AHC: Have Al Gore Elected in 1988

Your Challenge, should you accept it is to elect Al Gore President of the United States in 1988. How does his Presidency go? What are his chances of getting a second term? How does Gore winning in 88 shape the balance of power in Congress through the 90s and (if you choose to answer) beyond?
I’ll take a stab. First and foremost, Al Gore’s campaign will have to compete in Iowa and New Hampshire he won’t win but a second or third-place finish will certainly be better than what he did and just ignored those state. Second Jesse Jackson decides not to run will be a boost to Gore, since Jackson entering the race made Gore’s Southern Strategy useless. Now Gore will not win all the African Americans that voted for Jackson but with African Americans being more socially conservative than other Democratic voters he will get a slice of the vote and if the rest is split among multiple candidates then Gore can sweep the South and build momentum. So, with Gore sweeping the South and carrying that into other primaries he would have a great chance to take the nomination much as Clinton did in 1992.

Now come the general election Gore could go in many different routes in his VP selection. First, he could go with a Northeasterner like Michael Dukakis or Bill Bradley. However, those are not his only options he could go with other DLCers such as Bob Kerrey to help him in the Midwest, Bruce Babbitt for Arizona, or James Blanchard a DLCer from Michigan. I doubt Gore would do what Clinton did in 1992 and go with a fellow Southerner but picks could be Dale Bumpers, Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia but he fills the same spot), Sam Nunn, Bob Graham, Chuck Robb. Another option would be to throw a bone to the protectionist wing of the party and pick Dick Gephardt or if Gore wants to appeal to social conservatives Bob Casey or Harry Reid (Reid would be better since he’s young helping the generation change argument). I doubt Gore would pull a Mondale and make a historic pick because there just weren’t many black candidates to pick in 1988 and the only woman candidates that wouldn’t be seen as a token pick would be Martha Layne Collins (Kentucky) or Madeleine Kunin (Vermont). What I believe is certain though is Al Gore would not choose Bill Clinton. I will add more later especially covering how I imagine his presidency could go.