Al Gore’s post-political communications triumphs stand in stark contrast to his political communications body of work. I couldn’t stand to listen to Gore as a candidate. He was condescending, simplistic, arrogant, uninspiring, insincere, gutless, utterly predictable and formulaic. But almost since the moment the election ended, he became more compelling as the shackles of politics were removed.
In the political world, gotcha reporters cause candidates to stick with risk-averse milquetoast phrasing. Interest groups make candidates into inflexible and oh-so-predictable policy slaves. TV news editors make candidates into simplistic sound bite machines. Cookie cutter political consultants make candidates into grating repetitive robots.
The political system makes an awful lot of thoughtful, decent people of all political stripes look like devious dolts. The fact that people like Gore, Dole, Carter and others are only able to display their true heart, mind, guts and soul after they leave politics raises serious questions about our political system.