No surprise. It was expected. Why did he not do it earlier? Many Obama supporters were hoping Al Gore’s endorsement would come during the race with Hillary Clinton. Some were privately hopeful, others were disappointed when it did not come. While some may consider yesterday’s announcement anti-climactic, make no mistake about it, Al Gore’s support for Barack Obama is huge. Not only do many Democrats feel that Gore was robbed of the presidency in 2000, it is generally assumed that a Gore presidency would have made America much different than it is today.
Al Gore would have reacted with force and vigor to the events of 9-11, but he never would have engaged in the invasion of Iraq. President Bush failed to support Kyoto, but Al Gore would have been a world leader in pushing for action on climate change. On government debt, health care, and the fight against special interests, there is no doubt Al Gore would have directed his energies to change and reform in those areas of public policy. So when Al Gore says that he knows what it means to lose an election, his voice resonates with more than the Democratic base.
Since leaving active politics, Al Gore has won an Emmy, an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize in his fight for a better environment. He is a champion and a leader in progressive politics, and has inspired many people to get involved in public policy both in and beyond his country. If the Clintons’ represent the 1990’s, Gore represents the 21st century. Rarely do we see a politician after so many years in active “establishment” politics be able to recycle himself into a world statesman. There may not have been a big surprise in his endorsement of Obama, but it goes a long way in advancing the momentum around the Democratic nominee. Al Gore is one big catch.