Will Nobel Nod Spur Gore's '08 Run?

"Al Gore will always be a viable contender as long as he's alive and has the desire," said Brazile. "I don't believe the Nobel Prize will alter his current plans or what he's doing now in terms of climate change."

A Movement Beseeches Their Leader

Gore's grassroots support still believes Gore can make a bid -- and win.

"I have no doubt that if the people rise up and ask Al Gore to lead them that he would ever turn his back on his country," said Eva Ritchey, a member of DraftGore.com, the grassroots Internet movement that placed a $65,000 full-page ad in The New York Times this week pleading with the former vice president to enter the 2008 presidential race.

Ritchey calls Gore the "the most undervalued public servant in the country;" DraftGore.com founder Monica Friedlander said Gore is "a visionary."

Both point to the 136,000 signatures their petition amassed in support of a Gore candidacy and the fact that they were able to raise the $65,000 necessary for the NYT ad in six days as a sign of Gore's vibrant ground strength.

DraftGore.com chair Friedlander said most contributions came in small donations in the $20-$50 range.

Both Ritchey and Friedlander insist the grassroots movement to draft the former vice president is separate from Gore's office.

Friedlander insisted, "This is our effort, no way driven by him or encouraged by him." But she added, "They also don't try to stop us."

Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider told ABC News that Gore "understands and appreciates the sentiment behind the ad and hears what people are trying to say to him" but reiterates that Gore "does not have any plan to run for president."

Gore as Political Gamesman

Gore has played coy with his presidential aspirations, managing to simultaneously diffuse rumors and spark interest with the skill of a true political gamesman.

The Oscars came and went; only accolades, no announcements, filled the air.

Gore strutted the red carpet, stole the spotlight and bantered onstage with Leonardo DiCaprio while his documentary on climate change, "An Inconvenient Truth," picked up two golden statues.

Gore's latest book, "The Assault on Reason," launched a scathing attack on the Bush presidency.

After its release in May, the former vice president told ABC News' Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America", "I'm not a candidate, and this is not a political book, this is not a candidate book," but it did little to dampen speculation.

And on the morning of July 7, before the Live Earth global concert series for climate change, Gore told ABC News' Kate Snow that his political mission "is to change enough minds at the grassroots level so that whoever is elected will make [the climate crisis] the No. 1 issue" without ever indicating who he thought that elected official should be.

Gore's careful choice of words and lack of endorsement in the Democratic candidate pool leave a window open for an element of political surprise.

Crusade for the Climate

Gore's spokeswoman insisted, "His efforts right now are clearly in another direction. He's working to educate Americans and people around the world about the climate crisis and the way he's chosen to serve is as a private citizen."

Strategist Lehane thinks Gore's crusade for the climate "would potentially be impacted if he became a candidate."

Ultimately, Brazile said, "it has everything to do with the will and the passion to get out there and do it." And in regard to fundraising and ground strength, she added, "Gore could do it tomorrow."

But the former strategist reminds the Democratic field, "Al Gore doesn't have to put his hat in the ring in order to impact the race in 2008."

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