I was so psyched to hear this this morning, I whooped in the hallway and spilled coffee all over my skirt!
October 12, 2007 New York Times
Prize Caps Year of Highs for Gore
By JIM RUTENBERG
For Al Gore, winning the Nobel Peace Prize today is the latest twist in a remarkable decade of soaring highs and painful lows. In the span of the last decade he went from being the vice president to being the presumptive Democratic nominee for president to winning the popular vote for president only to lose in the Electoral College — after an intervention by the Supreme Court made his 537-vote loss in Florida official.
Mr. Gore’s decision to give up the fight after the Supreme Court decision left some of his more die-hard supporters bitter, and he by and large retreated from public view for several years. He rarely inserted himself in the public debate, though he did venture out to speak against the invasion of Iraq before it happened. But, associates have said, it was during that quasi-exile that Mr. Gore broke free of the political consultancy that had come to surround him to find his true voice, returning to the environmental issues to which he had devoted his early political career.
Even before Mr. Gore won an Emmy for his so-called “user generated” cable television network, Current, or an Oscar for his film on climate change, “An Inconvenient Truth,” he was growing in stature for another reason: his early opposition to the Iraq war.
He had initially voiced it in 2002 in an address that his newly galvanized supporters now describe as uncannily prescient and unfairly dismissed, though it was seen as a politically off-kilter at a time of great popularity for President George W. Bush.
The awarding of the Nobel Prize to him was certain to further intensify calls for him to enter the Democratic nominating contest for president. The rumors that he would win it had already helped a grassroots movement to draft him into the race raise tens of thousands of dollars for advertisements.
Mr. Gore’s aides, and, on one or two occasions, Mr. Gore himself, have said he is not interested in running for president when his main goal has been raising public awareness of global climate change and man’s role in it. But they have been coy, refusing to absolutely say “no,” and, in the process, giving the various groups now dedicated to drafting him into the race reason to continue their efforts.
Associates of Mr. Gore, however, have said they truly believe he does not want to run but speculate that he does not have reason to tamp down the presidential talk when it serves to keep the focus on him and causes he is pursuing with a perceptibly pure heart — a perception that could change with a presidential run.
“You never say never in politics but I think he’s having such a big impact on the issues that he cares about that if he decided to run for president he would just be viewed in a fundamentally different way,” said Chris Lehane, a former aide and spokesman for Mr. Gore’s 2000 campaign. “Once you become a candidate for president then you have a completely different lens.”
Yet Mr. Gore’s newly charged supporters hope that the Nobel Prize will now cause him to make another attempt to win the prize they believe is rightly his — the White House.