This week's issue of New York magazine features five writers speculating on what the last decade might have looked like had Al Gore become president instead of George Bush. One of the writers? Glenn Beck, who imagined what Gore's re-election campaign, and the early part of his second term, could have been like.
Besides its era-appropriate references (teenagers "Googling pictures of Mischa Barton"), Beck hypothesizes a rather bleak second term for Gore -- one that's not unlike Bush's actual term. In Beck's fantasy, Gore ditched Joe Lieberman as vice president, replacing him in his second term with Arlen Specter and winning the electoral college in his re-election campaign, though he lost to the Larry Craig/Mark Foley ticket by 1.3 million popular votes.
Gore has not apparently invaded Iraq, but the Afghan War has still gone badly, complete with misguided "Mission Accomplished" photo op.
There's also a looming threat from Hurricane Katrina and an ambitious young deputy attorney general named Barack Obama:
Gore's four o'clock was another one of the bright young minds that he liked to surround himself with, a guy named Barry Obama. (Who continued to maintain that his name was Barack, leading Gore to once advise him that no one in North Carolina would ever be caught dead voting for a guy named Barack.) Barry had come to the administration as deputy attorney general via an under-the-radar deal between Gore and Jack Ryan, now the senator from Illinois. Though he had been leading Barry in the polls, Ryan didn't want to take any chances, so he called in a favor. He had information about a certain late afternoon Gore had spent in a hotel in Chicago a few years back. A trip to the day spa had turned into a second chakra-release party.
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