Green house party: Gore hosts thou­sands to pro­mote his ‘Truth’

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Christina Bellantoni

Vot­ers gath­ered in liv­ing rooms from Sil­ver Spring, Md. to St. Louis to Seat­tle over the Dec. 16-17 week­end at “See the Truth” par­ties to watch DVDs of Al Gore’s movie on global warm­ing.

The nearly 2,000 cross-coun­try par­ties could serve as a start­ing point for the for­mer vice pres­i­dent to be­gin a 2008 White House bid.

“Th­ese house par­ties re­ally are just the be­gin­ning,” Mr. Gore told at­ten­dees dur­ing a con­fer­ence call to many of the house par­ties af­ter screen­ing­sofhis­doc­u­men­tary­film, “An In­con­ve­nient Truth.”

“I would like to ask all of you to help me in or­ga­niz­ing a mass move­ment around this is­sue,” he said. “Tonight is about learn­ing, it is about com­mu­ni­cat­ing, it is about tak­ing ac­tion.”

The grass-roots event was or­ga­nized by lib­eral group and pro­moted by 2004 Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Sen. John Kerry of Mas­sachusetts. MoveOn es­ti­mated that “tens of thou­sands” at­tended.

One of Mr. Gore’s first lines in the film is “I used to be the next pres­i­dent of the United States,” caus­ing au­di­ence mem­bers on screen and at the watch par­ties to roar with laugh­ter.

“I don’t find that par­tic­u­larly funny,” Mr. Gore dead­pans next, prompt­ing more gig­gles.

It’s a sim­i­lar com­edy rou­tine that the 2000 pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee, who won the pop­u­lar vote but lost the Elec­toral Col­lege vote to Pres­i­dent Bush, has taken on the road.

Some spec­u­late that he is try­ing toshakethes­tiffim­ageth­athaunted him dur­ing his cam­paign and that cou­pled­with­hot­sale­sofh­is­filmthis Christ­mas, he is po­si­tioned to give it an­other try.

Mr. Gore has in­sisted that he is “not plan­ning” to seek the pres­i­dency in 2008, but notes: “I haven’t com­pletely ruled it out.”

He touted the par­ties as the “first wave” of more to come. He also asked vot­ers to sign post­cards to their rep­re­sen­ta­tives in hopes of gath­er­ing a mil­lion mes­sages.

At a party in North­ern Vir­ginia, a Gore sur­ro­gate told the 20 at­ten­deesthattheyshould­de­man­da­nen­vi­ron­men­tal plat­form from can­di­dates seek­ing their vote.

Mr. Gore echoed a sim­i­lar mes­sage on the con­fer­ence call, say­ing, “We have ev­ery­thing we need to get started with the pos­si­ble ex­cep­tion of po­lit­i­cal will, but that is a re­new­able re­source in Amer­ica, and you are help­ing to re­new it.”

Sev­er­alat­ten­deesattheNorth­ern Vir­ginia party said they hope Mr. Gore runs for pres­i­dent again.

The Gore sur­ro­gate said 1,000 such global-warm­ing foot sol­diers are tak­ing Mr. Gore’s mes­sage “city by city” and “per­son by per­son.”

“We sim­ply need to get the word out as strongly as pos­si­ble, as quickly as pos­si­ble,” said Mr. Gore.

He says he con­sid­ers cli­mate change a “moral is­sue,” not a po­lit­i­cal one.

The for­mer vice pres­i­dent said the new Demo­cratic ma­jor­ity “will be much more re­cep­tive” to his mes­sage, but added that “the only thing that will make Wash­ing­ton re­ally take no­tice and do more than give lip ser­vice to the prob­lem of global warm­ing is the prospect of mil­lions of com­mit­ted cit­i­zens tak­ing ac­tion.”

Mr.Kerry,whoal­so­has­notruled out a pres­i­den­tial run in 2008, in­vited his sup­port­ers to host the par­ties, say­ing he ad­mires Mr. Gore for his “out­spo­ken ac­tivism.”

“An In­con­ve­nient Truth,” which sold more than 1 mil­lion DVDs the week it was re­leased, is get­ting Os­car buzz as a con­tender for best doc­u­men­tary.

Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

Al Gore told at­ten­dees across the coun­try to Dec. 16-17 week­end view­ings of “An In­con­ve­nient Truth” that he sees cli­mate change as a “moral is­sue,” not a po­lit­i­cal one.

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