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Where's Al?

Updated and Bumped: Gore says no.

Al Gore, the former U.S. vice president who won this year's Nobel Peace Prize, said he doesn't intend to run for the presidency in 2008.

"I don't have plans to be a candidate again,'' Gore said in a televised interview with Norwegian broadcaster NRK shown today that was filmed at his home in Nashville, Tennessee. "I'm involved in a different kind of campaign, a global campaign to change the way people think about the climate crisis.''[...]

Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were chosen as co-recipients of the Peace Prize by the Oslo-based Nobel Committee on Oct. 12, for their ``efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about manmade climate change, and counteract such change,'' according to Ole Danbolt Mjoes, the director of the committee.

"It's such a great honor,'' Gore said in the NRK interview. "Personally, it means the chance to be more effective in delivering the message of the climate crisis and solving it.''

Gallup poll results released yesterday showed no spike in interest in a Gore run for president following the Nobel Peace Prize announcement.

----original post begins here----

Where's Al?
Originally Published: Oct 11, 07 08:44 AM

nyt.pngThat's what the draft Gore folks want to know, so they purchased a full-page ad (pdf) for $65,000 (gasp!) with money raised through an e-mail solicitation last week that was supported by 2,000 donations. The ad appears just two days before the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize are announced.

Gore has been nominated for the prize because of his campaign to bring attention to global warming.

"America and the Earth need a hero right now - someone who will transcend politics as usual and bring real hope to our country and to the world," Draftgore.com's letter said.

Monica Friedlander, founder and chairwoman of Draftgore.com, said the timing of the $65,000 ad was a coincidence and not related to the prize. Friedlander, 47, a public relations specialist in Oakland, Calif., said the group raised the money for the ad with an e-mail solicitation sent out last week, which received more than 2,000 donations.

The draftgore folks previously had gathered 136,000 signatures on a petition put forth to convince Gore to run for the presidency, and the organizers claim to have added an additional 13,000 signatures yesterday morning after the NYT ad appeared.

So where's Al?

Mr. Gore's representatives say he has no plans to run or interest in doing so. He himself has been coy. Roy Gayhart, an organizer of a group trying to get him onto the primary ballot in California, said Mr. Gore, walking by a petition booth as he left a speaking engagement Tuesday night in the city of Cupertino, merely smiled, waved, shook hands with a volunteer and offered a simple "thank you."

Mr. Gore declined an interview request Wednesday, but his representatives stopped short of declaring that he absolutely would not run. "He really deeply appreciates where this comes from, and what people are trying to say to him," said Kalee Kreider, a spokeswoman, though adding, "I think he's said it many times, that he has no plans or intention to run for president."

I suspect Gore's chances for the Nobel Peace Prize aren't diminished at all by crowds waving signs supporting his presidency, and we may see a definitive answer one way or the other after the winners are announced on Friday.

Gore is widely expected to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his untiring efforts at educating the globe on global warming, and the outcome there may well have a defining effect on any potential Gore candidacy.

If he doesn't win I wouldn't be suprised to see the drafgore movement fade a bit. And if he wins... there'll no doubt be a lot more people asking "Where's Al?".

Update 10/11/07: CBS News asks the musical question "Could Nobel Prize Spur Gore To Run In '08?" Here's what they have to say:

According to recent CBS News polls, Gore remains popular among Democratic primary voters. In a poll conducted this summer, 55 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said they viewed the former vice president favorably, while only 20 percent had an unfavorable view. In April, a CBS News poll found that 35 percent of Americans believe Gore's positions go too far in protecting the environment at the expense of economic concerns, while 48 percent believe he strikes the right balance. (Read more CBS News poll analysis on Gore.)

Even Gore's staunchest supporters admit that with the first presidential primaries likely to be held in less than three months, time is running out for a late entry to the race.

"Because of his incredible appeal and his name recognition, he still has time, but the window of opportunity is closing pretty quickly," said Draft Gore founder Monica Friedlander. "The registration deadlines are closing for primaries. After the beginning of next month, it's going to be very difficult."

Gore explicitly ruled out running in 2004, something he has not done this time around. But while the politician-turned-filmmaker has passionate supporters, most Democratic primary voters -- 67 percent in a CBS News poll taken in August -- said they are happy with the selection of candidates now in the race. If Gore does decide to enter, he faces an uphill battle: Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama alone have raised around $80 million each since the beginning of the year, and all of his potential rivals have been campaigning, advertising and debating for months.

"There are genuine practical considerations at play here," said Democratic strategist and former Gore aide Chris Lehane. "One, the ability to get on a ballot in all these states with a small window of opportunity to accomplish that. Secondly, to put together a campaign and raise money in a very short time. Most of the activists and key players are already aligned with campaigns. These aren't impossible impediments, but they are significant."

Democratic strategist and longtime Gore adviser Michael Feldman, who is not working on a presidential campaign, said he doesn't see Gore jumping in the race.

"Everything he's said publicly and privately indicates that he's not planning a campaign," said Feldman.

That's a sentiment echoed by Carter Eskew, chief strategist for the Gore 2000 presidential campaign.

If Gore wins the Nobel Prize, Eskew said, "I think it will certainly increase efforts like you saw in the paper, but I really don't think it'll have any impact on him at all. I think he's on a different path right now."

But Gore supporters are holding out hope.

I think it's unlikely Gore will jump in. If there wasn't a Democratic candidate in the lead who was out-polling her Republican counterparts then Al might be feel compelled to enter the fray, but with Clinton clearly in the catbird seat at this point I just don't see it happening.

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Comments (1)

Steve Crickmore[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Lee, have you seen the film? I've just been reading this article in the Times...There seem to be a few alarmist exaggerations in the film ("sea water could rise by 20 feet in the near future") but otherwise and overall, o'kay.. Sure, I would like Gore to try to enter the race...With his name recognition, netroots and volunteer support would he need to raise so much money? I don't think so...It might even be one of his themea, a low-budget grass roots campaign that is not going to spend wads of money... Raising huge amounts of $$ doesn't seemed to have helped Obama much.


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