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Richard Cohen has not always been a favorite on this site, but he wrote a wonderful column for tomorrow's Washington Post on Al Gore's "Second Act":

Now, somebody ought to make a movie about Al Gore. I would call it "An Uncomplaining Life."

The movie would be about a man who did not quit, who came off the canvas after a painfully close election -- he won the popular vote, after all -- who accepted defeat graciously and tried to unite the nation, who returned to the consuming passion of his earlier days, the environment.... This may or may not be a stepping stone to the presidency, but Gore gives us all a lesson on how to live one's life....

Gore would not have taken the United States to war in Iraq. He would have finished the job in Afghanistan -- it was al-Qaeda and its Taliban enablers who were responsible for the attacks on us on Sept. 11, 2001, not Saddam Hussein, no matter how vile he might have been. Gore would not have dealt with the Iranians and the North Koreans in such a juvenile fashion -- axis of evil, after all -- and all over the world, wherever you and I went, we would not detect such anger toward America....

Jimmy Carter said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that he thought Gore ought to run and had told Gore so insistently. "He almost told me the last time I called, 'Don't call me anymore,' " Carter said. What Gore told me was something similar: "I think there are other ways to serve."

We'll see. After all, Gore -- the son of a senator himself -- was raised for the presidency. But for the moment at least, he is showing all the irritating signs of a man at peace with himself. He abandoned Washington for Nashville.... and he has set out to show that there is life after a failed candidacy, a purposeful life in which a man can do some good. His movie and his speeches are -- to paraphrase what Clausewitz said about war -- a continuation of politics by other means. He cannot make war but he can still make a difference.... With an Oscar in his fist and triumph on his face, Al Gore is a man you can tell your kid about. That, maybe, is even better than being president.

Politics aside, what Al Gore has achieved post-2000 is remarkable, and shows unbelievable dedication to public service, not to mention a fair bit of class. Good for Richard Cohen for recognizing that.
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Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 10:58 PM PST.

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