While certain other matters distract me from time to time these days--the Giants win yesterday, Goose Gossage's impending election to the Baseball Hall of Fame, work--politics certainly has taken center stage. My initial reaction to Obama's win has only been reinforced by what occurred over the weekend. He is going to win NH by a substantial margin (10+ points, I would guess), and he now has a huge lead in SC (18 points) with the African-American vote unsurprisingly moving completely in his favor. Again, I see no effective strategy for Hillary at this point, and while much of the focus is on what she did wrong, I am not sure that there is a lot that she could have done. In many ways, she got caught by a tsunami. For better or worse, Hillary Clinton in 2007/08 is a very well known commodity that people have an opinion of. Obama represents change (a word I am so sick of hearing) by his mere novelty on the political scene. With the mood of the electorate and Obama's manifest talents and with Hillary's baggage of the past 16 or so years, I don't know what she could have done differently. Even skipping Iowa would have been very dicey as the supposed inevitable candidate, and Obama, if he beat Edwards handily, would still have had Big Mo at this point. Right now Obama is playing the role of RFK, and Hillary is Hubert Humphrey, a fine man who in 1968 was simply saddled with the baggage of LBJ. (Of course, if Hillary somehow wins or narrowly loses tomorrow and then comes back, forget I wrote this.)
One thing on my mind of late is what does Al Gore do. It is well known that there is little love lost between Al and Hillary. In 2004, Gore endorsed Dean in December 2003, and we all know how well Dean did after that. Here, however, the risk is greater. If one attempts to kill the king (or more aptly the Queen), one must kill the king; so for maximum advantage for him and Obama, he needs to endorse Obama (assuming that is what he wants to do) when (1) he feels that it will help and (2) he is confident enough that Hillary won't win the nomination. Probably the best time to do that would be after a NH win, but we will see.
I still wonder whether Gore wants back in the political game. On some level, I'm sure he does (as one understandably would if they felt they were robbed of the presidency) although he also must love operating above it. Would Gore want to be VP again under Obama? Two men have served as VP under two different Presidents (George Clinton under Jefferson and Madison and John C. Calhoun under Quincy Adams and Jackson), but that hasn't happened in 175 years. I'm sure being VP doesn't truly excite him, but he would add the experience (agh!) to the ticket that Obama will need including a wide range of foreign policy knowledge. (I also hear he knows something about global warming.) And as well known as Gore is, no one would outshine Obama. This would put Gore right back in play for the presidential nomination in 2016 (assuming Obama wins this year and is renominated). He would only be 68 (younger than Reagan in 1980 (69) and McCain today (71)). Of course, this too might sound crazy, but what the heck.