I think Al Gore looked at 2004 and said to himself, "Let somebody else lose to George W. Bush. Let somebody else be the sacrificial lamb. I'll spend the next six years lining up ways to cut off Hillary Clinton at the knees. I'll go for it in 2008 when the Republican nominee will not be an incumbent."

My friend Alan Colmes says I'm a cynic, but this is my analysis of Gore's decision not to run for the presidency in 2004 and I'm sticking to it.

All of this business about this being the end of the road for Gore is just such bunk. This is Gore's liberating moment. He can now spout off about Bush, about FOX, about the world in general with complete freedom. He isn't running for anything... at the moment, anyway.

When the eight or so Democrats in line finish slashing each other for the right to lose to President Bush in 2004, Gore will march through their bloody carcasses, through the gore — as it were — to see if he can elbow Hillary aside, and take on whichever Republican tries to keep the Bush legacy going.

This business about you won't have Gore to kick around anymore is just wasted breath. He really isn't going anywhere.

Now you could look at this another way, that it's just another Gore reinvention, sort of the Naomi Wolf earth tones deal updated for the end of 2002.

Al Gore: journalist, congressman, senator, vice president, the winner who lost... all that in the past, now reinvented as the guy who said no mas.

But put this down in your date book for 2007. The no mas thing will be ancient history, and Gore will be back.

That's My Word .

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