Last year at this time, Al Gore was taking Cannes by storm, premiering An Inconvenient Truth and prompting much speculation about his running for president in 2008.
Since then, of course, the film has become a worldwide phenomenon, Gore has added Oscar-winner and Nobel Prize-nominee to his resume, and the chatter about his potential candidacy has grown ever-louder.
Now, with the release of The Assault on Reason, his gloves-off excoriation of George Bush, the media, and the degraded state of our political culture, the talk of 2008 has become a roar.
For his part, Gore is refusing to take the bait -- no matter how many times interviewers keep sticking their poles in the water -- preferring to focus on the larger points raised by his book.
But it's a Catch-22: the Gore on display in Assault -- and during much of the press he's done in support of it -- is extremely compelling: bold, passionate, knowledgeable, thoughtful, articulate, self-deprecating. Exactly the qualities that have so many Democrats eying him with nothing short of lip-smacking longing.
So far, much of Gore's book tour has been drenched in irony, with his castigation of the mainstream media's fixation on the horserace aspects of politics being met with horserace questions, while his rebuke of our cultural obsession with nonsense like Britney's hair, Lindsay's sex life, and Nicole's weight has been met with stories obsessing about his weight, his double chin, and his love of clam dip.
I'll be interviewing Gore tomorrow for a HuffPost Q & A, and I'd love to get your input on the questions you'd like him to address. Post your suggestions below and, who knows, maybe one of you will come up with a variation on the question about whether he is running for president that will elicit a different response. Because, as for me, when it comes to putting forth this question I feel a little bit like Elizabeth Taylor's sixth husband: he knew what to do, he just didn't know how to make it different.
So put on your best Larry King-suspenders, HuffPosters: What do you want to ask Al Gore?