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What’s Next for Al Gore After the Nobel Peace Prize?

My Outlook inbox is crammed. Since Friday's announcement that former Vice President

Al Gore shared the Nobel Peace Prize

this year, the volume of e-mail cascading through cyberspace has impressed me with the latest big question: Will Al run for president in 2008?

The arguments against such a move are persuasive:

Those close to him say he's harboring no plans to run.

Democrats have a clear front runner with Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama have consumed much of the available Democratic campaign dollars .

The time is short until the Iowa caucus and the first primary.

A Gore candidacy would split the Democratic Party.

Gore's passion is the climate change issue and that's where he will place his energies.

Nevertheless, a Draft Gore movement has begun and even before the announcement that Gore had won the prize, draftgore.com raised enough to finance a full-page New York Times ad urging him to run. That was fast followed by an online petition campaign and as of Sunday, more than 200,000 folks had signed up. So should Gore capitulate and accept a draft?

Here are some arguments that indicate he still could throw in his hat:

He has not told supporters to stop their activism in his behalf.

There's a compelling argument that Gore could improve the world's opinion of the United States.

As world political leader, he could better spread the message of global warming.

He won the popular vote in 2000, so he knows that he lost on a technicality.

He always opposed the unpopular war in Iraq.

Republicans aren't that thrilled with their choices so far.

If Gore endorses another candidate, the speculation can stop. But until that time, it's an unanswered question that could continue to fuel kitchen table conversations around the country.

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