hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Friday, January 10, 2003
this letter from Al Gore to his supporters hasn't gotten much attention:

. . .I wanted to communicate with you directly about my decision not to be a candidate in 2004. I am extremely grateful for all of the support from the many people who encouraged me to run. But after much deliberation, I have decided that the best contribution I can make in 2004 is not by once again becoming a candidate myself, but rather by serving in other ways and continuing to fight for the right result.

After traveling throughout our nation on behalf of Democratic candidates this year (and then for the past five weeks on a book tour), I concluded that a Bush-Gore rematch would inevitably involve too much focus on the past - partly at the expense of the 100% focus on the future which I believe will be needed to maximize the chances for victory in 2004. I am mindful that for many, there are still deep feelings about the 2000 election that have not gone away and of course, most of us feel very strongly that our nation's current policies under the Bush Cheney administration are unwise and harmful to our country . . .

. . .I intend to remain very active in fighting for the causes we believe in and working to ensure that the Democratic Party becomes a more effective voice for the values that you and I share. Later in this election cycle, I intend to endorse a candidate for President - but only after carefully reviewing the proposals and plans of all the candidates.

Early in the New Year, I will deliver a series of policy speeches in the hopes that some of the ideas I have been working on will prove of interest to the candidates and others. As always, I welcome your suggestions on what you believe is most important for our country's future. . .

. . .Let's keep fighting!


Al Gore