For the last several months I’ve read multiple columns suggesting that Democrats solve their nomination problems by choosing Al Gore. Today, there’s yet another pro-Gore column, this time from the Boston Phoenix. I won’t bore you with a quote. The gist is simple: Gore is well-liked and isn’t as damaged/fundamentally flawed as Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

That is, of course, nonsense. He only looks good because no one’s been beating him up for the last few months. Obama and Clinton are both still very viable. The licks they’ve taken during the primary campaign are no different than the licks they would have taken if either were already the presumptive nominee. No candidate can get through a presidential campaign without some damage to their image, particularly in this age of ubiquitous cameras and gotcha-style journalism.

A lot of people are fretting that the Democratic party looks bad because they can’t seem to wrap up their nomination process. That’s just silly. If they REALLY want to look bad, they can decide to throw out the last four months of elections and choose a guy whose name hasn’t appeared on a single ballot. Picking Gore is a maneuver that would have worked just fine in the nineteenth century. But in 2008, it would look ridiculously undemocratic.

Once again, I advise Democrats to chill. The party is going to end up with a competitive candidate. Neither Obama nor Clinton are going to be ruined by a long primary campaign. Heck, if they can’t survive a little intramural sparing, they’ll never survive the real contest anyway. They’ll be fine. Leave Gore on the shelf.

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