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DID YOU READ

Blue Balls: Al Gore in 2008?

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By William Rabbe and Sarah Scully

IFC News

[Photo: Al Gore on the 2006 Sundance red carpet for “An Inconvenient Truth”]

On Friday, former Vice President Al Gore was bestowed with his most prestigious award yet — The Nobel Peace Prize. Rumors of a potential White House bid swirled as murmurs from the Draft Gore movement grew to full roars. Will Gore run?

To get to the bottom of it all, IFC decided to speak to a cross section of likely voters to see what they think. We’ve commissioned
our first poll ever (!), the results of which can be seen here at IFC.com.

Click here to see the poll results.

Is the award the ultimate qualification for the presidency? Our polls
indicate that Republicans largely do not think so, but, in contrast, a
majority of Independents and most Democrats view winning the Peace
Prize as more meaningful than winning the US presidency. Yet there
doesn’t appear to be a significant impact on polls. Perhaps this is
because most of those polled have neither read nor watched “An
Inconvenient Truth,” despite claiming to know why he won and holding
the prize in high esteem. 56% of all likely voters do not believe
that he is a stronger candidate than he was in 2000. Our poll shows
Gore consistently trailing Hillary Clinton when matched against potential Republican nominees Romney and Giuliani.

Many Gore supporters looked at last Friday as a flashpoint for their
draft to finally catch fire and they, along with media and other
candidates waited on pins and needles for Gore to announce his
candidacy at his scheduled press conference. Instead, he made a brief
statement of thanks and pledged to continue his work on behalf of the
environment. He has to date refused to definitively state his
intentions, leaving the door open – or at least slightly ajar.

Certainly the award is a great accomplishment to add to an already
impressive resume. It is undeniable that Al Gore is an extremely
popular public figure… but not necessarily as a presidential
candidate. National polls within the Democratic Party show
non-candidate Gore trailing Clinton and Barack Obama, though an
official Gore entry could prompt Obama and Edwards to drop out,
thereby leaving a large section of anti-Hillary supporters up for
grabs.

To sum up, we can’t possibly know what Gore is thinking, but we can
take a look at all of the factors that would compel him to jump into
the race or explain why he would not.

WHY HE WOULD RUN

Gore has never been more popular. Devoting his post-political life to environmental causes has won over an entirely new fan base and he has effectively shaken off the derogatory label “Washington Insider.” He has the anti-war stance of Obama with experience that trumps Clinton.

If he did choose to run, he would already have a solid grassroots base
in the Draft Gore movement from which to organize and fundraise. The
Oscar winner’s Hollywood connections could prove very helpful in
financing as well.

On paper, Gore resembles our past US presidents more than any other
candidate, with a family history in politics, Harvard degree, honorable war service and the title of vice president. He is also from the South- a point, which superficially or not, is worth examining, as the only Democrats to win the White House since Kennedy have been Southerners.

While Hillary’s popularity has grown, many party loyalists still see her as polarizing- unable to overcome high disapproval ratings and association with the scandals of her husband’s administration.

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why people want Gore to run is to
reclaim an office than they feel he rightfully won back in 2000. A
Gore victory in 2008 would stitch that wound.

WHY HE WOULD NOT RUN

There are practical matters that Mr. Gore would need to consider before announcing, chiefly bad timing and inflated expectations. All of the current candidates have been knocking on doors, shucking corn and taking checks for the better part of a year. Even if Gore could
manage to collect as many $2,000 checks as Clinton and Obama, would he
have time to use the money effectively? The Draft Gore organization is a start, but he would still need a substantial amount of time to create active campaign offices and schedule events.

Gore adherents may see him as the charismatic white knight of 2008 — much like another candidate who successfully entered late in the 1968 election: Robert Kennedy. Yet, an indecisive Kennedy joined only after the other Democratic candidates had shown significant weaknesses, thus assuring Kennedy’s success. The Democratic field of 2008 is already
saturated with qualified candidates. While others might see him as
able to “transcend politics,” it is doubtful that Gore’s own outlook
on the field resembles that of RFK’s in 1968 — he simply could not
waltz to victory.

Lastly, of course, Gore must decide whether he wants to be president.
If the answer is yes, then he must then decide whether it is worth
putting himself and his family through the scrutiny of yet another
campaign. Without overwhelming support, he risks being a two-time
loser of the presidency — an experience that must have been
excruciating the first time. Gore has repeatedly stated his devotion
to his current role as global environmental activist. While one could
argue that he could accomplish even more as a president, the fact is
the next president will have their plate full with Iraq and the
economy.

There is rationale behind either prediction but for now, all we do know is that he is not not running. Some pundits have speculated that he will endorse Hillary (despite their rocky past) in exchange for a specially created environmental position in her cabinet. Politically, Gore has more in common with the other candidates so it is possible he could endorse Obama or Edwards, giving them a helpful boost in the primaries. He could stage a last minute challenge, surprising some and thrilling others. It is also possible that he could stay out of politics entirely, endorsing no one and continuing on with his mission.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…