So, will the speechifying Al Gore get prime time at the upcoming Democratic National Convention? And, if so, what should we expect from the fire-breathing no-mo’-earthtones ex-VP, who lately has emerged from exile sounding more like Che Guevara than a former presidential prospect?

Stage-managers of the upcoming convention in Boston apparently are uncertain, and just a little nervous, writes Rick Lyman of The New York Times. The versatile Lyman digs up the perfect authority to offer the wary pols a recommendation — and provides us with a whole new perspective on the quadrennial political conclaves. Meet Jonathan Murray.

As Lyman notes, a political convention has “become, at heart, little more than a reality show,” and Murray is one of that genre’s “founding fathers,” most recently giving us “The Simple Life,” starring Paris Hilton.

Murray’s recommendation to wary Dems: Put Gore up at the podium, hold your breath, and let ‘er rip. Voters love suspense, says Murray. “[T]he more drama and the more potential for surprises, the better. … Sure, Gore does feel a little like a loose cannon these days. But on television, that’s good.”

Right. Just ask Howard Dean.


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Susan Q. Stranahan wrote for CJR.