MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Al Gore told top Democratic fund-raisers Saturday that the party's 2000 campaign had too many consultants and that if he runs for president again he will speak from the heart and ``let it rip.''
The former vice president attended a weekend retreat with about 60 fund-raisers and Democratic Party activists from across the country.
Reporters were barred from the meetings, but aides and others said Gore promised a different kind of campaign than the Democrats ran in 2000, when he lost to George W. Bush.
Gore said that campaign had ``too much strategy, too many consultants giving too much advice,'' said Chris Korge, a party fund-raiser from Miami.
``If he were to do this again ... he would not be so guarded. He would let it rip and let the chips fall where they may,'' Korge quoted Gore as saying.
Strategy sessions for this year's November elections were the main focus of the retreat.
In brief comments in a hotel hallway, Gore said he was ``extremely encouraged by the level of enthusiasm ... that we're going to have a successful 2002 election.''
He said that that encouragement also applied to his possible second run for the presidency.
``Well, sure, but I'm not addressing that decision this weekend and probably won't until after the first of the year,'' he said.
Gore said he ``would spend more time speaking from the heart'' on ``the basic challenges of the country.''
``We're at a time when very basic decisions have to be made about the direction of our country, and I don't think the American people want to see small tactical moves in one direction or another'' by political candidates, he said.
Since the 2000 election, the former Tennessee congressman and senator has spent a lot of time in his home state, where he and wife Tipper recently bought a $2.3 million home in Belle Meade, an affluent community bordering Nashville.
Gore said he plans to campaign heavily in Tennessee for the state's Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate and governor.