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If you are a Gore Fan, Soprano fans feel your pain.
There is a whole groundswell of people who lean into the TV when Al Gore is on. Endless blog entries are made over the tiniest nuance of Gore's expression, body language and SWEET GOD ALMIGHTY - his actual words.
But at the end of every show, every clip, every soundbite, every video on the Gore-strained YouTube server farm, we never hear "I am running."
The bandwidth used on the nuanced "I have not ruled it out" is utterly amazing. There are only so many ways you can put it, yet the wordsmiths over at the Gore compound have written that phrase in such a way that it means more and more that he will run. At first it was the "I have no plans to run" and that has morphed into "I don't need a 500 day campaign."
And that brings us to today's question, what, Al, do you need? What is Al Gore's decision tree?
Is there a Hillary element? Of all the books I have read, there is not a lot of love shared between the Clinton and Gore household. Yes, Al and Bill had a kumbaya moment after 9-11, but that was Al and Bill, not Al and Hillary or Tipper and Hillary or Tipper and Bill. If Hillary looks to be poised to win the nomination, will Gore jump in to save We The People?
Is there a GOP metric? Would Al be watching the contenders to see what he would face? Would sleepy-headed Fred Thompson (also from Tennessee) raise the ire of Al to push him to Iowa?
Is there a "the world is cooking on high and no one is in the damn kitchen" meme that Al watches? No one else seems to be able to do anything about global warming in our current government and frankly, the current crop of 2008 candidates doesn't seem that worried about it. Yes, they all mostly have somewhat passionate position papers on the environment, with, IMO, Edwards on top, but no one that I have seen has Al's presence on the issue and it is a WEIGHTY issue.
Is there a war switch? By the looks of our current Defeatocrat Congress, the troops aren't coming home until we get a new President. Will Gore get fed up with the sorry state of international affairs compared to the condition he and Bill left the world in 2000? Could it be as simple "screw this, I'm in?"
There are probably a great many factors that would go into this. But my bet, our Larry King Moment won't come until October.
Special Note: Today's strip has two new characters; Larry King and Al Gore.