Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Al Gore's Fall

This Fall promises to be a busy time for Al Gore. Among a long string of other prestigious awards, he's an official nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. The winner will be officially announced on October 12.

Even dyspeptic Christopher Hitchens thinks Gore is a shoo-in:
So, and if I am right, the former vice president will then complete a year in which An Inconvenient Truth has been awarded an Oscar and he has authored a best seller. Roll it round your tongue again: an Oscar, a best seller, and a Nobel Prize in the space of 12 months or so. Not bad.
Hitchens also might have mentioned, had he been sober enough to notice, that earlier this year Gore was awarded Spain's "Prince of Asturias Award" for "international cooperation" -- that nation's equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize. And, just this month the Sierra Club gave Gore its John Muir Award, the most prestigious honor bestowed by that venerable organization. And we haven't even mentioned the Emmy Award Gore collected for his Current TV venture.

All of this has inspired a number of commentators, Hitchens among them, to speculate that if Gore does win the Nobel he'll announce whether he will be a candidate for U.S. president within a few days after that. Writes Hitchens:
Several people, some of them well-informed, have been saying to me that Gore will wait until the Nobel committee's announcement before he makes up his mind. Should he make up his mind to run, he could alter the entire equation
Note: Hitchens' sources haven't said he'll run if he wins the Nobel; just that he'll make an announcement one way or another. Brent Budowsky, writing for the Huffington Post, says either way "it will be a powerful transforming event in American politics that will bring a surge of patriotism and pride to a nation that has been torn by war, divided by partisanship, trapped in a quagmire and alienated from what Jefferson called the decent opinion of mankind."
Let's set aside for now the question of whether Al Gore runs for President, which is unlikely though world events can change our politics in a heartbeat.

The more important matter is what happens to our national dialogue and our democracy if indeed the Nobel Prize is awarded to Gore.

From the moment his award is announced through his speech in December accepting the prize, Al Gore will be the most influential living American in defining the terms of our national debate.

Maybe so, but that isn't enough for the millions of Gore supporters. They want more than "influence" for Al Gore; they want him to have the power of the presidency.

With that fervent hope in mind, almost entirely unnoticed by the mainstream media, the effort to "draft" Al Gore suddenly has picked up the pace. As Daily Green reported earlier this week --
Several groups have coalesced around the idea of drafting Al Gore to run for president of the United States. The new group, America for Gore, now includes some smaller groups that had made waves in political circles — including,, Netroots for Gore,, and
The evidence is now visible on the front page of the new America For Gore web site. It can also be seen in the effort now underway in Michigan, as the Detroit News reported Monday, "to deliver 12,396 valid signatures to the Michigan secretary of State by Oct. 23" along with a sworn affidavit from the candidate himself.

Kos diary writer "fink" has the details of Al Gore's appointment schedule. What it shows is that a normally whirlwind calendar filled with international appearances, speeches, interviews, and other commitments goes suddenly near-dark the last two weeks in October.
Has Al Gore stopped booking new events? Are his booking agents on hold? Will he simply be working on his new book? We can not say of course.

But either way you look at it, he is underbooked after the Nobel Peace Prize announcement. And that is when most people agree has to shit or get off the pot. Looking at his calendar, Al Gore HAS THE OPTION of announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination and running for President. He would have a couple international events to cancel but he would ample time to give notice.

Not to force fuel onto this fire, but we noticed the other day that for the last eleven months no less a luminary than Howard Metzenbaum -- former U.S. senator from Ohio, current D.C. lobbyist, and father of Al Gore's partner in the Current TV channel venture -- has had reserved the internet domain name of "". The registration expires on October 15, 2007 (though it can be renewed). You can see it right here after entering the random security code.

Or, take a look at this screen-shot:

Not that we are predicting Al Gore will announce his candidacy by then. We're not at all sure he would have much chance of winning the next presidential election, assuming Cheney lets us have one. He may know it, too.

The more international awards and intellectual prizes Al Gore wins, the slimmer grow his chances of winning an election. By now, American voters have been thoroughly conditioned by cable news and political beauty contest reporters to judge their candidates by which one they'd rather have a beer with, rather than which one is smarter, works harder, or has better ideas.

The last guy they want to rub elbows with at a bar is some smarty-pants who not only reads books but actually writes them, too. And when they find out he's won an Oscar, an Emmy, and the Nobel Peace Prize, they'll just want to take him into an alley and punch him out.


Gore for President said...


National Milestone Reached in Growing Grassroots Movement

BOSTON, Massachusetts—September 21, 2007—They are teachers and students, scientists and doctors, secretaries and CEOs, store clerks and store owners, factory workers and artists. They represent every demographic group and every geographic region in the country. They are everyday Americans, from coast to coast and across the political spectrum—Democrats, Independents, Republicans, conservatives, liberals, moderates. And they have two things in common: They have become involved in the political process (many for the first time), and they want Al Gore to run in the 2008 presidential election.

And, as of September 2007, the grassroots effort of these thousands of individuals has reached a milestone: They have joined together as a nationwide coalition—America for Gore.

America for Gore encompasses all the major and minor groups within the movement whose goal is to persuade Al Gore to run for president. Among the groups in the coalition are,, Netroots for Gore,, AlGore08 MySpace, Draft Gore Facebook groups,,,,, and the Al Gore Support Center, as well as hundreds of Draft Gore meetups and groups nationwide. While the groups will continue to focus on their individual strategies, they will also be working together on important initiatives by sharing information, exchanging ideas, and mobilizing their members to help other groups within the coalition.

The America for Gore coalition is launching a new website——to establish a central location on the web for the coordination of this grassroots effort. America for Gore is not replacing existing websites, groups, and blogs. The individual websites of each organization will continue to exist as before, but the new coalition website will keep group members and the public informed and will act as a portal, directing Gore supporters to the member sites so the can become involved in the many different facets of the Draft Gore movement.

Members of the coalition cite Gore's unmatched political experience (eight years each in Congress, the Senate, and as Vice President), the fact that he won the popular vote in 2000, his early and outspoken opposition to the war in Iraq, and his commitment to solving the climate crisis as core strengths of a potential candidacy in 2008.

The formation of this coalition signals a significant increase in the sophistication of the Draft Gore movement as well as in the powers of coordination, recruitment, and influence of the movement.

By coordinating their activities, the groups hope to extend their reach, recruit more members, and increase their impact on the public's and the media's perception of Al Gore's strength as a candidate.

Anonymous said...

The screen shot says Howard Metzenberg, not Metzenbaum.