Gore: You've reached 1-900-RUN-GORE, where all your political fantasies come true.
Me: Hi. I... I've never really called one of these things before.
Gore: But you've wanted to for a long time, right?
Me: Yeah. I've been thinking about you. A lot. Is this really Al Gore?
Gore: (Pause.) Yes. Yes, it is.
Me: I guess you kind of sound like him.
Gore: Did you know that the energy being used to power this call is coming from wind turbines?
Me: That's incredible. That's exactly the kind of thing I've been wanting to hear.
Gore: I know how you feel. The other politicians just aren't satisfying you.
Me: I want politics to be exciting.
Gore: You want that thrill, like you had with Jack Kennedy.
Me: I thought I could get it with Edwards, but...
Gore: But he voted for the war, and that's kind of a turn off.
Me: Every time the moment comes, I just can't get that war vote out of my head. I try thinking about Bobby Kennedy -- if you squint he kind of looks the same.
Gore: But you need the real thing.
Me: I want foreign policy to make my heart pound.
Gore: You know, the pursuit of dominance in foreign policy led the Bush administration to ignore the UN, to do serious damage to our most important alliances, to violate international law, and to cultivate the hatred and contempt of many in the rest of the world.
Me: Oh yeah. That's good. Keep talking.
Gore: Any policy based on domination of the rest of the world not only creates enemies for the US and recruits for al-Qaida, but also undermines the international cooperation that is essential to defeating terrorists who wish to harm and intimidate America.
Me: Oh man. A politician hasn't talked to me like that in a long time.
Gore: What kind of party affiliation are you wearing?
Me: Progressive moderate.
Gore: I want you to take off your moderation. I want you to remove it completely.
Me: You want me to be totally progressive?
Gore: Yes, I want you to be stark liberal.
Me: Okay. I'm going to do it. I don't care if we don't have the votes to impeach! It's our constitutional obligation! Oh, that feels good. Tell me more about foreign policy.
Gore: The unpleasant truth is that Bush's failed policies in both Iraq and Afghanistan have made the world a far more dangerous place. Our friends in the Middle East, including most prominently Israel, have been placed in greater danger because of the policy blunders and sheer incompetence with which the civilian Pentagon officials have conducted this war.
Me: Oh, yes. Keep talking.
Gore: We as Americans should have "known then what we know now"- not only about the invasion of Iraq but also about the climate crisis; what would happen if the levees failed to protect New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina; and about many other fateful choices that have been made on the basis of flawed, and even outright false, information.
Me: Yes. Keep going. Don't stop.
Gore: We could and should have known, because the information was readily available. We should have known years ago about the potential for a global HIV/Aids pandemic. But the larger explanation for this crisis in American decision-making is that reason itself is playing a diminished, less respected, role in our national conversation.
Me: Oh God, yes! Yes! That's so true!
Gore: Are you going to be a progressive for me?
Me: I am. I'm going to be soooo progressive. But... I want to be progressive for you. I want you to run for president. Will you run for president for me?
Gore: I don't know if I should...
Me: Oh please, do it for me.
Gore: Okay. I'm going to do it.
Me: Yes! I knew you would!
Gore: I'm running for president. I'm doing it right now.
Me: Yes, run for president! Do it!
Gore: I'm totally running for president, right now, over the phone. Will you pull the lever for me?
Me: Yes! Yes, I'm pulling the lever for you! I'm voting for you for president!