Gore to speak on final night

After much anticipation as to when Gore would speak, the former veep gets an unusual and unusually potent spot: Thursday night.

Published August 19, 2008 5:04PM (EDT)

This just in: CNN reports that Al Gore will speak on Thursday night.

A gutsy and smart move: It shows that Barack Obama is unafraid to be overshadowed, plus it's a way to rally those base Democrats and liberals who have pleasantly marveled at Gore's remarkable political comeback. (And by elevating Gore to final night, is it not also a coded semi-rebuke to the Clintons?)

Gore's public approval ratings were in the teens in the fall of 2002, but have rebounded significantly thanks to the bang-up job he is doing to, quite literally, save the world. Gore's nickname ought to be the "The Comeback Adult."

There was loose talk of Obama picking Gore as his running mate. Gore certainly would have lent more gravitas to the ticket than any of the vice-presidential shortlisters, and probably all of them combined. But, really, why would Gore do it?

A year ago many (myself included) were rooting for a Gore-Obama ticket. A month ago many (perhaps including many of you) were rooting for an Obama-Gore ticket. Neither will happen. But a Gore-Obama night at Invesco Field in Denver is the next best thing.

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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2008 Elections Al Gore Barack Obama War Room