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Al Gore is the new Kevin Bacon

By Laurie Bennett

October 12, 2007 at 8:11am

Sure, he’s won every award known to man except the Olympic gold. (Unless he gets into wrestling or weight lifting, that honor seems beyond even his reach.)

But the main achievement of Al Gore is not his comeback from having the White House snatched away, not his Oscar or even his sharing of the Nobel Peace Prize, announced today.

The real phenomenon of Al Gore is how connected he has become despite (and because of) his losing the presidency.

Gore has forged strong bonds not only in politics, science and the international environmental movement, but in finance, high-tech and Hollywood.

His ties to the entertainment biz stretch all the way back to college days, when he roomed with actor Tommy Lee Jones. With the success of An Inconvenient Truth, produced by Jeff Skoll’s Participant Productions, he now rubs elbows with the likes of George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh.

Despite naysayers who carp (incorrectly) that he laid claim to inventing the Internet, Gore has long been wired in Silicon Valley. He serves as a director of Apple and adviser to Google. Former aides such as assistant press secretary Joe Cerrell link him to Bill Gates and Microsoft.

Such relationships give him easy access to the money men of both coasts. Venture capitalists John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins and Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital are board members at Google.

Do all these connections add up to a presidential run?

While George W. Bush has been called “the man in the bubble” for the increasing insularity of his administration, Gore has built wide-reaching networks that extend well beyond the beltway and national borders. Why trade that in for the oval office?

Some, including Draft Gore, the organization that bought a full-page ad in the New York Times this week, would argue that a talent for building alliances should lead toward the White House, not away from it. Maybe in 2012.

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