- The Washington Times - Monday, December 18, 2006

Voters gathered in living rooms from Silver Spring to St. Louis to Seattle this 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 partiesafter screenings of his documentary film, “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 MoveOn.org and promoted by 2004 Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. MoveOn estimated “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 the 2000 presidential nominee, who won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College vote to now-President Bush, has taken on the road.

Some speculate he is trying to shake the stiff image that haunted him during his campaign, and think that coupled with hot sales of his film this Christmas, he is positioned to give it another try.

Mr. Gore has insisted 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 one party held in Northern Virginia, a Gore surrogate told the 20 attendees they should demand an environmental 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.”

Several attendees at the Northern 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, who also has not ruled 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 DVD copies the week it was released, is getting Oscar buzz as a contender for best documentary.

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