Former Vice President and 2000 presidential candidate, Al Gore, has officially decided not to run for President in 2004.
The story was released by the Associated Press early in the day and then that evening of December 15 on 60 Minutes, Gore announced his decision himself. "I've decided that I will not be a candidate," he said. "I personally have the energy and the drive and the ambition to make another campaign." But Gore said that the election "would inevitably involve a focus on the past that would in some measure distract from the focus on the future that I think all campaigns have to be about."
According to the Washington Post, Gore's decision will surely affect many of the other candidates. Joseph Lieberman will probably run, as he had said he would run if Al Gore chose not to and other candidates could be Senate minority leader Tom Daschle, Senator John Edwards, and former House minority leader Dick Gephardt. Senator John Kerry (Mass) and Vermont Governor Howard Dean have already announced that they will run.
Al Gore said that he does not plan to drop out of politics and left 2008 open in the interview. Al Gore has been moving back into the public eye over the last year and it appeared as though he might run. He hosted Saturday Night Live the night before he announced his decision. He mostly played himself in the sketches, but he also played a racist Trent Lott in one skit.
To read more about Al Gore's decision go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59629-2002Dec15.html
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