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Why Al Gore is keeping his 2008 options open
Michael Roston
Published: Wednesday February 14, 2007
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Rumors continue to swirl about whether or not former Vice President Al Gore will enter the race for the presidency in 2008. According to an article today in the New York Observer, Gore wants to keep the buzz going about whether or not he'll enter the Democrats' crowded fray because delaying a decision helps him if he runs for president.

Steve Kornacki writes that according to the latest rumors, Gore will consider entering the race for the Democratic nomination in September "if an opening presents itself." The former vice president's spokesperson issued a classic "non-denial denial," about Gore's plans, and Kornacki says that there are multiple reasons for Gore to hold off on entering the race.

First, he can bank on his name reputation getting stronger in the intervening months as he continues to promote his message on controlling global warming. Meanwhile, Kornacki writes, he can "steer clear of any early skirmishes between Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards, instead allowing the three front-runners to drive each otherís negatives up."

The moment Gore is looking for, he adds, is one in which the race becomes about Senator Hillary Clinton. The likely scenario for Gore to become a candidate is one in which he is "convinced that he could quickly and bloodlessly push [Obama and Edwards] aside, setting up a Hillary-versus-Al contest for the nomination."

But there are also reasons Gore might not choose to enter the race. If Obama or Edwards make gains against Clinton, Kornacki writes that he may not want to further crowd the fray. He also must fear "the risk of being branded, for all of history, as a two-time loser." But, Kornacki concludes, Gore has wanted to be president most of his life, and so he wonders "Can he resist?"

The full article can be read at the New York Observer's website.