Their view: Al Gore could save the world

With his Oscar in one hand and his Nobel Peace Prize in the other, now may be the best time for Al Gore to run for president of the United States.

His eight years as vice president and 16 years in Congress make him more qualified for the office – at least on paper – than the other Democratic candidates, with the exception of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a former congressman, ambassador to the United Nations and energy secretary.

Gore has been out of office for nearly seven years, but he has not stayed out of the spotlight for most of that time, maintaining the ever-important name recognition.

People may say they don’t want him to run. A USA Today/Gallup Poll conducted this weekend, after the Nobel Prize announcement, found that 54 percent of Americans oppose a Gore candidacy and only 41 percent want him run. But Hillary Clinton, the current Democratic front-runner, has had similar approval numbers this year, with an April 2007 Gallup poll finding that 52 percent of Americans viewed her unfavorably. The numbers may not be directly comparable – there are surely some Democrats who like Gore but don’t want him to run, and there are undoubtedly Republicans who dislike him and want him to run because they think he’ll lose again – but they show viable candidates don’t have to be liked by everyone.

There’s only one major problem with a possible Gore candidacy: It’s lacking a key supporter that he can’t win without.


On Tuesday, Gore reiterated to Norwegian broadcaster NRK his intent to stay out of the presidential race and politics in general.

Good for him.

At this point, the best thing Gore can do is stay away from partisan politics and focus on doing more to fight the climate-change problem that he has done so much to publicize.

Assuming this decision is final, Gore has made a wise choice to put himself above politics.

If he is truly concerned about the state of the world – as any Nobel Peace Prize winner should be – he will do what is best for the effort to address global climate change.

In a sense, the Nobel Prize has elevated Gore to a level that politicians – especially American ones – rarely inhabit while they’re still alive.

The nearly seven years since Gore left the vice presidency may have been enough to erase some of the memory of the bitter partisan fighting over the outcome of the 2000 election, but with the way that turned out, Gore would be completely justified in turning into an angry green giant, a la Incredible Hulk, every time he sees George Bush (which might explain his environmentalism).

With a Nobel Peace Prize, Gore’s quest to save the world has been validated even further and he should be able to move on from what happened seven years ago in Florida.

Gore’s passion is for the environment, and that’s what he should spend his time fixing.

There are plenty of presidential candidates who could run a country just fine, but only Al Gore can save the world.

The above column, by Karl Krempel, appeared in the Montana Kaimin (U. Montana) yesterday.