Al Gore is expected at the Grammys this weekend, in what will be the kickoff of a whole new wave of speculation about his presidential ambitions. Gore has said repeatedly — almost robotically — that he has “no plans to run.” He’ll have to say it more than a few more times in the coming weeks as he makes appearances and attends parties in the lead up to the Oscars, for which his “An Inconvenient Truth” is nominated in the documentary category.
Despite his current denials, that hasn’t stopped people from trying to get him in the race. Time reports his top policy adviser and other key supporters met in Boston to mull a possible campaign although Gore is not involved. A draft Gore campaign has begun via algore.org. And rumors have spread that he will make some sort of announcement at the Academy Awards, but that was perhaps generated by bloggers reading a bit too much into former campaign manager Donna Brazile’s recent comment, “On Oscar night, if Al Gore has slimmed down 25 or 30 pounds, Lord knows.”
Gore has bee n particularly adept at using all of the attention to further his campaign against global warming. Today in London he is expected to announce a series of concerts planned for July and billed as “bigger than Live Aid.” Organizers promise a lineup of artists that will “dwarf” other events, with these concerts held in cities including Washington, London, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town and Kyoto. Word leaked out in the Financial Times on Thursday, but more details are expected to be unveiled in the coming week.
Update: Adding further fuel to the flames, on CBS’ “The Early Show,” today Gore dodged anchor Harry Smith’s question about making an announcement on Oscar night. He did praise Virgin’s Richard Branson, left, as he announced a $25 million prize to anyone who can come up with a way to extract greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. He said that there is a “big shift” going on in American public opinion regarding global warming. “I think you are going to see change in the way that people demand politicians in both parties make this their top priority.”