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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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| | |-+  2000 U.S. Presidential Election Results (Moderator: Bob Enright)
| | | |-+  Why didn't Al Gore pick John Kerry to be his running mate?
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Author Topic: Why didn't Al Gore pick John Kerry to be his running mate?  (Read 4175 times)
Chris B
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« on: March 24, 2013, 05:58:54 pm »
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Doing so may've created a firewall in NH despite Bush winning FL, and had Gore won NH in addition to the other states he carried, that would've been enough for him to win the election.

I can understand the rationale for Lieberman, but I don't see how Kerry would've been anathema to Jewish voters in FL. And it's not as though Lieberman has anymore charisma than Kerry.
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2013, 06:00:06 pm »
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I think Gore probably should've picked him or another Southerner.
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2013, 07:13:42 pm »
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Bob graham should have been picked. Kerry was a liberal and was just as boring as gore. Graham was a new dem and good debater.
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 08:53:24 pm »
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Lieberman was also from New England, and the hope was that he could help in Florida (and he probably helped make the state as close as it was.) There isn't much indication that Kerry would have been more impressive to New Hampshire swing voters than Lieberman was.

Plus, Gore decided that Lieberman could help distance him from Clinton's personal shortcomings.

Edwards probably would have been better on November 2000, due to his charisma and Clinton's popularity. Although Edwards's later scandals prove he was a guy who should not have been one heartbeat away from the presidency.

In retrospect, Jeanne Shaheen would have been a perfect running mate for Gore, but she removed herself for contention. She would likely have sewn up New Hampshire, while helping Gore with the base and with female voters, without requiring any distancing from Bill Clinton.
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Indy Texas
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 09:55:34 pm »
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Bob graham should have been picked. Kerry was a liberal and was just as boring as gore. Graham was a new dem and good debater.

Bob Graham had been considered a contender for the nomination himself that year until it became known that he had a tendency to keep little notebooks with him to write down everything he did in a given day, including mundane things like running errands and eating lunch. People thought that was weird and it was part of the reason he fell off the shortlist. Never mind that less than a decade later the entire country would be doing the same thing, but with Facebook and Twitter instead of little notebooks.
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2013, 10:42:16 pm »
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It's easy to play Monday morning quarterback. Would Kerry have hurt Gore in Iowa, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Oregon, or other states in 2000 though? We can say who everyone should have picked after the fact. The bottom line is, the VP choice isn't even a top 25 issue.
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2013, 05:31:13 am »
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Gore had Florida in mind when he picked Lieberman IIRC - he thought Lieberman would appeal to the old folks in the state (which he probably did).

There were five states within a margin of 1% or less and Gore would four of them. A Graham pick would have likely put Florida in the bag but just a few thousand votes switching in IA, NM, WI and OR would have put Gore down to 261 electoral votes. Did Lieberman's "cultural conservatism" make the difference in those four states? Perhaps.

But as BB alluded to, the Nader run, Gore ignoring TN, Gore running away from Clinton, the debates and Gore's general lack of charisma all had a greater effect on the election than the VP pick.
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2013, 06:36:27 pm »

The problem with Gore's attempt to distance himself from Clinton was that it didn't work.  I knew back in the primaries that if Gore won the nomination I wouldn't be voting Democratic in 2000, altho it wasn't until the day before Election Day that I finally decided whether I would vote for Nader or Bush.
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2013, 09:58:23 pm »
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What would happen if Bill Bradley won the nomination?
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2013, 11:43:16 pm »

What would happen if Bill Bradley won the nomination?

Well for one thing, I'd have voted for him instead of making a last minute decision between Bush and Nader.
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2013, 06:05:44 am »
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Gore had Florida in mind when he picked Lieberman IIRC - he thought Lieberman would appeal to the old folks in the state (which he probably did).

There were five states within a margin of 1% or less and Gore would four of them. A Graham pick would have likely put Florida in the bag but just a few thousand votes switching in IA, NM, WI and OR would have put Gore down to 261 electoral votes. Did Lieberman's "cultural conservatism" make the difference in those four states? Perhaps.

Good point. While, at the end, it came down to Florida, the election was hardly decided by FL only.
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2013, 07:01:56 am »
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Lierberman was a smart pick on the part of the former vice president.
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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2013, 05:41:58 pm »
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I have absolutely no doubt that Jeanne Shaheen would have been the best pick. She would have sewn up New Hampshire, provided enough distance from Clinton to probably win Tennessee, reassured enough women and excited enough members of the base to raise Gore's margin and prevent Nader defections in who knows how many states, and done no harm in Iowa or Wisconsin.
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2013, 09:00:45 pm »
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I have absolutely no doubt that Jeanne Shaheen would have been the best pick. She would have sewn up New Hampshire, provided enough distance from Clinton to probably win Tennessee, reassured enough women and excited enough members of the base to raise Gore's margin and prevent Nader defections in who knows how many states, and done no harm in Iowa or Wisconsin.

Gephardt would've been a good pick for him. I don't know that much more could've been done for Gore. For as much as he trailed Bush in 2000, it's actually pretty impressive he did so well. On the other hand, it could be argued that if anything had gone right for him, he would've won. He managed to cling onto every single one of Clinton's negatives and suffer from association, but still couldn't be credited with any one of his positives. It's even simpler when looking at the gun rhetoric which could be argued to have cost him his home state of Tennessee, Clinton's home state of Arkansas, long time Democrat state of West Virginia, the swing state of Ohio, and even the long time swing state of Missouri. Florida wouldn't even have mattered if Gore would've won his home state. Gephardt should've won him Missouri. I can't see Daschle on a national ticket though. Grey Davis wasn't as unpopular at the time.
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2013, 05:27:36 am »
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It was obvious that Lieberman was a poor pick. The media, which normally had nothing good to say about Gore, suddenly was thought it was a good pick. Lieberman would have been replaced by a Republican if he was elected VP, but he kept running for re-election to the Senate anyways. He almost cost Democrats control of the Senate, except that he probably cost control of the Presidency instead (and therefore also the Senate) by actively sabotaging the recount. Definitely Gore's biggest mistake.
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« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2013, 03:51:53 am »
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I have absolutely no doubt that Jeanne Shaheen would have been the best pick. She would have sewn up New Hampshire, provided enough distance from Clinton to probably win Tennessee, reassured enough women and excited enough members of the base to raise Gore's margin and prevent Nader defections in who knows how many states, and done no harm in Iowa or Wisconsin.

Gephardt would've been a good pick for him. I don't know that much more could've been done for Gore. For as much as he trailed Bush in 2000, it's actually pretty impressive he did so well. On the other hand, it could be argued that if anything had gone right for him, he would've won. He managed to cling onto every single one of Clinton's negatives and suffer from association, but still couldn't be credited with any one of his positives. It's even simpler when looking at the gun rhetoric which could be argued to have cost him his home state of Tennessee, Clinton's home state of Arkansas, long time Democrat state of West Virginia, the swing state of Ohio, and even the long time swing state of Missouri. Florida wouldn't even have mattered if Gore would've won his home state. Gephardt should've won him Missouri. I can't see Daschle on a national ticket though. Grey Davis wasn't as unpopular at the time.

barfbag seems perfectly normal here.
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« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2013, 11:02:09 am »
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Yeah, in retrospect, Bob Graham would have been a good pick for Gore.  But then, Connie Mack would have been a good pick for Bush.
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« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2014, 08:21:50 pm »
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Kerry would have delivered New Hampshire to Gore, maybe Iowa or Missouri but I don't know anywhere else.
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« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2014, 08:42:47 am »
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The election was so close that one state would have made the difference.

Any veep worth a hundredth of a percent more than Lieberman in Florida, or 1.28 points in New Hampshire would have changed the outcome.

Gephardt might have been worth 3.35% in Missouri, and would have been a solid governing choice.

Former Nevada Governor Bob Miller might have been worth four points in that state. He had been the longest serving Governor of the state, and Chairman of the National Governors Association so there wouldn't be much of an experience argument.
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« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2014, 09:46:45 pm »
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Gore should have picked Jay Rockefeller.  Around 11 pm on Election Night, George Stephenopolous pointed out that to win, Gore needed to carry the "Dukakis Six" (states that carried for Dukakis that had not yet been called.  He carried 5 of the 6 (WA, OR, IA, MN, HI) but he lost WV.  At the time, WV was still a Demcratic state, but Gore's environmentalism gave Bush an opening, and Gore really didn't get the message that he was in trouble there until it was too late.

Of course, Gore could have picked David Pryor (D-AR) or John Breaux (D-LA) or Dick Gephardt (D-MO) and accomplished the same.  Appealing to elderly Jewish retirees in FL or Jewish voters in general is not something that will help a Democrat, since Jews are a Democratic constituency by and large.  Appealing to a Southern Senator in a Clinton state would have had a specific payoff.
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« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2014, 10:06:34 pm »
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Really anybody could have been a better pick than Joe Lieberman, Bob Graham, Paul Wellstone, John Kerry, John Edwards, Gary Locke, Gray Davis, Evan Bayh, etc.
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« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2015, 06:16:05 pm »
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He wanted to separate himself from Bill Clinton, along with Harkin, Torricelli and Boxer, Kerry defended Clinton during impeachment.  And he felt he was too close to Teddy Kennedy, who defended, Clinton as well.

But, clearly if one knew that FL was gonna go down to hanging chads, Bob Graham would have been chosen. Fl was understated, due to advisors thinking Jeb had already locked down FL.
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« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2015, 07:37:40 pm »
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I normally jump all over the "VPs swing their homestate" trope, but with Graham, it may have made it closer.

And by making it closer, making the need for a full recount vital.
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