It's time for someone to start sticking close by Al Gore (search). There seems to be a problem and a need for someone ready to dial 911 nearby at all times.

I don't think any of us can forget the recent Gore outbursts about President Bush... screaming about Iraq and demanding resignations.

But you kind of write that off to lingering resentments over that 527 vote spread in Florida, which made all the difference nearly four years ago.

What is more troubling is the recent outburst by Gore about Miami- Dade Mayor Alex Penelas (search), who Gore called "the single most dishonest and treacherous person I dealt with during the campaign, anywhere in America."

Now... Penelas is a Democrat — same as Gore — and Florida's got two Democratic senators. Both Bob Graham (search) and Bill Nelson (search) rushed to Penelas' defense, with Graham calling him a "good Democrat."

Penelas is running in a Democrat primary for the seat being vacated by Graham, and Gore is evidently trying to help Rep. Peter Deutsch (search), who's running against Penelas.

So why is Gore going after the Democrat mayor of a state the Democrats desperately need?

Some Dems complain the mayor didn't support Gore actively enough. Gore evidently also thinks so, and was not happy when Penelas wasn't on board with the Clinton-Gore administration's decision to send Elian Gonzales (search) back to Cuba.

Okay... Bush doesn't like Jacques Chirac (search) and vice versa. So what?

But this has gone beyond the normal intramural sniping inside political parties and inside campaigns.

Bush needs to keep the Cuban-American vote in Florida. It appears now that Gore is now helping him in doing that.

What is Gore going to do when he realizes that?

That's My Word.

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