McAuliffe: Why would Al Gore run?

Terry McAuliffe — Hillary Clinton’s national campaign chairman, in the Bay Area today to rally troops and speak at the Alameda County Democrats’ annual unity fundraising dinner — told me this morning he last saw newly minted Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore about a month ago.

“He’s doing great, he’s a world leader… He’s by far the prophet on this issue (of global warming),” McAuliffe said, gazing out at the sun-drenched, panoramic Bay view from the San Francisco Grand Hyatt’s 36th-floor restaurant. “How do you change that? You go run for president. Why would he risk it?”

That is, I asked, why would Gore go up against a guy he once called “the greatest fund-raiser in the history of the universe” — McAuliffe himself? “He wouldn’t,” McAuliffe chuckled.

Here’s the plain truth as I see it: if Gore got into the race tomorrow, he would have an Emmy, an Oscar, the Nobel Peace Prize and international goodwill under his belt, but he also would be about $90 million and at least 30 percentage points behind Clinton. And most Nobel Prize winners are smarter than that.

BTW, the Clinton campaign’s home page today spotlights a picture of Gore with the caption, “Congratulations to Al Gore for his well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize. His dedication and tireless work have been instrumental in raising international awareness about global warming.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Bob

    It’s gonna be Fred v Hillary. Betting an ice cream on it. Rocky Road.