Gore is a turnoff when he is angry
For the record, Republican officials are denouncing the speech that former vice president Al Gore gave yesterday condemning the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq and the larger war on terror. But privately, GOP strategists say they are "delighted" that Gore, whose speeches include rhetorical extremes and are delivered with vein-popping fury, has apparently taken a high-profile role as a surrogate for the Kerry campaign. Such performances, GOP insiders believe, will eventually alienate all but the most dedicated Democratic base voters.
In response, the Republican National Committee released a statement saying Gore had been vice president for eight years in which "Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States five times and terrorists killed U.S. citizens on at least four different occasions." The statement continued: "Al Gore's attacks on the president today demonstrate that he either does not understand the threat of global terror, or he has amnesia."
However, speaking privately, some in the GOP were not at all unhappy with Gore's speech. "We're delighted by it," said one GOP strategist, "because what you see now is a coalescing of the 'blame America first' wing of the Democratic party that has been largely absent from the stage since 1984."
The strategist explained that Gore's emotional performance, like earlier speeches the former vice president has given assailing the Bush administration, will not appeal to the great majority of voters. "It was an anger-filled speech before an angry audience belonging to an angry group," the Republican insider continued. "All these things are a turnoff to people."