Al Gore: Waiting In The Wings?

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Former Vice President Al Gore testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 21, 2007, before the Senate Environment Committee hearing on global climate change. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Al Gore could not be clearer.

"I don't plan to run," he said on The Daily Show, a phrase he has repeated several times.

But diehard fans are unconvinced, reports CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker.

"Al Gore is the most qualified," said Adam Belanoff.

Belanoff joined the Los Angeles chapter of "draftgore.com," a nationwide group pushing the seemingly impossible: to get former Vice President Al Gore to run for president — again.

"If enough people out there say 'Run Al, we believe you,' I think he'll throw his hat in the ring," said Heather Allyn, a Draft Gore member.

Their Web site boasts 70,000 signatures on its Draft Gore petition.

The L.A. group meets once a month at an outdoor market. While others dine, they strategize.

"We need to be a fast response type of campaign," Patrick McGovern told Whitaker.

"I'm not convinced by any of the other candidates by a mile," said Derek Bevil, another Draft Gore member.

Eighty-four year old Hilda Rolfe's first vote was for FDR, when the country was at war.

"Right now I feel the same way, that this country is in terrible trouble," said Rolfe.

When Al Gore says he doesn't plan to run, the folks at draftgore.com say that's not the same as saying he definitely won't run. Plans change, and with 18 months until Election Day, he still has time to change his mind.

"In a way he's a cult figure," Josh Kraushaar of politico.com tells Whitaker. "He wouldn't have any trouble raising money immediately if he decided to jump into the race."

That's a big change from the days when he was mocked as a boring fanatic.

"You know why I call him ozone man?" asked the first President George Bush years ago.

Now he's the star of an Oscar-winning documentary on global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth." He's so hot he's cheered on one of the coolest shows on TV. Here's a recent exchange between Mr. Gore and Daily Show host Jon Stewart:

JS: "Al Gore walks into a Hollywood movie producer's office and says I've got an idea for a film combining the mainstream appeal of climate science with the non-stop action of Al Gore giving a lecture."

AG: "You forgot the slide show."

Gore says his movie was a hit because the time was right. Draftgore.com says the time couldn't be better for Al Gore to run for president.