Memo To: Joe Klein, New Yorker
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Al Gore, "American Confucius"
You have scored again with your April 7 report on Gore in China. I thought he did exactly what had to be done, even to the point of calling attention to his wooden clanking of glasses with Li Peng, who the Republican "wingers" continue to refer to as the "Butcher of Beijing." The fact is, Gore never had a lock on the Democratic nomination in 2000, but because of the pounding he has been taking lately, it is more likely he will get the nomination. I've never met Gore, although I knew his father when I covered the Senate for the old National Observer in the 1966-71 era, and until I read the Dick Morris book had always had the idea that he was a wooden-headed liberal. Remember Clinton's first State of the Union, with the Veep behind him, nodding his head as if controlled by a puppeteer every time the Prez uttered a few words about this or that? I still think Gore is off the charts with his global warming baloney, one of the great hoaxes of all time, but I can now at least see a brain at work. Until I read your piece, I thought I was the only one on the Eastern Seaboard who did not think he muffed his assignment in China, so I was happy to have some confirmation from you. The press corps, left and right, prefers China bashing these days, so it was universally agreed that Newt shone brightly, when in fact I thought all he did was scattershot conflicting signals. His we will defend Taiwain with the blood of our children and grandchildren if you invade a province we stipulate belongs to you was clearly contrived to get him a bump in the polls. The national electorate is not so stupid as Republicans think.