Bill, Al, Hillary

Watching Bill Clinton and Al Gore on the same stage — talking with Charlie Rose about climate change — was sobering. If body language and awkward conversation are indicators, these guys are completely out of synch. Maybe they just don’t like each other. It takes a special kind of person to thrive as vice president. Our current version is the ultimate example as the happy warrior who has his president’s back. Years from now we can imagine Obama and Biden still being great friends and confidants. Clinton and Gore obviously not, as evidenced by the former’s abundant and unintentionally condescending praise of the latter. This was not a conversation among equals.

This conversation also reminded us that the 42nd president is not ageless. Though he is still intellectually vibrant and curious, he looks older and less robust than a man of sixty-seven years. This brings to mind one of the reasons why Hillary will likley not be our next president. Advanced age by itself is not a disqualifier. But advanced age with some of its ravages being more pronounced and visible can be. We are more than three years away from the next presidential election. Americans will love Bill Clinton in even greater numbers when that time rolls around. He will seem even more grandfatherly than he does now. But if he is noticeably less capable of being an elder statesman at that point, the voters could easily (but with sadness) decide that the Clinton era was yesterday. This is especially possible once the campaigning starts and the inevitable erosion of poll numbers begins for Hillary. It is one thing to be respected and liked when you’re not in or running for office. When the presidential run begins….well, you’re in another universe.

Here’s a link to the video:http://www.charlierose.com/watch/60271268

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