Don’t hold your breath for a Gore endorsement… The chances at this point “are fading,” says Josh Gerstein of the N.Y. Sun.
An endorsement by Vice President Gore in the hard-fought Democratic presidential race could give a huge boost to Senator Obama or allow Senator Clinton to deliver the coup de grace to her rivals, but several campaign operatives and former aides to Mr. Gore now see the chances of such a nod fading.
With the primaries looming closer every day, Gerstein reports that several former Gore advisers have said that “the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Mr. Gore in October for his work combating global climate change has catapulted him to national and international prominence in a way that could be tarnished by his taking sides in the primary fight.”
“In many respects, he has transcended partisan politics,” a former aide, Christopher Lehane, said. “I think he’ll be extremely sensitive about doing anything that could potentially impact his global brand.”
Another former adviser, who asked not to be named, said Mr. Gore had probably waited too long to make an endorsement without causing a fair amount of chaos and upset. “Jumping into the middle of the political process if the middle of the primaries doesn’t make much sense,” the ex-aide said.
Not that any of the candidates, particularly the two front-runners wouldn’t jump at the chance of a Gore endorsement as Lehane noted:
“An endorsement I think would be enormously coveted by anyone in the race,” the former aide said, stressing that he had not discussed the issue with Mr. Gore. “The guy’s an iconic figure now. … He would give anyone in the field the imprimatur not only on the environment but on a whole range of progressive issues.
On a personal note, I had a feeling that Gore would sit this one out altogether. No doubt, he’ll come forward and support the nominee, but this horse race is too convoluted and stepping up to add his seal of approval to one of the candidates is just too messy at this point.