CNN's Campbell Brown Giddy Over Al Gore, Pushes Him for VP

Campbell Brown, filling in for Anderson Cooper, led CNN's 10 PM EDT hour Monday evening by letting viewers in on her excitement over Al Gore's endorsement of Barack Obama earlier in the evening: “Tonight, everybody, he blew the roof off the joint. Al Gore, one of the last big-name Democrats, getting behind Barack Obama in a big way, making a speech that could have won him the White House if he'd been making this kind of speech eight years ago.” In highlights of the speech CNN soon aired, Gore charged: “After eight years in which our Constitution has been dishonored and disrespected, we need change!”

Turning to a panel of CNN's Candy Crowley and Gloria Borger as well as David Gergen, Brown, who jumped to CNN from NBC last year, yearned: “Do you think there is any chance that we might see an Obama-Gore ticket?” Not dampened by doubts he would want the VP slot, Brown pressed Gergen on another role for Gore and then conceded she sounded like “I want it just too badly.” The exchange:
BROWN: Even if it was pitched to him perhaps as an opportunity to kind of be, I think it was James Carville who suggested it, energy czar, you know, to expand the role, the traditional role of Vice President, and to make the issues that he cares most passionately about center stage for him and let him take those issues and run with it?

GERGEN: Not going to happen, Campbell.

BROWN: Do I sound like I want it just too badly here, David? It's a good story.
Gergen suggested valuable roles on behalf of Obama for both Gore and Bill Clinton:
He could be the person who renegotiates the Kyoto treaty, which expires during the first term of the next President. If he were willing to put himself forward and be anointed, in effect, during the campaign, I do think that would help the Obama campaign a lot. He could represent the United States. If you, in effect, said Bill Clinton is going to help me in the Middle East and Al Gore is going to help us deliver a climate change agreement with China and India, that would be a huge contribution to the next administration.
From the Monday, June 16 Anderson Cooper 360:
CAMPBELL BROWN: Tonight, everybody, he blew the roof off the joint. Al Gore, one of the last big-name Democrats, getting behind Barack Obama in a big way, making a speech that could have won him the White House if he'd been making this kind of speech eight years ago. Well, now he's got the Nobel Prize and the Oscar, but does Al Gore still have political clout?

...

AL GORE CLIP #1: In looking back over the last eight years, I can tell you that we have already learned one important fact since the year of 2000. Take it from me: Elections matter. If you think the next appointments to our Supreme Court are important, you know that elections matter. If you live in the city of New Orleans, you know that elections matter. If you or a member of your family are serving in the active military, the National Guard or Reserves, you know that elections matter.

GORE CLIP #2: And this election matters more than ever because America needs change more than ever. After eight years of lost jobs and lower wages, we need change. After eight years of incompetence, neglect and failure, we need change. After eight years in which our Constitution has been dishonored and disrespected, we need change. After eight years of the worst, most serious foreign policy mistakes in the entire history of our nation, we need change.

GORE CLIP #3: Perhaps we would recognize it if we heard a young leader rise up to say we're not a red state America or a blue state America, we are the United States of America, we would know that change was on the way. If that young leader reached out not only to the supporters of the other candidates in his party but also beyond partisan lines to Republicans and independents and said to us all, "America, our time has come."

GORE CLIP #4: We have such a nominee. We have such a leader. Yes, we can. Ladies and gentlemen, the next President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

....

CAMPBELL BROWN: Gloria, like me ask you, his presence on the stage standing next to Obama will inevitably trigger VP speculation. Do you think there is any chance that we might see an Obama-Gore ticket?

GLORIA BORGER: Every time I ask a former Gore advisor or somebody who's close to Al Gore about that possibility, which Democrats would clearly love, because talk about balancing a ticket with foreign policy experience, someone able to raise money, you know, there he is. They laugh and they say, "Are you kidding?" Al Gore has got a fabulous life. He likes Barack Obama. He thinks he's terrific. He'd like to see him become President of the United States. But he doesn't want to go backwards. There is only one job he would take, and that's President of the United States, and kind of been there, done that. So, from their point of view, there's no way he would do it.

BROWN: And, Candy, is that the sense you're getting from the campaign as well?

CANDY CROWLEY: Well, for Barack Obama, you know, they're very tight-lipped about the vice presidency. Obviously, Al Gore is someone they would look at and that they would say they were looking at. But the truth of the matter is, this is not a guy that was interested. For heaven sakes, he didn't want to run in 2004 for the presidency, I can't imagine him wanting to run for the vice presidency. I think this is a much bigger case that Gore wouldn't take it than that Obama wouldn't offer it.

BROWN: David, do you agree with that? Even if it was pitched to him perhaps as an opportunity to kind of be, I think it was James Carville who suggested it, energy czar, you know, to expand the role, the traditional role of Vice President, and to make the issues that he cares most passionately about center stage for him and let him take those issues and run with it?

DAVID GERGEN: Not going to happen, Campbell.

BROWN: Do I sound like I want it just too badly here, David? It's a good story.
GERGEN: But here's what I do think. I think there is a job for him but not a formal role. And that is, he could be the environmental czar in an informal basis. He could be the person who renegotiates the Kyoto treaty, which expires during the first term of the next President. If he were willing to put himself forward and be anointed, in effect, during the campaign, I do think that would help the Obama campaign a lot. He could represent the United States. If you, in effect, said Bill Clinton is going to help me in the Middle East and Al Gore is going to help us deliver a climate change agreement with China and India, that would be a huge contribution to the next administration, and would really get a lot of environmentally sensitive people every excited.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center