In The Republic, Plato suggests that a fundamental problem with Democracy is that the people who will seek out that kind of power are generally the last kind of people that would like to see with that kind of power because they are most likely to abuse it in seeking even more power. In answer to this he suggests a system wherein candidates are drawn by lottery to public service, or by nomination in a referendum sort of like our primaries. If you are nominated, which means, if enough people want you in particular to run for an office, then you must do it as your duty as a citizen.
If that were the system we lived under today, I believe the majority of Democrats would just nominate Al Gore to run again.
Rolling Stone lays out some very good arguments for why Al Gore is the perfect candidate for the Democrats in 2008.
I love their opening...
A stiff Vice President campaigns on his administration's legacy of unprecedented prosperity. Looks terrible on TV. Bows out, following a disputed vote count. Then, two terms later, with no incumbent in the race, he re-enters the fray. Promises to change the course of a disastrous war founded on lies. And charges to victory. I'm referring, of course, to the 1968 campaign of Richard Milhous Nixon. But four decades later, history has a chance to repeat itself for Albert Arnold Gore.A lot of people are already behind a campaign to "draft" Al Gore in 2008.
Personally my favorite cantidate remains John Edwards. Al Gore is infinately better than Dumbya, but he is still a DLC Democrat and a Corporatist. America desperately needs populists if we want to have any hope of salvaging our middle class.