Carol Platt Liebau: Discontent on the Dem Side?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Discontent on the Dem Side?

According to the New Hampshire Union-Leader, the frontrunner on the Democratic side in New Hampshire is . . . Al Gore, currently not a contender for the presidential nomination.

The situation seems somewhat analogous to what's been happening with Fred Thompson over on the Republican side. This blog has often opined that Thompson's high poll numbers result from the fact that he's essentially a "none of the above" choice, in effect a vessel into which discontented Republicans can pour their political hopes.

So what is Al Gore? After all, we've heard repeatedly that Democrats are quite satisfied with their choices for President, in contrast with the Republicans. If that's the case, why isn't one of the declared candidates in the lead?

It could certainly be argued that Fred Thompson is more of an unknown quantity than Al Gore. But is that really true? What's impossible even for Democratic voters to know is which Gore would be likely to enter the presidential race: Hawkish Gore, earth-tones Gore, business-friendly Gore, "people versus the powerful" Gore, or green Gore. So couldn't some of the same "empty vessel" phenomenon be taking place on the Democratic side, and if so, what does that say about the real level of contentment with the declared candidates?


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