Al Gore’s non-announcement of his intention to run for the US presidency was a clever subversion of our expectations. It also led to some interesting responses from pundits, bloggers, and others waiting patiently for Gore to cash in his climate change cred for another tilt at the top job.

White House press secretary Tony Snow was quick to congratulate Gore for his performance. CNN reported:

Asked in a press briefing Monday what he thought about Al Gore’s documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, winning an Oscar, Snow said, “I’m happy for him,” and mused, “It’s good to have a second career.”

Donna Brazile, Gore’s former campaign manager, felt the earth move:

This was one of those rare moments, similar to the civil rights movement, when you experience the ground shifting. Perhaps it’s not a movement for a presidential run, but a moment for the debate to start for real change on how we live on planet earth.

But the Tennessee Center for Policy Research used the moment to label Gore an environmental hypocrite, publishing details of his energy-guzzling mansion:

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

MSNBC says the little golden man now propped on Gore’s mantelpiece adds lustre to the idea of a Gore candidacy:

Democratic party activists who favour a Gore candidacy say the Oscar success, combined with his recent nomination for the Nobel peace prize, would provide the perfect platform for a declaration of his candidacy. Opinion polls put Mr Gore third behind Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama but ahead of John Edwards and Bill Richardson among the Democratic hopefuls.

But Gore himself has not indicated he’s about to step out of the battle to save the planet and into the battle to rule it. As Brazile said, that announcement isn’t likely to come until the battle for the Democratic nomination has taken some of the shine from his potential opponents.

Peter Fray

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