Key supporters tied to former Vice-President Al Gore have quietly discussed the possibility that the 2000 presidential candidate could enter the Democratic primary races and seek nomination for the Oval Office in 2016.
Although Mr. Gore has not publicly expressed a desire to run in 2016, he did address overtures from political allies to seek the nomination in 2004 and 2008, both of which he declined.
Sources close to Mr. Gore offer differing views: “They’re getting the old gang together (and) they’re figuring out if there’s a path financially and politically,” said one top Democrat close to the conversation.
Conversely, Roy Neel, who briefly served as Mr. Gore’s Chief of Staff while Gore was vice-president, said he had not discussed the possibility of a run with Gore personally, but spurned the prospect of him challenging Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley.
“It’s extremely unlikely,” Neel said.
Since losing his bid to win the Oval Office, Mr. Gore has remained devoted to environmental causes and founded Current TV in 2005.
In 2010, Mr. Gore was accused of groping a Portland-area masseuse, a charge in which Gore was ultimately cleared. Mr. Gore and his wife Tipper separated later in 2010. In 2013, Mr. Gore and his associates sold Current TV to Al Jazeera Media Network for a reported $500 million.
Although improbable, this is not welcome news for Hillary.
Like Hillary, Gore has substantial personal wealth and access to top donors within Democratic circles. With the specter of Joe Biden on the horizon and the possibility of a full-frontal assault from a criminal probe by the FBI over classified information on her personal server, Hillary’s campaign may quickly whittle.
Given the contentious relationship between Bill Clinton and his former running mate (Gore supposedly blamed Clinton for his loss in the 2000 election), Gore probably won’t be getting an angry phone call from his former boss to discourage a campaign launch.
[Reuters] [Buzzfeed] [Photo courtesy Politico]