
Vox’s Ezra Klein penned a piece headlined “Al Gore Should Run For President,” making the case for another run by the 2000 popular vote winner. Klein argued Gore, 66, should green light a 2016 bid because he could lead a broad discussion within America’s oldest political party, focused especially on climate change.
“Gore is potentially a strong competitor,” Rick Dunham, who has covered every presidential election since 1980, told The Daily Caller. “He could play the Obama anti-Hillary role in a replay of the 2008 election.”
“He has two problems in that comparison: He’s old and ‘the past’ rather than young and ‘the future.’ And he has a collection of enemies and skeptics,” Dunham said. “On the plus side…he could easily become a champion of the activist left. That could make him a serious competitor, at least, if he ran a great campaign. ”
“Still, when is the last time you heard the words ‘great campaign’ and ‘Al Gore’ in the same sentence?” asked Dunham, who also covered the Clinton White House for Business Week.
According to MSNBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald, sources close to Gore have poured cold water on the idea of a 2016 presidential run. But the speculation is tied to a bigger issue for the Democrats.
“I think the larger meta-takeaway from [Gore 2016 talk] is there is continued restiveness with Hillary as the anointed already decided nominee of the Democratic Party, which I think is a healthy thing for any large American political party. You shouldn’t have a coronation,” CBS’ Major Garrett remarked Friday. “The idea of all sorts of names being thrown in and possibilities suggested means there is some uncomfortability with the idea that it is already a lock for Hillary.”
Then there’s Jerry Brown, who has the unique distinction of having been both the youngest and oldest governor of California.
Brown fueled 2016 speculation on Sunday with an appearance on “Meet The Press.” Moderator Chuck Todd is among the commentators who have pushed talk of a fourth Brown presidential campaign. Brown last ran for president in 1992 — against Bill Clinton.
“I still think the person that is most likely to do this is going to be Jerry Brown. And he equally is a nemesis to the Clintons in a way that is different from Al Gore but also possesses every one of those attributes…about Al Gore, other than winning Iowa and winning the popular vote,” Todd said in July.
“Jerry Brown’s resume with the left and populist movement is as strong, if not stronger,” Todd added.
During the Sunday interview, Brown said without hesitation he would run in 2016 if he were 10 years younger, making the case for climate change in the same manner as Gore. (RELATED: Jerry Brown: I Would Run For President If I Were 10 Years Younger)
Aging Democrats are looking for the fountain of youth as the party enters its post-Barack Obama era, with Vice President Joe Biden (72) and even Secretary of State John Kerry (71) both being mentioned as possible 2016 candidates. (RELATED: Joe Biden: ‘Yes, There’s a Chance’ I’ll Challenge Hillary)
“This could be the oldest presidential field since 1980,” Dunham told TheDC.
With Clinton, 67, set to announce a bid sooner rather than later, 75 could be the new 65 in the Democratic presidential field.