Thursday, October 11, 2007


I know I'm questioning a virtually unchallengeable bit of conventional wisdom, but can someone please explain to me why winning the Nobel Peace Prize would improve Al Gore's presidential prospects in any way whatsoever?

Did we -- sometime when I wasn't looking -- suddenly stop being the country that put proud dumbasses Reagan, Bush, and Bush in the White House five times, and put Bill Clinton in the White House only because we knew he had elemental appetites to go with his wonkiness? Did we suddenly start being a country whose voters actually care about the opinions of foreigners with hard-to-pronounce names, eggheads, and egghead foreigners with hard-to-pronounce names?

The people who are impressed enough to vote for Al Gore -- and who began feeling that way either before or after An Inconvenient Truth -- will continue to feel that way, Nobel or no. As for the rest, it's hard to see why a Nobel would change their minds, and it's easy to imagine that the award would give Limbaughnistas even more backyard-barbecue rhetoric to spew about evil internationalists who have no God and therefore worship the earth.

And yes, I was a West Wing fan, but the notion that we'd twice elect as president someone bookish enough to have won a Nobel Prize -- in economics, no less -- always strained credulity for me.

(Cross-posted at If I Ran the Zoo.)

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