He could seek revenge through politics, or in the market.
For the first time in his life, Al Gore is a wealthy man. Not only did he snag the Oscar and get some fat royalties for An Inconvenient Truth, not only did he win the Nobel Peace Prize, but he also met some guys from California who were launching a little outfit called Google. (He's also on the Apple board.)
Now, while Hillary Clinton (who was Bill's real Vice President anyway) continues on her Nixon-like quest for the Presidency, Al Gore is settling in with some Silicon Valley types and New York hedge fund managers to make himself some serious coin.
By gumption, the media is saying, it's unprecedented! No one has ever turned lemons into so much lemonade!
Wrong. Very wrong.
I live in Atlanta, and I know better.
The man to the right was James M. Cox.
Cox was the designated successor to Woodrow Wilson, whose AntiThesis to the Republican Thesis of his time gave us the Federal Reserve, the progressive income tax, and the 14 Points, which were resurrected by Franklin D. Roosevelt and remain, in many ways, at the heart of our foreign policy today.
Oh, Cox's Vice Presidential candidate? Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Cox lost his race, in 1920, to Warren G. Harding, a buffoon from his own state of Ohio who made George W. Bush look clever. (Did you know the Bush fortune originated in Ohio? True.)
So what did James M. Cox do after his loss? He went back to work. He expanded his newspaper operation, which began in Dayton, eventually buying a paper in Miami and, because Gone With the Wind was coming, a paper in Atlanta, too.
Cox expanded into radio, and he let his son convince him to pick up TV licenses. By the time of his death, in 1957, he dominated the Atlanta media market.
Under his son, and (today) his grandson, James Cox Kennedy, the company has continued to grow and expand. Today Cox Enterprises is one of the largest private companies in the country, worth literally billions-and-billions of dollars.
No other candidate for President, not even H. Ross Perot himself, ever made such a business success as James M. Cox. The Cox name is as important today as Coca-Cola, just as important to the life of the city as the pause that refreshes.
Not a bad legacy to shoot for. Gore, his wife, his kids, his heirs and his nation deserve this kind of ending to the sorriest spectacle our country has ever seen.
Revenge is a dish best served rich.