Well, tomorrow George W. Bush moves into the Oval Office and Bill and Hillary tell the White House staff, "See you in four years." But what about Al?
Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but Al Gore is about to leave not only the White House but the flimsy IKEA lean-to that is the American consciousness. He's about to sling his wobbly, too-tight high heels over his shoulder and take the morning-after Walk of Shame out of the beer-and sweat-stained frat house of Washington, D.C. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.
Tonight, I hope to answer the question, "Who is Al Gore and what are his core beliefs?" So, Al, if you're watching out there, stick around, cause this'll all be new to you.
Poor Gore. Desperate for approval, he violated the Number One rule in showbiz: Work the shaft. Oh, I'm sorry, that's the number two rule. The number one rule is: people hate flop sweat. It doesn't matter what color shirt your handlers tell you to wear, Al. If the pits are darker than Ann Rice's dream journal, you're in trouble.
Even the biggest Democratic apologist has to admit that Gore lacked something. You'd think the guy who won the popular vote would be well, more popular. Hey, everybody knows that winning the popular vote is sort of like winning a People's Choice Award. Sure it feels good for a while knowing you've carried the three - hundred - pounds - and - up turqoise-collector demographic, but it doesn't mean shit if you don't back it up with the Oscar.
And let's all stop blaming the electoral college system. It's an essential part of the democratic process specially designed to make sure that each candidate is responsible for making false promises to every American, not just the ones in highly populated urban areas.
So, how did Al Gore come to lose the presidential race? Simple. He ran. The ability to come across as warm and genuine to the American public is simply not in Al's Westworld wiring. "Al, you lost me at Hello."
And anybody who watched the debates knew this. It was like watching a pit bull try to go duck hunting. He kept trotting back from the pond with nothing but a mouth full of bloody feathers thinking he did a great job and not understanding why everybody kept on petting the dumbass Texas Labrador with the bandanna tied around his neck.
Al Gore is a supreme intellectual, there's probably nothing he doesn't know, except perhaps who he truly is. The problem with Al Gore's intellectualism is, he never lets us forget it. And though we value intelligence, nobody likes a know-it-all. Sure, I enjoyed reading Proust in high school too, but at least I was smart enough to lock myself in the bathroom and tell my parents I was masturbating.
It was painful to watch Al try to emulate Bill Clinton's charming, personable style while campaigning on the road. He gave it his best shot, but people got the impression he wasn't really paying attention to them. Every time he'd try to connect with some guy working in a factory or a waitress in a diner, he'd end up nodding his head faster and faster and slowly inching away. His body language always reminded me of somebody who's asked directions to the nearest gas station, but can't actually listen to them because he's gotta whizz so badly.
Try all he wants, Al Gore will never be Bill Clinton. A leader like Clinton only comes calling once a generation. When Bill Clinton spoke to us, he looked like he really cared what we were thinking, made us feel smart, made us feel good about ourselves and made us think that he would always remember us. That's a style that can only be honed by decades of trying to score strange tail in cheap, roadside cocktail lounges.
When it comes to assigning blame for their recent loss of the White House, the Democrats are going to be pointing more fingers than the Hindu god Vishnu at a Dunkin' Donuts. But ultimately, the problem was simply this: Al Gore came across as a phony, and George W. Bush came across as genuine. And after eight years of being lied to by one of the smartest men on the planet, a lot of people had decided they wanted a president with neither the inclination nor the brains to mislead them.
I'll be honest, I like my presidents to be a little dim.The clever ones get bored and try to tamper with my life. Give me a mildly clueless figurehead who will meet with the Girl Scout who sold the most Thin Mints, telephone the winning Super Bowl team in their lockerroom, fly abroad now and then to watch funny foreigners dance funny dances, and most important of all, leave me the fuck alone.
Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.