Barak Obama is too good a politician to decline an endorsement from former Vice President Al Gore, yet he must have been tempted to say “thanks, but no thanks.”
Gore pledged Monday to do all he could to help Obama win the White House, but the best thing he could do is stay out of sight until December, preferably beyond.
Gore remained neutral as Obama and Hillary battled over the nomination. Because he held back last February, while Off-Grid and others called on him to endorse Barak, the fight went on longer than necessary, weakening the Democrats’ challenge to Sen John McCain this fall.
Gore’s supporters will have nowhere else to go in November, so an endorsement from Gore is unlikely to make much difference. Gore asked his supporters to contribute to Obama’s campaign — but they already were.
Gore is known around the world for his push to combat climate change, but he did nothing for the environment during his eight years in office. He live a carbon-intensive lifestyle and his main supporters are those who already believed in changing society to meet the challenge of climate change.
At a Detroit rally of about 20,000 people, Gore strongly criticized Bush and said McCain’s policies were too similar to those of the current president.
Gore likened Obama to assassinated President John F. Kennedy and told of having stood in the snow when he was 12 years old to watch Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961.
“I know what his inspiration meant to my generation and I feel that same spirit in this auditorium,” he said.
Gore has focused his career since the 2000 election on fighting climate change, writing a book and starring in a documentary on the subject. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his efforts against global warming.
Gore wrote a letter to his supporters urging them to contribute to Obama’s campaign.
“It means a lot obviously,” Obama told reporters when asked earlier in the day about Gore’s support.
“We’ve had ongoing conversations about a whole host of issues. A lot of them have revolved around issues of climate change and energy and the environment. He’s provided good political advice.”