THE BLOG
03/01/2007 05:25 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Warming Up To Al Gore

He's back.

He's tan.

He's rested.

But is he ready to run again for president? Give Al Gore credit. He has gone from being known as the man who lost the presidency in 2000 to being the man who just won an Oscar for best documentary for his film entitled An Inconvenient Truth about the perils of global warming.

Gore has re-invented himself. No he did not invent the Internet and no he did not run a particularly stellar presidential campaign in 2000 even managing to lose his home state of Tennessee.

But he has an Oscar in hand, has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize and has managed to be a successful businessman and entrepreneur in his years out of office.

He has friends not only in Hollywood but in business and labor circles that would be willing to raise funds for a presidential campaign in 2008.

The question has to be asked: Is Gore this popular or are the other Democratic presidential candidates failing to wow the crowd who will eventually vote in the primaries next year?

Does Senator Clinton's high negatives in the 40's mean that she is too polarizing to win the presidency?

Does Senator Obama's lack of experience on the national scene and in foreign policy matters make many Democrats nervous?

Does former Senator John Edwards lack the gravitas needed as a president?

Can New Mexico Bill Richardson raise the necessary funds for a campaign?

Are Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd serious candidates?

The former Vice-President of the United States begins to look good again in the eyes of many Democrats who feel the above mentioned candidates just might not have the overall appeal to make it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 2008.

The former United States Senator and U.S. Representative from Tennessee certainly has the foreign policy experience needed to be president. Gore is a self-taught arms control expert and has been consistently against the war in Iraq.

He is certainly one of the leading voices speaking out against global warming and in defense of preserving the environment. He has been in the White House for eight years as one of our most active vice-presidents.

As people continue to say, he was groomed by his family to be a president of the United States. On paper Gore looks to be as good or better than any of his fellow Democrats to capture the presidency in 2008.

But, one has to look back at his campaigning skills in 2000 and we see that he has much to be desired. He was stiff and rather smug in 2000. His debate performances were not that good. He appeared condescending towards Bush in the debates.

Gore can come off as somewhat of a preacher. He can be the know-it-all type that we all remember from high school. He is the class president who we admire and respect but not certain we want to be friends with.

Would any sensible person who is now making money, enjoying life, winning Oscars and traveling the world want to give all this up to be in the fishbowl of running again for public office?

The answer would be no. But, then again, anyone running for president is not sensible. And, the one goal that has eluded the former journalist is the presidency.

He was so close in 2000. No one could have expected his re-emergence as a serious presidential possibility for 2008.

Would Gore want to put himself through a campaign again? Would Tipper and his daughters be against another campaign?

If he decides to run again for president and if he doesn't want to be the new William Howard Taft who was a bit on the hefty side Gore will have to begin to lose a little of his new found weight.

Having interviewed Gore when he ran briefly for president in 1988 and again when he was in the Senate I would have to say he is one of the more knowledgeable politicians we have in the country. He has a strong intellectual curiosity. He is a person who likes to learn everything he can about topics in which he has an interest.

He has enough name recognition and access to money that he could wait until later and decide to run if he isn't satisfied with how the Democratic candidates are doing. He could eve run as an independent in the fall of 2008 if he didn't think the chosen Democratic candidate was speaking out enough on the environment or against the war in Iraq.

The decision, of course, in the final analysis is up to Gore. But, it is good to know the former vice-president is out there and could make the race if the current crop of Democratic candidates stumble or fail to excite the crowds as the campaign season continues.

Gore is qualified and has been around the track. However, as everyone in politics knows once you throw your hat in the ring your approval ratings seem to decline.

No pun intended but Gore is a heavyweight now basking in his Oscar glory who could give up his teaching and his corporate boards for another run for the White House. The presidential campaign and our political process would be the better for it.