What About the Other Tennesseean?

Backers still clamor for Al Gore even as Fred Thompson enters the presidential sweepstakes.

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Much has been written about the dissatisfaction among Republicans with their current presidential field. Witness the late entry of former Sen. Fred Thompson, who is already doing well in the polls. How about the Democrats?

There is still a clamoring out there for another Tennesseean, former Vice President Al Gore, to take the plunge or accept a draft movement.

Gore says he is not running. His friends say he has all but slammed the door.

However, there is still unrest among some Democrats who are worried about Sen. Hillary Clinton's ability to win a general election. Some pundits have already declared her the presumptive nominee.

A group called "Draft Gore" is collecting tens of thousands of signatures to promote its cause. A full-page ad in the New York Times on October 9 called for a Gore candidacy.

Democrats and the rest of us know the history of the 2000 election. Gore won the popular vote but was counted out in Florida by five conservative members of the Supreme Court. That decision remains one of the most blatantly political rulings in the court's history.

To be sure, Gore did not run an inspiring campaign against George W. Bush. He did not know how to use President Clinton after the Lewinsky scandal marred the president's image. His performance in the debates was only average.

Since leaving office, Gore has led the fight against global warming. His environmental work alone—for which he was just awarded the Nobel Peace Prize—has earned him respect around the globe.

Few are aware of a fine speech against the war in Iraq he delivered years ago at Georgetown University. It got little attention from the media, but it pointed out in stark terms the mistakes of the administration.

In this current presidential chase, the field of Democrats will not step aside for Gore, especially Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama. They have worked too hard and raised too much money to let Gore walk in.

The chances of Gore running or accepting a draft are surely remote. But stranger things have happened in American politics.