I'm tremendously pleased and satisfied by Al Gore winning, well, pretty much the highest honor a human being can get. It's a huge statement that gives the issue of global warming immense status — status only commensurate with the size of its threat to our existence.
And of course, this will provide more stimulus for the Draft Gore folks, of which I suppose I'm one. Although I'd work for him in a heartbeat, I'm not anticipating he'll get in the race. I think polls underestimate how much he would upset the current dynamic of the campaign, but on a practical level, the time to jump in was some time ago. Instead, he may well get to play kingmaker — but not by endorsing any particular politician, but by making clear the parameters by which we can evaluate the various candidates' proposals. This is a case in which the normal give-and-take of negotiation in a democracy is quite likely to produce a result that's inadequate to the problem: We simply can't accept half-of-the-baby.
If Gore endorses one candidate or another, it's good for that candidate, but not necessarily good for Gore's cause: It would necessarily distance the other candidates from his positions — and his status. Say, for instance, that Gore endorses Obama: It's terrific for both if Obama wins the nomination; but if Hillary wins anyway, she will have demonstrated that she didn't need him. And then his eventual endorsement of her in the fall would seem pro forma as opposed to enthusiastic — sacrificing the enthusiasm for her candidacy that will be necessary if she's going to take up the issue with any seriousness.
The bottom line is that we need to have all Democrats and many Republicans on board with a dead-serious policy that decisively tackles our climate crisis. As Gore says, it needs to be an issue bigger than partisanship. (Look to the example of Bono with world poverty to see someone who is able to discuss grave and “inconvenient” issues with both parties, with patience, passion and perserverance.) With Nobel in hand, Gore has gained a unique, perhaps unprecedented status: as one in politics but not of it. I don't know what his next move is, but it seems he should use the considerable gifts that's he's got, in as many creative ways as he can imagine.