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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Al Gore Takes a Pass on Charlotte


He came ever so close to capturing the presidency in 2000, and even spoke at the 2008 convention, but this time around, Al Gore was nowhere to be seen as Democrats gathered in Charlotte, N.C., this week.

Instead, the former vice president was doling out commentary for his network, Current TV, at a New York studio, and had particular praise for his former ticketmate, Bill Clinton, with whom he had not always enjoyed the warmest ties.

“I have heard President Bill Clinton give a lot of great speeches,” he said of his former boss's speech on Wednesday, “and I honestly don't know of a better one.”

On Thursday, with a Twitter stream to the side of the screen, he said he was “so happy” that Senator John Kerry, another former failed Democratic nominee, mentioned his most-prized issue, climate change.

The panel assembled on his network for Thursday's speeches addressed him as “Mr. Vice President” and seemed to dance around the issue of his convention absence. During a break in the action, Cenk Uygur, a Current TV host, posed to each member of the panel a hypothetical: would you rather be a senator from a given state, or take a certain cabinet position? Mr. Gore was not asked.