If Al Gore Had Won

A recent poll by 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair found that a majority of Americans, and a majority of Democrats, do not believe things would have changed much if Al Gore had been inaugurated president in January 2001. With a jobless scandal gripping the nation, the presiden’ts popularity collapsed from earlier levels, congressional favorable ratings laughably at 12 percent (within reach of Saddam Hussein’s favorables), the Gore v. Bush poll is breathtaking.

If Al Gore had won, for starters: Had Gore been briefed by intelligence officers as Bush was in August 2001 about terrorist planes attacking buildings, Gore would have put our services on red alert and might well have prevented 9/11. Even if 9/11 had happened:

Gore would never have made the blunder of invading Iraq. Those American lives of troops KIA would have been saved. He would have focused on Afghanistan, which would have been won for keeps most likely by 2003. Many American lives of troops KIA in Afghanistan would also have been saved and our Afghan mission would have ended successfully long ago.

Gore would never have done the Bush tax cuts. Therefore, many trillions of dollars would have been saved from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and from not doing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

Instead of our current deficits, the Clinton-Gore budget surplus might well have continued under President Gore, instead of the deficits that ballooned under President Bush. The pro-growth and pro-jobs policies of Clinton-Gore, which were ended by President Bush, would have been continued by President Gore.

The pro-earth policies of President Gore would have made a substantial dent in pollution and taken the offensive against climate change. Gore would have still won and deserved the Nobel Prize, as a world leader of nations.

Torture would never have happened under an American president.

The Supreme Court would never have decided Citizens United as it did. Special interests would not have as much power to buy our elections and democracy had Gore been inaugurated in 2001.

Reducing income inequalities, which have shamefully skyrocketed under Bush and Obama, would have been a major priority under President Gore.

I could go on. You get the idea. Stay tuned for more. I might even elaborate about this in a book I have begun to write.

Brent BudowskyIt is a sad commentary about Democrats today, especially but not only President Obama, that Democrats feel so depressed and let down that they cannot tell the difference between eight years of President George W. Bush and eight years of President Gore. Any Democrat who cannot tell the difference needs a serious kick in the butt.

Stay tuned. I predict the day will come when we will know for sure what President Gore would do, when President Gore does it.

Brent Budowky
The Hill

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at brentbbi@webtv.net.


  1. Tyrannus Evisceratus says

    First I though you were just being naively idealistic going “oh things would have been better if Al Gore had won the cars would all run on magic.”
    Then you actually said Al Gore will be president one day and now I know your crazy.
    Al Gore will never be president and even democrats don’t like him because he freaking lost it demanding recount after recount when he lost the election.
    Americans tolerate a lot of things from politicians, but a sore loser isn’t one of them.

  2. Jeff H in TX says

    At this point I’d take either Al Gore or Hillary Clinton, just so long as I can be assured that they will prevent a Koch Brothers/John Birch Society takeover of America in 2012.
    If Obama can project as a winner, I will throw my support behind him despite my disappointment at his performance.

    But no matter what 2012 is a referendum on whether America wants the John Birch Society running the country.

  3. Joe Weinstein says

    Some of the prior comment snidely trumpets what is either useless partisan rubbish or else is obvious truism: that gee whiz, Gore wasn’t perfect, that some of his apparently attractive policies might have had bad side effects or have been poorly implemented, that Democrats have helped create evil deficits, etc.

    As GreenAdvocate notes, these commenters don’t help their credibility by falsely equating enviro degradation and pollution with a healthy economy. But as GA also notes, Budowsky isn’t too credible either, given the way Gore wimped out on his own majority of the voters.

    And there’s a larger problem. Suppose even that Budowsky is correct on both counts: that Gore will be pres. and moreover will then act effectively. Just how do these predictions give us any operational guidance NOW??

  4. Elaine says

    And Thank God he did not win. He & this Global Warming thing would have us so under in the cost affiliated with that we would have been upside down in that expense. When we were attacked on 9/11 he would have been up under the entire White House hiding. There would have been no leadership except from Rudy but I doubt Gore would have done as good of job as George W. Bush & Dick Cheney did. All of you that think Gore is so special, have you not noticed he has gone off the deep end. Here he was accused of trying to rape a massage therapist. He divorced his wife. Mr. Elite himself & has even gone as far as to say those that do not believe in his Global Warming are racists. He needs to be committed but no one to do it. I bet his wife stays away from him as far as she can. I bet he has been not only mentally abusive but I wonder if he has been physically abusive with that temper he has got. But that is just a guess, I do not know that to be any kind of truth at all.

  5. Jan says

    Gore did win.
    It was the Supreme Court in Gore v Bush that decided that it would not be fair to Bush if the Florida recount was allowed to continue.

    This is the same Supreme Court that late has decided for the reactionaries and for big business in every case brought before them.

  6. in_awe says

    I strongly urge Mr. Budowky to take some time to actually examine the historical records from the 1990’s and early 2000’s before he undertakes his book. On financial matters, the Clinton-Gore team was dragged screaming and kicking to some semblance of fiscal sanity by the Republican Congress, and benefited from economic conditions that had their genesis under GHW Bush. The economy had already begunn to fade nearly a year before the 2000 elections. On military matters, Gore trumpeted his government efficiency and cost savings efforts, but virtually all the cuts were in military spending which left the US with a hugely downsized capability – beneath the level of pre-World War II forces on a relative basis. On national security matters, we need only reflect on the terrorist acts perpetrated on the US during the Clinton-Gore administration: World Trade Towers attack, the USS Cole and others. The Clinton-Gore administration gave us the great law that prohibited the FBI and the intelligence communities from sharing information with one another. How did THAT work out? The idea that there was some specific warning pre-9/11 has been widely debunked over and over again. As to President Gore never invading Iraq, you must have been asleep during the latter half of the 1990’s when Democrats from Clinton to Ted Kennedy (that well-known neo-con) all called for regime change in Iraq – calling Saddam Hussein a threat to international peace and stability due to his regional aspirations and control of boundless weapons of mass destruction. This should give you enough to get started on revisiting reality and save you the embarrassment of writing a book based on fanciful but deluded dreams and recollections about Al Gore.

    As to the notion that Gore won – well the founding fathers incorporated an election process that included the Electoral College. It is the votes in the Electoral College that matter, not the popular vote. And we all know that try as they might, the MSM was unable to find any way that Gore won the recount in FL so give it a rest already. After 11 years to still be waving that flag around is just plain embarrassing to you.

    • says

      “The idea that there was some specific warning pre-9/11 has been widely debunked over and over again.”

      Well…,yeah…maybe for YOU, “debunked.” What happened to the REST of us was a media bath, with NO proofs, by a team of paid pros writing incessant main-stream reports written to EXACTLY to “debunk” (i.e., deny) the “unthinkable” — or rather, What people Shouldn’t Think.

      If you think there was a thorough investigation of this horrendous crime of 911, then,…well,…it seems your NOT thinking.

      Major FACTS were not even checked or mentioned, much less investigated: the crumbling of building 7, for example, or who ordered the immediate “cleanup” of evidence at all three 911 sites — and…WHY. Last I looked, removing crime scene evidence is a CRIME, yet no one was ever named or accused of those acts, much less brought to trial over a deed that soiled America’s sense of Justice and Security forever.

      The “follow-up investigation” of 911 itself is a filthy smudge on the honor of the United States. Its people should be ASHAMED. Instead we get uninformed folks repeating the myth that all questions about how 911 happened have been “debunked.” What bunk! What arrogance. What lack of caring for our nation.

  7. says

    How about this for a “what if?” What if Mr. Gore died in office? What would President Lieberman have done?

    The real message of this post is: Keep voting for Democrats and some day they might get it right. Horseshit.

    It’s time for “progressives” i.e. liberal democrats, to quit stuffing their faces with slow, organic food; quit donating to public television; and begin to understand that recycling is not a political act. Arm-chair radicals–the nattering nabobs of progressivism–are full of “what ifs” because they’re doing just fine.

    Arm-chair radicals won’t talk about the “S” word (Socialism), can’t imagine, much less support a third party because, like Democrats, they’re part of the problem.

    Al Gore as President? Hell, why not bring back Nixon? He was more liberal and as dead as any solutions a Democrat can offer. I woke up this morning full of glorious what ifs about winning the lottery. I checked my ticket and like a good Democrat, I’m still hopeful. I won a buck.

  8. Craig says

    Bill you’re obviously a reactionary twit. Bush was a chump so was his father. Their family supported the English during the American Revolution. And who will beat Obama , Rick Perry? Who’s going to be his creationists runny mate Fred Flintstone? Conservatives are bankrupt politically. They suck up to the Wall Street bankers , they need to invade small countries to subsidize fascist oil companies and they rely on Fred Flintstone for their science.Yaba Dada Doo, will be their campaign motto.

  9. Bill Gibbons says

    “Torture would never have happened under an American president.”

    So Bush wasn’t an “American” president? Or is you leftists definition of an “American president” someone who embraces every loony toon fashion that comes along, including the global warming hoax? But would Gore really have opposed the invasion of Iraq?

    Remember, in the 1980s, Gore made his name as a senator and presidential candidate by positioning himself as one of his party’s foremost hawks. Clinton put him on the Democratic ticket in 1992 because of Gore’s vote for the Gulf War, which most Democrats had opposed. You could argue that Gore was a changed man by 2001 and 2002, and that he saw the world in a fundamentally different way, and maybe that’s true.

    Do you really think that ‘torture” would not have happened under Gore? What the president doesn’t know won’t hurt him. I bet even Obama, the most unpopular president in US history, is kept completely in the dark over covert US intelligence operatives and their activities. If George W. Bush had sent in the navy Seals to kill Osama Bin Ladin, the Democrats would have been the first to scream about “internation law’ and why we couldn’t have taken him alive, etc.

    Gore’s environtmental policies (even if he actually believes the rubbish he spouts), would have destroyed the US economy and stopped the flow of oil from Alberta, Canada. After all, why go to Canada, your peaceful neighbour for oil, when you can pay much more for it from terrorist-supporting states like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela?

    Apart from Gore, Obama’s days are numbered. I predict that we will have a republican president in 2012.

    At least it will give you plenty to write about!

    • says

      What exactly make you so sure that researched and recommended environmental policies are “rubbish”? Just because Fox news is paid to say so?

      What makes you so sure that regulating the poisoning of waters and air would “destroy the economy”? I’d say your buddies i the world of “finance”, petroleum, nuclear energy, pharmaceuticals, and arms are doing a pretty good job of that themselves!

  10. says

    He DID win. He DID win. He DID win.

    How many times must it be said?? If HE, with the majority of votes, didn’t fight a stolen election in the name of those who voted for him, what makes you so certain he would have done ANY of the brave acts you attribute to him?

    If by now, watching the Obama dance with the Right, knowing how Clinton caved and sold out our entire media system as well as dashing hopes for Fair Trade, is it not terribly evident that our Problems are much larger and deeper than who occupies the Oval Office? Deep structural problems with neither major party denouncing those power-brokers and think-tanks that actively attack the pillars of our democracy and cloud the media with nonsense, then what have you learned?

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