Al Gore as a green go-fer in an Obama administration?
We've had all kinds of fun all year writing about Al Gore's nonexistent drive for the Democratic presidential nomination and his extinct desire to inhabit the White House and hang new chad on the windows.
He's been a real good sport and hasn't complained once.
But with today's stunning news out of Chicago, we wonder about that extinct part. Barack Obama's transition people have confirmed that after his workout tomorrow, the president-elect will meet with Gore in Chicago. And someone named Joe Biden will attend too.
Is this one last attempt by Gore to convince Obama to step aside and simply cede the White House to the former vice president, who still thinks he really should have won back in 2000?
Gore's said he's done with elective office. But if he could simply talk Obama out of the job, technically there'd be no election. Just a granting. And Gore could become the first....
...white Tennessean to occupy the White House since the last one?
Recently, Gore's been down in Georgia with his ex-boss ex-President Clinton helping to reunite the Republican Party and reelect GOP incumbent Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
Gore's already got the Nobel and Oscar prizes and virtually every other possible prize except a couple from Cracker Jack boxes. He's been making a ton of money with his enviro speeches and slideshows, for which he has an unusual set of contractual requirements. Plus, he already knows the White House layout. So is this one last Gore bid to be commander in chief on the cheap?
All right, certainly not. It might strike some as chuckle-worthy that Gore is traveling to the frigid Windy City to talk about global warming.
But Obama's people say the meeting topic will be how to save the environment while creating tons of new green jobs with the gazillion dollars we're soon going to be spending to head off the recession that arrived last week.
Not announced, but almost certainly on the agenda, is drawing Gore into some kind of administration job, even if it's just a perfunctory position.
Pretty please, because the Democratic left is really starting to grumble over all this sensible centrist stuff emanating from the new team. And Gore could be pointed to. Which, of course, he knows.
Last week Gore's spokeswoman (like Oprah here today) said he has absolutely no interest in an administration job.
But unlike chief speechwriter Jon Favreau, she can be thrown under the bus.
The diligent Bonny Kapp over at Fox News uncovered an Obama quote from a Pennsylvania primary town-hall meeting last April.
The voter asked Obama if he'd consider Gore for a Cabinet-level job fighting climate change.
Here's what the current president-elect said: “Not only will I, but I will make a commitment that Al Gore will be at the table and play a central part in us figuring out how we solve this problem.”
So now we'll see.
-- Andrew Malcolm
Photo credits: Associated Press