Or maybe it's because we can relate to his imperfections...his sometimes-goofy, self-deprecating humor, his Saturday Night Live-spoofed staidness, his endearing affection for Tipper. We definitely admire his tenacity in taking a tough punch and yet moving on.
And maybe we're righteously angry that he got cheated in the 2000 election. And even more, that the United States got horribly cheated.
Reported the New York Post yesterday. "As Sen. Hillary Clinton ratchets up her attacks on President Bush, some Democrats think they smell an explanation: the threat of a 2008 Al Gore presidential bid that could come at her from the left on Iraq. The former vice president is suddenly re-emerging as a vocal and visible Bush-basher — he's slated to star at a Democratic National Committee fund-raiser for big donors in Washington next Tuesday."
In a DailyKos straw poll this week for the Democratic candidate in 2008, the results were: "Given these 2008 choices, I would vote for:
Edwards 8%, Clark 24%, Gore 48%, Clinton 4%, Feingold 8%, Other 2%, No Freakin' Clue 2% (Votes: 7432) "
On September 9, Al Gore was accorded a long-lasting standing ovation when he delivered an extraordinary speech to the annual Sierra Club convention in San Francisco. (Here is a link to his speech text.)
In it, he beseeched, "It is time now for us to recover our moral health in America and stand again to rise for freedom, demand accountability for poor decisions, missed judgments, lack of planning, lack of preparation, and willful denial of the obvious truth about serious and imminent threats that are facing the American people....
I would urge you to make global warming your priority. I would urge you to focus on a unified theme. I would urge you to work with other groups in ways that have not been done in the past, even though there have been Herculean efforts on your part and the part of others. I would urge you to make this a moral moment. To make this a moral cause. "
An oft quoted part of this landmark speech by Mr. Gore is, "The Bible in which I believe, in my own faith tradition, says, 'Where there is no vision, the people perish.' "
And in the early days after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, while George Bush remained on vacation, Donald Rumsfeld attended a San Diego Padres baseball game, Dick Cheney relaxed at his Wyoming estate, Karl Rove hobnobbed with the rich in Aspen, and Condoleezza Rice shopped for shoes and enjoyed a Broadway show.....
Al Gore quietly funded and facilitated a harrowing mercy mission in New Orleans to airlift 270 medical patients and evacuees from the New Orleans airport to hospitals and shelters in Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Said Dr. Anderson Spickard, Gore's personal physician who accompanied him on the flights, said: 'Gore told me he wanted to do this because like all of us he wanted to seize the opportunity to do what one guy can do, given the assets that he has.' ...." (Read here about this mission of compassion.)
Yes, there's something about Al Gore that we can't get out of our minds and hearts....his wisdom and humanity, his visionary leadership and especially, his personal grace.
Al Gore in 2008? It has a nice ring to it.