Lizza, Ryan
December 2003
New Republic;12/22/2003, Vol. 229 Issue 25, p12
Following Al Gore's announcement this week that he is endorsing Howard Dean for president, mainstream news coverage generally cohered into two major story lines. First, that it was a surprising rebuke that Gore had declined to endorse his 2000 running mate, Joe Lieberman. And, second, that Gore's endorsement meant Dean was finally starting to win over the Democratic establishment. Neither story line withstands much scrutiny. It's tempting to see the rift between Gore and the Clintons as a clean ideological split, especially since Hillary Clinton has been sounding more hawkish notes on Iraq recently. But the struggle within the party is less about left and right than it is about insiders versus outsiders. MoveOn.org and Dean For America may run on antiwar fuel, but the 527s are an amalgam of liberal interest groups that have just as much potential to move the party to the left. And the Clintons' candidate (Wesley Clark) is just as antiwar as Gore's. In sum, Gore's endorsement of Dean is a reaction against everything he thinks cost him the election in 2000: the Clintons, the press, and Bush.


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