A BuzzFeed news article published on Thursday kicked off a round of speculation that former Vice President and 2000 Democratic nominee Al Gore was seriously considering jumping into the 2016 presidential race. According to the piece, written by Andrew Kaczynski, an unnamed senior Democrat reportedly told BuzzFeed news:
They’re getting the old gang together. They’re figuring out if there’s a path financially and politically. It feels more real than it has in the past months.
While that statement wasn’t exactly unequivocal confirmation that Gore was serious, several media sources including The Hill, ABC News and Reuters, picked up the story and helped fuel the speculation.
The speculation ended almost as quickly as it began, however, when a Gore associate told CNN that the speculation was “groundless”. A spokesman for Gore also stated that there was “no truth” to the rumor.
I’m certain that Al Gore is not doing anything to fan this. And no one that I’m aware of is doing any planning or organizing whatsoever to do anything like this.
Since political reporters often rely on anonymous sources, it isn’t always easy to test the credibility of various campaign rumors. However, there is little evidence to date, to suggest that Al Gore is taking any of the steps necessary to prepare for a serious presidential bid in 2016.
Gore won the popular vote in 2000, and many Democrats nervous about Hillary Clinton’s alleged scandals and concerned about Bernie Sanders’ “electability”, may see Gore as an attractive alternative. A Bush-Gore rematch, albeit with a different Bush, also has a certain payback appeal.
However, the idea that Gore plans to throw his hat back into the ring appears to be mere speculation, and in this case, short lived speculation at that. Current Vice President Joe Biden is also rumored to be eyeing a presidential run, but unlike the Gore rumors, sources close to Biden have not discounted those rumors. If Biden does not choose to enter the race, Democrats will eventually have to settle upon either Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley, Chafee or Webb as their nominee. Hopes that Al Gore will run are almost certainly just wishful thinking, as there is little indication that Gore has any intention of entering the 2016 race.