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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Gore the Laureate and Gore the Candidate

In case you somehow missed it, Al Gore was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with the UN’s Integovernmental Panel on Climate Change (a consortium of about 3,000 scientists).
Given the timing, like it or not, the Nobel (along with the previous Oscar and Emmy) will create an intense moment of speculation about the possibility that Gore will now jump into or be dragged into the 2008 presidential race. But Chris Bowers today makes a cautionary point that goes beyond the usual efforts to divine Gore’s intentions or handicap his current standing: how seemly would it be for anyone to go quickly from Laureate to Candidate?

The problem here is that if Gore is going to run, any formal campaign announcement would have to take place within mere days of the Nobel announcement, as well as before the actual reception of the award. I just don’t think there is anyway to gracefully pull that off, from a social manners perspective. In that sense, all of the Nobel speculation might have hit the final nails in the coffin of any hope that Gore might run in 2008. How does one say something like this and not seem a little foolish: “the secret Norwegian elite thinks I am the best in the world–now you should too!” How does winning a Nobel Prize help launch a political campaign?

Good question, though one that from all the available evidence, Al Gore won’t have to confront.

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