Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hitchens believes in Al Gore

During a week where the Holocaust and homosexual-denying President of Iran paid a visit to an Ivy League campus in the biggest metropolis in the Western world, Christopher Hitchens oddly used his Slate column to talk about Al Gore's non-candidacy for President:

Apart from the awards, not only could Gore claim that he had been a fairly effective senator and a reasonably competent vice president, he could also present himself in zeitgeist terms as the candidate who was on the right side of the two great overarching questions: the climate crisis and the war in Mesopotamia. Should I add that, whether or not he really won the Electoral College in 2000, he did manage to collect the majority of the popular vote? Several people, some of them well-informed, have been saying to me that Gore will wait until the Nobel committee's announcement before he makes up his mind. Should he make up his mind to run, he could alter the entire equation.

There were a few very weird moments in the column, such as this:

Sen. Clinton may have succeeded in getting people to call her "Hillary" and to have made them feel resigned to her front-runnership, but what kind of achievement is that? Sen. Obama cannot possibly believe, and doesn't even act as if he believes, that he can be elected president of the United States next year. John Edwards is a good man who is in politics for good reasons, but there is something about his populism that doesn't quite—what's the word?—translate.

Apparently Hitch must not have watched a good share of the Democratic debates. From what I have read of him (which is quite alot), the one thing that Hitch despises the most is religious certainty. Edwards used that card, convincingly or not, in the YouTube debate where he asserted that his opposition to same-sex marriage was founded in his religious faith. That seems like a position designed to raise the ire of Christopher Hitchens.

It might be possible that Hitchens has spent the last half a year debating theology (or the lack thereof) so intensely that he hasn't properly absorbed the goings on in the presidential race. I can't blame him, one human is only so capable of paying attention to all the latest campaign news while also writing a daily column and engaging in a book tour for a New York Times bestseller.

The time has passed for Al Gore to run for president. If he had the inclination to do so, he would have at least had to have set up an Exploratory Committee by now. Fred Thompson was considered late when he announced his candidacy in Labour Day after months of getting his name out there and fundraising. Al Gore has denied any intentions of higher office, and I think we should take him at his word. If he were to run now, he wouldn't have the funds or infrastructure for a successful campaign.

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