Due to my current work schedule and lack of television, the majority of my exposure to the 2004 Democratic National Convention is going to be through the news sites and weblogs that I frequent. I did happen to catch the first couple minutes of Gore’s speech today during lunch, though, and liked his start. Well written, and he delivered it well, getting laughs from his audience in the right places.

I’ll be candid with you. I had hoped to be back here this week under different circumstances, running for re-election.

But you know the old saying — you win some, you lose some. And then there’s that little-known third category.

I didn’t come here tonight to talk about the past. After all, I don’t want you to think I lie awake at night counting and recounting sheep.

I prefer to focus on the future because I know from my own experience that America is a land of opportunity, where every little boy and girl has a chance to grow up and win the popular vote.

Every time I’ve seen Gore speak in the past couple of years, I think what a shame it was that he presented himself so blandly during the 2000 election campaign. Given the freedom to actually show some personality, the man does a good job…but for whatever reason, that just wasn’t allowed to happen during his presidential campaign, and at times I really think that that was as important to the eventual outcome as the voting issues became. If he’d been able to show a little more spark to combat Bush’s “guy next door” persona, the final tallies might not have been quite so close.

Or not. Who really knows?

Either way, though, one of the things that has worried me about Kerry is that he’s often struck me much the same way that Gore did in 2000 — very bland, and not terribly able to really fire up his base. Maybe I haven’t seen him at the right times, and he’ll start coming across better as things go on…but I’d hate to see that same perceived lack of personality bite him as badly as I think it may have bitten Gore.

iTunes: “All Good Girls (Joyous)” by Die Warzau from the album Afterburn: Wax Trax! Records ’94 and Beyond (1994, 6:06).