Friends of Al Gore are quietly putting together a campaign team in case the former vice president, basking in international recognition for his environmental awareness efforts, decides to enter the 2008 presidential race, suggests a report out Sunday.
Strategists are asking Gore's former staff and other political kingmakers about interest in working on a Gore campaign, and a shadow team is being assembled in case Gore decides to step into the fray, the London Sunday Telegraph reports.
Gore's visibility as a crusader for the environment — earning an Academy Award for his global warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" — could help a candidacy. He is registering around 13 percent in public preference polls despite not even being in the Democratic contest. Running unsuccessfully for president in 2000, he won the popular vote but lost the electoral college.
However, despite the report, Gore's spokeswoman Kalee Kreider told FOX News no campaign staff has been contacted or hired.
Aides told the newspaper that Gore has neither encouraged nor discouraged any work on his behalf, but doesn't think the current field of Democratic candidates, led by his former boss' wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, offers much excitement for voters.
"There is no love lost between Gore and Hillary. They don't think she can win and they're probably right. If Gore runs, he's got a really good chance of getting the nomination. And he has a good chance of pulling off the election, too," an aide said.
Democratic strategist Gary Mauro said he doesn't think Gore will enter the 2008 race.
"I just can't see a campaign being put together at this point. Right now Al Gore has the world as a stage. He is putting together a bipartisan approach to solving the global climate changes. Once he announces for president his audience shrinks by 50 percent," he told FOX News on Sunday.
Former Delaware Republican Gov. Pete Dupont, on the other hand, said he suspects a bid is on the horizon.
"He has three candidates who are running for the Democratic nomination who I think make
Democratic voters uneasy," DuPont said. "I think it makes sense for Al Gore."