Clement had already held off other competitors for the seat currently held by retiring Republican Fred Thompson. Fellow House member Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. was perceived to be a frontrunner for any open Tennessee Senate seat after a star-turn at the 2000 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles. But earlier this month Clement and Ford met and Ford agreed to step aside.
Clement arrived at the Gore meeting and made it clear he would not step aside for Tipper. “He’s been fundraising with this campaign in mind. He wasn’t going to pull the plug just because Tipper wanted in,” says a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. “She never really gave him a clear reason why she was running and why he should step aside for her.”
Clement’s refusal to make way for her apparently played into Mrs. Gore’s decision. As did the Democratic Party’s seeming uncertainty about her campaign. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which recruited Clement, was stunned by last week’s announcement that Gore was considering a run. “She wasn’t on our radar screen at all,” says a DSCC fundraiser. “We didn’t even think about her when we were doing our polling down there. We knew Clement would be a strong candidate. He was our guy no matter what.”
The DNC, too, was surprised by Gore’s interest. “We had no idea,” says the party fundraiser. “Anyone who says we were pushing this is lying. Tipper Gore obviously is a great Democrat and a great friend to the party, but this was just out of the blue. I don’t think [DNC chairman] Terry McAuliffe knew what to make of it.”
What can be made of it is that the Gore family isn’t getting out of the politics business any time soon. If anything, it’s desperately looking to prove the 2000 presidential campaign was an aberration. Even as her mother seemed to waver about running, daughter Karenna Gore Schiff, who was a senior adviser to Daddy Al, was making calls to her father’s supporters on her mom’s behalf. Donna Brazile, a longtime Al Gore campaign adviser, was making plans for a campaign staff in Tennessee, and calling former Gore 2000 staffers in Washington and Nashville. “I got a phone call,” says a Washington lobbyist who worked for Al Gore in the 2000 campaign. “They were planning at least three D.C.-based fundraisers.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?