Shouldn't Al Gore Want To Be President?

Weekly commentary by CBS Evening News chief Washington correspondent and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer.

Winning the Nobel Prize would be a sweet moment for anyone, but it must have been especially sweet for Al Gore, who was among the first to see the danger of global warming. Republicans made fun of him for years. The first George Bush called him "Ozone Man," and Bob Dole got a lot of laughs when he called him "Owl" Gore.

Not so funny anymore.

The first question everyone had was would Gore now seek the presidency, the prize that eluded him? His friends say no. He's been telling them he realized that running for president was something that he just wasn't very good at, and he was probably right. When he ran, the economy was booming and the country was involved in no wars, making him one of the few candidates ever to lose on a platform of peace and prosperity.

We can argue till dark about whether the Supreme Court did right by him, but even he admitted he ran a terrible campaign.

But here's the part that gave me pause. When he won the prize, his friends said he really no longer needed to be president, the prize had vindicated him. He was now a respected, influential voice on the world stage. If he chose to run for president, they said, he'd become just another politician.

Well, that's probably true, too. But isn't it a sad commentary on what our politics has become and how we now view the presidency and those who seek it?

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By Bob Schieffer
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    Bob Schieffer is CBS News' chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation.

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