Gore: No Laughing Matter?

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 18, 2006; 10:24 AM

One moment I'm watching Al Gore delivering an Oval Office address on "Saturday Night Live" (Crooks and Liars has the video ), bragging about his many accomplishments and expressing confidence in Baseball Commissioner George W. Bush. It was mildly amusing.

Now--call it the SNL effect--there's some buzzing that maybe Gore will make a White House run in 2008.

My initial reaction: Hasn't the ex-veep made it pretty clear that he's not running? Why would he want to give up a life of making big bucks working for Google and Apple and appearing in global warming movies? And why is there always this effort by the media to draft people (Colin Powell, Condi Rice) who insist they're not running for president?

Look, if Gore did decide to put himself through the campaign meat grinder again, I can see certain advantages (he won the popular vote in 2000) and disadvantages (all the reasons he didn't win the electoral vote in 2000). And of course the press would love to see him take on Hillary.

But just as I was about to dismiss this as sheer fantasy, I noticed that the AP's influential political writer, Ron Fournier , had filed the following story:

"Al Gore is running to California, New York, Utah, Washington, France and points in between to promote 'An Inconvenient Truth,' a film chronicling his elaborate slide shows to educate people about global warming.

"But is the former vice president running for president again?

"The answer, he says, is no. Some Democrats are not so sure.

" 'I'm a recovering politician on about Step 9,' Gore told The Associated Press. 'But I'm on a different kind of campaign now -- to persuade people to take action to solve the climate crisis, and it's always easier when you're focused on one thing.' "

Not exactly Shermanesque, but nor does it sound like he's panting to run.

Dick Morris , who had put his marbles on Hillary vs. Condi (in his book of the same name), doesn't rule out a Gore bid:

"Like a completely refurbished 'pre-owned vehicle,' Al Gore seems to be positioning himself to Hillary Clinton's left and as greener than John Kerry for a run at the 2008 Democratic nomination for president. His slogan might well read 'reelect Al Gore.'

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