Sunday, February 19, 2006

Audiences warm to Gore the political activist – “immediate favorite to win the Democratic nomination”

ALEX MASSIE in Washington, DC has written a very interesting piece below on Al Gore. The last couple of lines in the story may be the most interesting. You can read the entire story here, which also discusses the republican party’s flirtation with running Condi Rice for President.

AL GORE is learning how to laugh. "I used to be the next president of the United States," he tells the audiences that are flocking to hear him preach his message on global warming and the environment. "I don't find that to be very funny," the former vice-President says solemnly. "I'm a recovering politician."

The man who spent eight stiff years first a heartbeat and then a few hanging chads from the presidency has finally found a role for himself: the straight man with a message. So much so that thousands of Americans are flocking to screenings of a new film he has made on the threat of global warming. Gore, once again, is hot property.

Gore gracefully retreated into the shadows in 2000, even if it took him months, if not years, to recover from the shattering blow of having come so close to the presidency only to lose it on the judicial whim of the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in favor of Bush.

Cast into the political wilderness, he grew a beard and brooded upon his fate. Recently, however, Gore has stepped back onto the political stage - although this time as an activist, chivvying politicians to take a greater interest in his pet causes rather than as a candidate for office himself.

He has a new book on global warming titled An Inconvenient Truth that will be published in April and a documentary film of the same name was screened to great acclaim at the recent Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

The film was made after Seinfeld creator Larry David saw Gore's presentation and felt that it should receive as wide an airing as possible. David pulled together a team of filmmakers to follow Gore as he traveled the world, making his case that the world risks catastrophe unless it steps up its efforts to minimize and counter the adverse consequences of climate change.

That multimedia presentation has packed houses wherever Gore has delivered it as thousands of Americans flock to hear the former vice-president speak.

Gore has also begun to play a part in this year's mid-term elections, raising funds for Democrat Senate candidates.

In an e-mail sent to potential and existing Democratic donors, he spelt out the stakes: "Let me be perfectly clear. Our American values are at risk. George Bush is pursuing a truly breathtaking and unprecedented power grab that marginalizes the role of both our federal courts and the Congress.

"As a result, he has been able to enact the most extreme aspects of his right-wing agenda in virtual secret and without meaningful oversight."

Despite this increased public profile, however, Gore remains adamant that he has no interest in running for the presidency again in 2008, even though he would be an immediate favorite to win the Democratic nomination. His new popularity aside, the recovery is not yet complete.


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