Skeptics, Gore critics, trolls...whatever you want to call them, they have repeatedly (and I mean repeatedly!) scolded us for holding out hope that Gore may yet enter the presidential race. They've, without facts, claimed he has shut the door on a run. They've, without truth or reason, said those working to Draft Gore are "wasting" their time.
I'm going to be honest - while far from giving up hope, I had begun to accept the realization that Gore may not run despite so many pleas to do the exact opposite. Then the rest of the nation starting taking notice of what we've been doing. Newsweek, in addition to countless state news outlets, starting reporting on the amazing work thousands of Gore supporters have been doing around the country, for in some cases, years.
Then, as mentioned in one of my previous diaries, DraftGore.com sent out an email asking supporters to help fund a full-page New York Times ad. Sure enough, in today's paper, the wonderful ad appeared. Before I knew it, virtually every major news outlet had picked up on the story - MSNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Yahoo!, and even FOX News. Likewise, hundreds of local news stations are planning to report about it during this evening's news. For those interested, here's the ad:
Dear Mr. Vice President:
In the dark days of December 2000, when you bravely conceded the election you knew in your eart you had won, you said:
"I do have one regret: that I didn't get the chance to stay and fight for the American people ... especially for those who need burdens lifted and barriers removed, especially for those who feel their voices have not been heard. I heard you and I will not forget."
Today we respectfully ask that you honor that pledge and hear us now.
You say you have fallen out of love with politics, and you have every reason to feel that way. But we know you have not fallen out of love with your country.
And your country needs you now — as do your party and the planet you are fighting so hard to save.
You often quote Winston Churchill to remind us that we are entering a period of consequences with regard to the global climate crisis.
You have done a superhuman job of bringing world attention to this issue. But this effort needs to be raised to a higher level. Only from the Oval Office can you wield the kind of influence needed to move countries, policies and corporations to bring about meaningful change.
The period of consequences you talk about is upon us in many other equally critical areas as well. Our Constitution is being trampled and our most cherished civil liberties are in grave danger. The executive branch is not accountable to anyone. And the people most in need of a voice in this country need someone in the White House who will speak for them.
Thousands of Americans are dying needlessly in Iraq while our reputation in the world has plummeted to an all-time low. The war on terror is backfiring as our enemies grow stronger and our resources are drained in an endless and unwinnable war. This is one of the most serious foreign policy crises our country has ever faced.
You were the first American political figure to brave political waters and warn us of the perils of starting a preemptive war in Iraq. You were right. But time to reverse the damage is running out. Given your experience, insight and the respect you enjoy among world leaders, you are uniquely positioned to bring this war to an end and restore America’s good name.
As you so often say, Mr. Vice President, these are not political issues. They are moral issues.
That’s why more than 136,000 people have signed our petition asking you to run for president in 2008. Ours is an urgent call to service on behalf of the country we love, the democracy that’s slipping away from us, and a world and planet that are in peril. We write on behalf of our children and grandchildren and plead with you to to lead us to a brighter future.
Many good and caring candidates are contending for the Democratic nomination. But none of them has the combination of experience, vision, standing in the world, and political courage that you would bring to the job. Nor do they have the support among voters that you enjoy and that would lead you to victory in 2008.
Mr. Vice President, there are times for politicians and times for heroes. America and the Earth need a hero right now — someone who will transcend politics as usual and bring real hope to our country and to the world. Please rise to this challenge, or you and millions of us will live forever wondering what might have been.
On behalf of the thousands of our volunteers and the 136,000 people who signed our petition asking you to run for president
First and foremost, thank you to everyone who donated to make this ad a reality - as you can see, it's very powerful, and we're sure it was read by Al himself.
Now, I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I needed a sign. Something. Anything. Give us a reason to hold on. Well today I got my sign. Tucked away in a Yahoo! Political News article was this excerpt:
"He's making no plans, and we're doing nothing," said Neel, adding, "He's not ruled it out in the future."
Asked what "the future" meant, Neel said, "Sometime later than today."
Repeat after me nay-sayers: Al. Gore. Has. Not. Ruled. Out. A. Run.
Sometime later than today you say? How about tomorrow?
Update #1: As of 9:50PM ET, the petition has passed 150,000 signatures. The number stood at about 137,000 at the start of the day - keep the momentum going! Sign it then send it to your family and friends.
Update #2: As mentioned in the comments, here's the San Francisco Chronicle article that will be published in Thursday's paper, and here's the New York Times article that you can also read tomorrow. My favorite part:
Roy Gayhart, an organizer of a group trying to get him onto the primary ballot in California, said Mr. Gore, walking by a petition booth as he left a speaking engagement Tuesday night in the city of Cupertino, merely smiled, waved, shook hands with a volunteer and offered a simple "thank you."
He's letting this happen for a reason.