[FOUNTAIN]When it’s time to move onFormer U.S. Vice President Al Gore had a Hollywood hit with his environmental documentary film, “An Inconvenient Truth.” The documentary movie about global warming has grossed more than $20 million. The book of the same title reached the top of the bestseller lists. Perhaps inspired by the success of the film and the book, Mr. Gore has stealthily suggested the possibility of running for president in 2008. In the 2000 Presidential election, Mr. Gore was defeated by George W. Bush, although he won more popular votes. He could have climbed back in the ring for a rematch in 2004, but Mr. Gore opted not to run, saying that another presidential bid would focus more on the past rather than the future.
Traditionally, a failed presidential candidate tends not to run again in the United States. A few have tried twice, but William Bryan of the Democratic Party is the only politician to have run three times, only to be defeated once again in his fianl attempt.
In 1824, Andrew Jackson received more votes than John Quincy Adams, but because he did not have a majority, the House of Representative chose Mr. Adams as the president. In the next election, Mr. Jackson got even and was elected president. Richard Nixon lost to John F. Kennedy in 1960, but eight years later, he was elected president. Franklin D. Roosevelt failed as a vice presidential candidate. However, when he ran for president, Mr. Roosevelt succeeded and served four consecutive terms.
In Korea, former President Kim Dae-jung finally succeeded in his fourth attempt after having been criticized for being obsessed with the presidency. Every time he ran for president, he advocated a “New DJ.” Since his first presidential bid in 1971, he had been called “Candidate Kim” until he became the leader of the Peace and Democracy Party in 1987. He took another shot at success and won in the 1997 presidential election. Jin Bok-ki ran for president once in the seventh presidential election in 1971. Until 1997, he had been a fixture in the presidential elections, always starting his unofficial campaign early but bailing out before registration.
There are rumors that former Grand National Party leader Lee Hoi-chang might make his third attempt at the Blue House. Having received the judgment of voters twice already, he should explain why he needs to be tested again, and why other opposition candidates who have proved themselves more popular than ruling party hopefuls are not good enough.
If things go wrong, he could look like Kim Dae-jung in 1987, or ridiculously hopeless like Jin Bok-ki.
The writer is an editorial writer
of the JoongAng Ilbo
by Kim Jin-kook