Oregonians with short memories may think Gore’s endorsement of Bradbury in Oregon’s Democratic gubernatorial primary is a singular act of political love for Oregon’s ex-secretary of state.
But that misses an intriguing subplot.
Gore’s move is in one respect the continuation of a decades long feud with Oregon ex-governor Kitzhaber, Bradbury’s leading primary opponent, dating back to Gore’s bitter battle against Kitz’ innovative Oregon Health Plan when Gore was a U.S. Senate.
John K. won that fight, but he never forgot his nemesis from Tennesse; when Gore ran as the presumptive favorite for president in 2000, Kitz conspicuously backed Bill Bradley. Twisting the knife, the Guv criticized the Clinton Administration — and implicitly Gore, the “green” VP — for inept handling of the NW salmon crisis.
After 20 years, the Bradbury candidacy gave Gore the opening to stick the knife back. Continue reading