Need the lowdown on the Democratic National Convention? Crikey has pulled together some of the best commentary and profiles of the principal speakers at the DNC in Denver, Colorado.

DAY FOUR — Thursday 28 August 2008 — “Change you can believe in”

AL GORE

He used to be the next president of the United States of America, now the Nobel Peace Prize, Academy Award winning, former veep to Bill Clinton spends more time in the business world than in politics -but he’s still a big enough democrat to throw a ton of money at some candidates and endorse Barack Obama.

The Last Temptation of Al Gore. Let’s say you were dreaming up the perfect stealth candidate for 2008, a Democrat who could step into the presidential race when the party confronts its inevitable doubts about the front-runners. You would want a candidate with the grassroots appeal of Barack Obama—someone with a message that transcends politics, someone who spoke out loud and clear and early against the war in Iraq. But you would also want a candidate with the operational toughness of Hillary Clinton—someone with experience and credibility on the world stage.

In other words, you would want someone like Al Gore—the improbably charismatic, Academy Award–winning, Nobel Prize–nominated environmental prophet with an army of followers and huge reserves of political and cultural capital at his command. There’s only one problem. The former Vice President just doesn’t seem interested. — Time

THE WILDERNESS CAMPAIGN. (2004) This has been the first election season in a generation in which Al Gore has not pursued national office. He ran for President in 1988, when he was thirty-nine; for Vice-President, on Bill Clinton’s ticket, in 1992 and 1996; and then again for President in 2000. Having decided that a rematch against Bush would be too divisive (or, perhaps, too difficult), Gore has made an effort not to brood on the sidelines. Instead, he used words like “liberated” and “free” with a determined conviction to describe his inner condition. He was free of the burden, free of the pressure, free of the camera’s eye. — The New Yorker

Al Gore’s $100 Million Makeover. After the 2000 election, Gore might have slunk away to a loser’s life: a memoir here, a visiting professorship there, the occasional keynote speech or celebrity golf tournament. Instead, in what may be the greatest brand makeover in history, Gore is being hailed as a visionary who was right about everything from global warming to Iraq. At 59, he’s an Academy Award winner, a bestselling author, a front-runner for the Nobel Prize, and a concert promoter who turned out to be a bigger rock star at this year’s Grammys than the rock stars themselves.

What no one is talking about is that he has also become a stunningly successful businessman–and that has fueled his comeback. — Fast Company

Al Gore Endorses Barack Obama in Detroit. MI Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Al Gore endorsed Barack Obama at a 20,000 person rally in Detroit, MI on June 16, 2008. — You Tube

Profile on Al Gore from the kids at Meta Cafe.

The official website of Al Gore.

Peter Fray

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