CBS ‘Early Show’ Continues Love Affair With Al Gore, Pushes ‘08 Run

On Friday’s CBS "Early Show," news of Al Gore’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize brought euphoria to hosts Hannah Storm and Harry Smith. The show began with lengthy congratulatory fawning over Gore as Smith exclaimed: "And the folks around the Al Gore household are probably running around in their socks and jumping up and down because Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize." Not to be outdone, that was followed closely by Storm’s assessment that "...certainly, no matter what your politics, everybody likes a comeback story, and this is a comeback story. Wow. Al Gore now in the history books." I think that there are many people who do not feel like hearing a "comeback story" today Hannah.

In order to illustrate this "comeback," Smith proudly observed:

You know, think about this. Seven years ago, right, hanging chads, votes in the balance, uncounted votes in Florida. Now an Oscar winner. And this morning the ultimate international honor.

Many can still remember Smith’s infatuation with Al Gore from his May interview with the former vice president, when Smith tried to pin a ‘Gore ‘08' button on Gore's lapel. Of course, the "Early Show" would not want to recount such a shameful display of a lack of journalistic objectivity. Guess Again:

STORM: "...will Al Gore now throw his hat in the presidential ring? And Harry, you literally tried to pin him down about this not long ago. Right?"

SMITH: "Yeah, we were with him in Washington doing an interview, and, you know, people were speculating back then."

STORM: "Sure."

SMITH: "And they said well maybe if he wins the Nobel, this is going to elevate him into a -- so, we actually found this pin. It's an Al Gore in '08 pin, and we tried to pin it on him."

Storm made sure to still leave the possibility of a Gore presidential run open: "You never know. It's such a wide-open race, right, what will happen?"

Later in the segment, Smith discussed the possibility of a Gore 2008 presidential run with John Vendehei from politico.com. After Vendehei broke the news to Harry that "...the "inconvenient truth" for all the Al Gore for president dreamers is he doesn't really want to run and a lot of Democrats think that's a wise decision," a heart-broken Smith countered with:

There are still a number of people out there. Wasn't there a full-page ad in "The New York Times" this week, "Draft Al Gore?" There's still plenty of folks out here who think he's the answer, as the one who can really beat whoever the Republican is.

Vandehei tried to make it up to him:

But let's be blunt. He was vindicated...And now he looks like a genius when it comes to global warming. He's had this beautiful run to win an Emmy, to win an Oscar, to write a best-seller, and now to win the Nobel Prize, so there's certainly going to be even more focus on him than ever.

Smith later observed that "...he looks like Al Gore, a man in full.." Yeah Harry, but full of what is the question.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:00AM TEASER:

HARRY SMITH: "Breaking news this morning -- in Oslo, Norway, the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, and the winner is former Vice President Al Gore. Early this Friday morning, October 12th, 2007."

SMITH: "Good morning. I'm Harry Smith with Hannah Storm in New York. Julie Chen will be back on Monday. And the folks around the Al Gore household are probably running around in their socks and jumping up and down because Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize."

HANNAH STORM: "And certainly, no matter what your politics, everybody likes a comeback story, and this is a comeback story. Wow. Al Gore now in the history books."

SMITH: "You know, think about this. Seven years ago, right, hanging chads, votes in the balance, uncounted votes in Florida. Now an Oscar winner. And this morning the ultimate international honor."

STORM: "And coming up here on "The Early Show," we're going to have worldwide reaction ahead with a CBS correspondents in San Francisco, outside of Al Gore's hotel room. We are also going to be going to London with a report on the Nobel announcement, and we are also going to check in Arlington, Virginia, the question of the morning -- will Al Gore now throw his hat in the presidential ring? And Harry, you literally tried to pin him down about this not long ago. Right?"

SMITH: "Yeah, we were with him in Washington doing an interview, and, you know, people were speculating back then."

STORM: "Sure."

SMITH: "And they said well maybe if he wins the Nobel, this is going to elevate him into a -- so, we actually found this pin. It's an Al Gore in '08 pin, and we tried to pin it on him."

STORM: "He wanted no part of that."

SMITH: "Don't touch me."

STORM: "Still, I mean, all those questions are going to be asked again. Fascinating. You never know. It's such a wide-open race, right, what will happen?"

SMITH: "Yeah."

7:02AM SEGMENT:

SMITH: "First though, our top story this morning, roll this around on your tongue, Al Gore, Nobel Peace Prize winner. CBS News Correspondent, Richard Roth, is in London with the latest. Good morning, Richard."

RICHARD ROTH: "Good morning, Harry. Well, if the celebrated secrecy of the Nobel Committee's work wasn't actually broken today, then the guesswork was been pretty good. There had been strong rumors since well before dawn about who the winner would be. While former Vice President Gore shares the prestigious prize and the million and a half dollar award with the United Nations network of climate scientists called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Nobel Committee said Gore's individual activities stood out in what it called the struggle against climate change."

OLE DANBOLT MJOES: "He is probably the single individual who has done most to create great worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted."

ROTH: "Global warming's link to global conflict, the committee said, would be in the inevitable fight over natural resources. The Peace Prize was delivered with a message."

MJOES: "Action is necessary now before climate change has moved beyond man's control."

ROTH: "And it carries controversy."

AL GORE: "We are facing a planetary emergency."

ROTH: "Gore's high-profile campaign to protect the planet, his concerts for the climate, and his academy award-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth," have drawn criticism as well as praise. Just this week a judge in Britain ruled the film needs a warning label saying it's not all fact, if it's shown in British schools. This morning Gore said he's deeply honored and pledged to donate his share of the prize to a bipartisan group, the Alliance for Climate Protection. The climate crisis, he said, isn't a political issue. Nor is the Nobel Peace Prize, it's said, but it's not just the climate that's heating up. Presidential campaign fever is rising, too, and so of Gore's odds now, at least on internet betting sites. He's repeatedly said he has no plans to enter the race, but there's no question the Nobel award will pique interest in another climate condition known as a draft. Harry?"

SMITH: "Richard Roth in London, thank you so much. Al Gore spoke at an event in San Francisco last night in the San Francisco Bay Area. And he issued a statement about winning the Peace Prize. CBS News Correspondent, John Blackstone, has more from there this morning. Good morning, John."

JOHN BLACKSTONE: "Good morning, Harry. Well, it was well before dawn here this morning when the word came to Al Gore. He was staying here in San Francisco -- that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize. Now, talking about that secrecy, it's quite possible that he did have some hint that he would win this prize because he cancelled or delayed a trip to China. He stayed here last night, he spoke at a fund-raiser for Senator Barbara Boxer, and the topic of his speech there, of course, was global climate change."

GORE: "We have to call upon our courage as free men and women to make decisions about what is in the best interests of our civilization."

BLACKSTONE: "Now, we're hoping to see Al Gore here this morning. It's still very early. He has issued a statement saying he's pleased to be sharing this prize with the U.N. panel. We're waiting to see him. Haven't as yet. Harry?"

SMITH: "Alright, John Blackstone in San Francisco this morning. And with the question of this morning, will he run? From Washington, D.C., Is Jim Vandehei, Executive Editor of politico.com. Jim, what's the answer?"

JIM VANDEHEI: "Well Harry, I think the "inconvenient truth" for all the Al Gore for president dreamers is he doesn't really want to run and a lot of Democrats think that's a wise decision. You know, here's why -- Al Gore does not have that fire in the belly that you need to mount a national campaign. He found the 2000 campaign to be a little frustrating and too superficial. But more importantly, Democrats seem satisfied with the candidates that they have right now. They seem happy with Clinton, Obama, and Edwards as their choice. So, unless the contours of this election change fairly dramatically and fairly quickly, I do not think he'll get in."

SMITH: "There are still a number of people out there. Wasn't there a full-page ad in "The New York Times" this week, "Draft Al Gore?" There's still plenty of folks out here who think he's the answer, as the one who can really beat whoever the Republican is."

VANDEHEI: "But Harry, that's a small group of people. Most Democrats are not clamoring for a Gore candidacy right now. But let's be blunt. He was vindicated. This guy was laughed off the stage by some in the media, and some Democrats, as a policy stiff when he was vice president and when he ran in 2000. And now he looks like a genius when it comes to global warming. He's had this beautiful run to win an Emmy, to win an Oscar, to write a best-seller, and now to win the Nobel Prize, so there's certainly going to be even more focus on him than ever. But I do not think that he will run. The question I have is who does he back? There's always been tension with the Clintons, and I think he's attracted to Obama. I have no inside information, but I do think that his heart would be with Obama."

SMITH: "You know, it's interesting, because you watch him now -- we've seen him in speeches, we've seen him in all kinds of appearances -- he looks like Al Gore, a man in full, versus maybe an Al Gore trying to run for president. Would there be any -- you know, I think people would say we'd like this Al Gore, the Al Gore '02 better than Al Gore'01, right? Is there --"

VANDEHEI: "I certainly think people would say that, but it still is Al Gore. I mean, he's someone who seems much more comfortable talking about the policy intricacies of global warming than he does getting on the stump and really connecting with voters. And he knows you need that. He knows he's on this beautiful publicity ride right now but that once he gets in he's going to have to face off with Hillary Clinton. That is a ruthless campaign. They know his vulnerabilities. He knows it would be an uphill road, so he's not going to get in unless he thinks he can do it."

SMITH: "Alright, Jim thanks so much, and I remember asking Tipper at the Oscars in March about the possibility of running for president. And when I said that, she winced. Yeah."

VANDEHEI: "Have a good day."

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC