by Andrew Malcolm
Well, the Al Gore drafters are still not giving up. In an online fundraising drive last week, Draftgore.com raised $65,000 to buy a full-page ad in today's New York Times that appeals to the former senator, former vice president and former presidential nominee to reconsider his current stand and run for the 2008 Democratic nomination.
"Many good and caring candidates are contending for the Democratic nomination," the ad letter says, "But none of them has the combination of experience, vision, standing in the world and political courage that you would bring to the job. Nor do they have the support among voters that you enjoy and would lead you to victory in 2008."
"All we're trying to do," says Monica Friedlander, a 47-year-old Oakland public relations person who founded the group, "is persuade him that it's a moral imperative for him to be a candidate."
She says the group has amassed 136,000 signatures on a petition for Gore to run and is about to launch a California petition drive to get him on the state's Democratic primary ballot next year. It's also two days before Gore is prepared to win the Nobel Peace Prize, in the minds of supporters, for his work against global warming.
Gore was in California for some fundraising. He was to attend a San Francisco fundraiser this afternoon for Sen. Barbara Boxer. That event was canceled when Gore dashed off to China late last night for a last-minute invitation to meet with Chinese officials on his favorite issue. But then we were told the Boxer fundraiser would be reset. Maybe Gore wants to be around when he wins the big prize?
Gore has said he has fallen out of love with politics and does not intend to run. But he's never said never. A spokeswoman repeated those sentiments: "He deeply appreciates the heartfelt sentiment behind this ad and understands where this comes from," said Kalee Kreider. "But he has no intention of running for president."
See, that's where Gore always gets in trouble. That malleable word "intention." Some people may recall not too long ago Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig, the toe-tapping men's room customer who got in trouble in the Minneapolis airport, announcing it was his intention to resign from the Senate on Sept. 30.
But he's still there.
Andrew Malcolm writes for Top of the Ticket, the L.A. Times political blog.