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Leave Them Longing for Gore

By James Taranto
May 23, 2006

The 2008 election is just 896 days away--a blink of the eye in politics, but long enough that we don't really know who's running yet. Lately, though, there's been a lot of talk about one potential candidate, a man named Al Gore.

For those who aren't trivia buffs, here's a brief bio: Gore was born in the District of Columbia in 1948. He served in Vietnam, though to his credit he doesn't make a big deal about it. He eventually moved to Tennessee, where he was elected to the U.S. House in 1976 and the Senate in 1984. In 1992 he published a book called "Earth in the Balance," which some likened to the Unabomber's Manifesto. But the Unabomber turned out to be some guy with a beard.

Gore is perhaps best known for defeating Dan Quayle in the 1992 vice presidential race. He served two terms before going from second banana to also-ran in 2000, when he won the Democratic nomination for president but lost the general election by what most observers agree were less than landslide proportions.

The silver screen beckoned, and Gore landed a starring role (indeed, the only role) in a horror flick about a monster called ManBearPig. The film, called "An Inconvenient Truth," opens tomorrow.

Suddenly, the political world is atwitter over the possibility that Gore will follow in the footsteps of actor turned president Ronald Reagan. "Is the former vice president running for president again?" asks the Associated Press. "The buzz he has been generating is fuelling speculation that he may want to return to politics," claims the Financial Times. "He's saying no--but you can hear the 'Run, Al, Run' chant growing louder," swoons the Puffington Hostess.

New York magazine explains what's really behind all the Gore talk:

The Gore boomlet is also being driven by another force: the creeping sense of foreboding about the prospect of Hillary Clinton's march to her party's nomination. "Every conversation in Democratic politics right now has the same three sentences," observes a senior party player. "One: 'She is the presumptive front-runner.' Two: 'I don't much like her, but I don't want to cross her, for God's sake!' And three: 'If she's our nominee, we're going to get killed.' It's like some Japanese epic film where everyone sees the disaster coming in the third reel but no one can figure out what to do about it."

Gore's loyalists take pains to avoid criticizing Hillary (on the record, at least). But many of them plainly see their guy as the solution to the Democrats' dilemma. "If he runs, he's certainly the front-runner or the co-front-runner with Mrs. Clinton," contends Ron Klain, Gore's former vice-presidential chief of staff. "And, in the end, he would probably win the nomination."

We don't think it's going to happen, for three reasons.

First, Gore's long-forgotten concession speech in 2000 was the one moment in his public career in which he appeared lucid and at peace. If this doesn't prove that deep down he doesn't really want to be president, we might as well turn in our license to practice armchair psychology.

Second, you just know in the end the Democrats will do whatever the Clintons want.

Third, NewsMax.com notes that "the weather doesn't seem to be cooperating":

Instead of the sweltering late-May temperatures that might give the impression there was something to Gore's claims that the planet is melting, New Yorkers turned up their thermostats Sunday night to fend off an unusual pre-Memorial Day chill.

In the lower Hudson Valley, frost warnings were issued, as the overnight temperature dipped to a chilly 38 degrees Fahrenheit.

The rest of the country was enjoying unseasonably cool weather as well, with Dallas and Atlanta--where the temperature often tops 90 degrees by late-May--coming in 10 degrees below seasonal norms.

We don't mean to get all religious or anything, but this--as well as earlier evidence--suggests that whoever controls the weather is not exactly rooting for Gore.

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