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Inside Politics

Could Gore's road to the Oval Office begin in Hollywood?

Story Highlights

• Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" is nominated for an Oscar
• Movie has put the former vice president back into the political spotlight
• Movie's producer does not think Gore will announce candidacy
• Political observers think an Academy Award could launch a "Draft Gore" movement
By Bill Schneider
CNN Senior Political Analyst
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- We've seen plenty of political moments at the Oscars before. But on Sunday, we could see the most unusual political moment ever.

Consider this scenario: It's Academy Awards night. Best documentary feature is up. And the Oscar is favored to go to . . . "An Inconvenient Truth," starring former Vice President Al Gore.

Lawrence Bender, producer of "An Inconvenient Truth," and the film's other producers come up to accept the Oscar -- with Gore. (Watch Bender explain while it might be Gore's time Video)

The audience roars its approval -- this is liberal Hollywood -- and Gore speaks.

"There's even some speculation that he would use his Oscar as the occasion to announce that he's running," Martin Kaplan, director of the University of Southern California's Norman Lear Center, told CNN. "Imagine that: a billion people worldwide! Take that Jay Leno, as an announcement venue!''

Could it happen? Gore's producer thinks a potential Gore speech would be a historic moment, but not the way Kaplan envisions.

"It's electrifying, not politically, because is Al Gore going to run or not going to run. There's nothing going to happen like that," Bender told CNN. "It's electrifying because the man who is responsible for solidifying the forces around global warming is going to'' be acknowldged.

But could an Oscar start the momentum for a draft-Gore movement? USC's Kaplan thinks it could.

"People think that he's paid his dues, he's had more of an impact on issues that people care about than many people who have been in office and there's a feeling that he's finally lost that student council condescension that was fingernails on a blackboard to a lot of supporters," Kaplan said.

Democrats are desperate to win. Doubts have begun to surface about the electability of the party's current front-runners. How's this for an argument? Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party.

"He was right on Iraq. He was right on global warming. He has an issue that is so formidable and has attacked it, tackled it," Bender said. "So I would love to see him run, sure, but I don't see that in the cards."

But once that envelope is opened, there will be a new card to play.

Maybe Mr. Gore will get up and say, "I have new song to sing." After all, the film has been nominated in the best song category, too.

Former Vice President Al Gore has put global warming on the world's political agenda.


Do you think winning an Oscar would persuade Al Gore to run for president?
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