Fast Company

The Leading Edge - Gore/Obama '08, Obama/? '12

(also at basil and spice)

A Presidential Prediction From the World of Emotional Intelligence

If you haven't noticed, more people act (or more accurately react) from emotion than reason. If you need evidence of that, you are not only out of touch with the world at large, but out of touch with your world. Just ask any of people around you, who find you to be so logical, but oh, so out of touch (Hillary, are you listening? Probably not).

And now for a prediction.

Neither Clinton nor Obama will receive enough delegates to capture the Democratic nomination on the first ballot in June. That will then throw the convention open to nominating its ultimate ticket.

By that time, the Democratic party will feel as the rest of the country feels that Obama is great, but just too inexperienced to do the job. Clinton, despite being married, will feel too much like that crabby, spinster aunt who comes to Thanksgiving, because you can't find a way to uninvite her.

Given those two powerful qualities, McCain will seem like the only grown up for the job. And unless he self-immolates a la Howard Dean, he will be viewed as a less lousy alternative than either Obama (for his inexperience) and Clinton (for her negative personality). That said, McCain will not be seen as someone that voters want, but merely someone better than the other options.

Enter Nobel prize winner, Global Warming (a.k.a. "visionary"), non-pushy, doesn't need the money or job Al Gore. By the time June rolls around, the unattractiveness of Clinton's ambition and to a lesser extent, Obama's, will have negatively impacted people desire for either. What will be fresh is someone that voters pursue and want instead of people they feel stuck with.

At that point Al Gore will be approached as a possible candidate and receive counsel from his family and friends to the extent of: "Al, what do you need this for? Your life and influence has been much more positive and wide ranging than anything you ever did in politics? Why would you want to now re-enter the "zero sum" back stabbing world of politics?"

Al will respond with: "My core value and life has been to be of service. My daddy did and so have I for most of my adult life. I like being an educator on the problems of global warming, but I may actually have more leverage to help that and other initiatives as President. And besides, I will agree if elected to only serve one term, where one of my most important roles is to mentor Barack Obama to be the real President who makes change happen after I leave office in 2012."

And if this happens, as they say in fairy tales, "America will live happily every after."

(c) 2008 Mark Goulston