WASHINGTON (CNN) - With roughly three months until the first wave of voters weigh in on the 2008 presidential candidates, Al Gore supporters are stepping up their efforts to persuade the former vice president to jump into the race.
Draftgore.com published an ad in the New York Times Wednesday with an open letter to the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee strongly urging he throws his hat into the ring.
"You say you have fallen out of love with politics, and you have every reason to feel that way," the letter states. "But we know you have not fallen out of love with your country. And your country needs you now - as do your party and the planet you are fighting so hard to save."
"Many good and caring candidates are contending for the Democratic nomination," the ad continues. "But none of them has the combination of experience, vision, standing in the world and political courage that you would bring to the job. Nor do they have the support among voters that you enjoy and would lead you to victory in 2008".
The group also claims in the letter it has amassed 136,000 signatures for its petition urging Gore to run.
The ad comes two days before Gore finds out if he has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to bring attention to the dangers of global warming. The winner is set to be announced on Friday in Norway.
The ad also comes a day after Gore backers in California began a campaign to get the former vice president on the state's Democratic primary ballot. The group needs to amass signatures from 26,500 registered Democrats in the state - 500 from each congressional district - by December 4 to successfully place Gore on the ballot.
Meanwhile, Gore himself continues to say he has no plans to run for president again.
Responding to the ad, Gore's spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said the former vice president "truly appreciates the heartfelt sentiment behind the ad, however, he has no intention of running for president.
"He is involved in a campaign of a different kind—a campaign to educate all Americans about the climate crisis and what we can do to solve it," she added.
– CNN's Alexander Mooney and Steve Brusk
For the latest, breaking political news, check for updates throughout the day on the CNN Political Ticker http://www.cnn.com/ticker. All politics, all the time.
Making News Today…
McCain to unveil health care plan
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, will propose increasing competition among private insurance and drug companies, as well as allowing Americans the freedom to choose their own health insurance coverage, in a speech scheduled for Thursday in Iowa.
Most of the Democratic presidential candidates have already called for universal health care that is at least partially funded by the federal government. McCain, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, argues that kind of approach won't work and he doesn't "believe in coercion and the use of state power to mandate care, coverage or costs."
"Democratic presidential candidates are not telling you these truths," McCain is expected to say, according to a copy of his speech provided to CNN. "They offer their usual default position: if the government would only pay for insurance everything would be fine. They promise universal coverage, whatever its cost, and the massive tax increases, mandates and government regulation that it imposes. I offer a genuinely conservative vision for health care reform, which preserves the most essential value of American lives – freedom."
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Former attorney general hires influential lawyer
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has hired influential Washington attorney George Terwilliger to represent him as a probe continues into allegations he misled lawmakers about a controversial surveillance program and illegally let politics influence hiring and firing decisions at the Justice Department. Full Story
– CNN Justice Correspondent Kelli Arena
Attorney general confirmation hearings begin next week
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Senate confirmation hearings for attorney general nominee Michael Mukasey will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 17, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, announced Wednesday.
President Bush nominated Judge Mukasey to replace Alberto Gonzales last month. Gonzales was criticized for the controversial firing of eight U.S. attorneys and resigned his post in August.
– CNN Assignment Editor Katy Byron
Ex-Ag Secretary Johanns declares Senate bid
(CNN) — Former Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns officially announced his expected candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat in Nebraska that Republican maverick Chuck Hagel is giving up in 2008.
"It's time to restore the people's trust in a government that, in my judgment, has strayed too far from conservative values — in principles that we hold dear," said Johanns, who resigned his Cabinet post in September. Full Story
– CNN Political Writer Matt Smith
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
Compiled by Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau
RICHARDSON INCHING UP IN THE POLLS: By Bill Richardson’s own admission, he is neither the richest, nor the most popular, nor the most glamorous of the Democratic candidates. New York Times: Candidate Has an Eye on Edging Up to Number 3
"YOU'VE GOT SOME CANDIDATES WHO HAVE BEEN TOUTING THEIR ABILITY TO WORK THE SYSTEM AS THE REASON THEY SHOULD BE ELECTED PRESIDENT… BUT THEY DON'T SEEM TO UNDERSTAND THE SYSTEM HASN'T BEEN WORKING FOR US": Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) spent yesterday evening in Prince George's County, Maryland, speaking to one of the nation's most affluent African American communities in an attempt to convince voters that he has a real chance of becoming the nation's first black president. Washington Post: Obama Tells Md. Voters, "We Need Something New"
OBAMA ATTRACTS DIVERSE, YOUNG CROWN IN MARYLAND: Iowa and New Hampshire dominate the schedules of presidential candidates these days, but voters in states that don't vote early - such as Maryland - want some attention, too. Baltimore Sun: Candidate Obama Plays to Young Crowd
CLINTON FACES GENDER ISSUES IN IOWA: For Hillary Rodham Clinton to win Iowa, she'll have to get past the men challenging her for the Democratic presidential nomination and the state's tradition of turning a cold shoulder to female candidates. Quad City Times: Clinton Faces Men, Glass Ceiling in Iowa
CLINTON CHANELS PAST PRESIDENTS TO ATTRACT THE MIDDLE: As she travels throughout the Granite State, Senator Clinton is invoking an unlikely trio: Presidents Eisenhower, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. NY Sun: In NH, NY Senator Cites Republican Presidents
HILLARY CAMP HOPES TO PROFIT FROM BIRTHDAY PARTY: Hillary Clinton's campaign hopes supporters gift-wrap a $1 million present for her 60th birthday bash with Elvis Costello. NY Daily News: Hillary's Big Birthday Bash Could Rake in Cool $2 Million
GIULIANI COMPARED TO BILL CLINTON IN NEW BOOK: On the campaign trail this year, Rudy Giuliani has cast himself in the model of Ronald Reagan. But one of his senior aides, in a 2004 book, offered another parallel: William Jefferson Clinton. Politico: Giuliani Aide Likened Boss to Bill Clinton
EVANGELICAL LETTER: “GALVANIZE SUPPORT AROUND MITT ROMNEY, SO MR. GIULIANI ISN’T THE UNINTENDED BENEFICIARY OF OUR DIVIDED SUPPORT AMONG SEVERAL CANDIDATES”: A prominent evangelical supporter of Mitt Romney has written a memorandum to 150 conservative Christian leaders, warning of the prospect of Rudolph W. Giuliani or Hillary Rodham Clinton in the White House and making the case to rally around Mr. Romney. New York Times: Letter Urges Conservative Christians to Support Romney
ROMNEY, GIULIANI IGNORE OTHER GOP '08 HOPEFULS: Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani are increasingly treating the campaign for the Republican nomination as a two-man race, ignoring their rivals as they assail each other over taxes, spending, and national security. Boston Globe: Romney, Giuliani Ignore Other GOP Contenders to Spar
BUSH A FOUR LETTER WORD FOR GOP '08ERS?: The official transcript from MSNBC of Tuesday's debate among the Republican presidential candidates does, indeed, make it official: The men vying to keep the White House in GOP hands appear loath to utter the current occupant's name. LA Times' Top of the Ticket: The Name That Republicans Dare Not Mention
HILLARY CONTRADICTS BUSH CRITIQUE IN NEW AD: Senator Clinton, who is using images from ground zero in a new television ad for her presidential campaign, sharply criticized President Bush when he put pictures from the World Trade Center site in his campaign advertising. NY Sun: Despite Criticizing Bush, Clinton Uses 9/11 in Ad
CANDIDATE'S KIDS HIT THE TRAIL: At 25, Sarah Huckabee has several roles in her father Mike's bid for the Republican nomination for president. Among them: field director, character witness and no-nonsense adviser. USA Today: For Candidates’ Kids, New Roles and Attention
MCCAIN TO DETAIL HEALTH PLAN: Senator John McCain will propose on Thursday overhauling the nation’s health care system by offering new incentives for both patients and doctors to emphasize prevention and wellness, while moving toward compensating medical providers based on the quality of their work. New York Times: McCain to Unveil Health Plan Focusing on Quality of Care
MCCAIN ON IRAQ CONTRACTORS: “I THINK THEY SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE UNDER CRIMINAL LAW AS WELL AS RULES OF ENGAGEMENT”: Private U.S. military contractors such as Blackwater USA should be subject to American criminal law for illegal behavior in foreign countries, Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Wednesday. Des Moines register: McCain: Hold Iraq Contractors Responsible
PAUL RAISES SERIOUS CASH OFF THE NET: For several sweltering days in August, Cheryl Scott and several other Nashville residents stood on downtown overpasses bearing eight-foot-long signs that urged rush-hour drivers to "Google Ron Paul." USA Today: Paul Campaign Fueled By Wed Cash and Savvy
CANDIDATES LEARN LOCAL RULES THE HARD WAY: Thou shalt not wear a shirt and tie at a lobster shack near a New Hampshire beach. Thou shalt not invoke upscale grocery stores while campaigning in farm-rich Iowa. And thou shalt not call South Carolina's Lowcountry "the lowlands." New Hampshire Union-Leader: Candidates Find Potholes on Campaign Trail
GOP CANDIDATES DEBATE LINE ITEM VETO: In the arsenal of budget-cutting weapons revered by fiscal conservatives, few are as prized as the line-item veto…GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rudolph W. Giuliani have found themselves engaged in an increasingly noisy debate over their commitment to the line-item veto. LA Times: Romney, Giuliani Draw the Line on Veto
FUNDRAISING FUGITIVE HSU OWNED AN EXTENSIVE COLLECTION OF CLINTON MEMORABILIA: Disgraced Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu had a well-known affection for fine living and all things Clinton. LA Times: Hsu’s Love of Wine and Clinton on Display
NEW MEXICO LT. GOVERNONR CONSIDERING SENATE RUN: After initially ruling out a Senate bid, New Mexico Lt. Gov. Diane Denish is acquiescing to pressure from her fellow Democrats and is considering a 2008 run for the seat being vacated by iconic Sen. Pete Domenici (R). Roll Call: Democrats Focus on Denish in N.M.
BOXER TAKING IN MORE CASH FROM CORPORATIONS: With one eye on a possible 2010 re-election race against California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and the other firmly focused on the Environment and Public Works Committee, Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D) is taking in increasing campaign contributions from industrial sectors and their unions with business before her panel. Roll Call: Boxer Gets Boost in Industry Cash
CONGRESS USES ROCK-AND-ROLL TO ATTRACT VOTERS: If you're going to fork over a couple of grand to a congressional candidate, you might as well have fun doing it. That's the thinking of several members of the House fighting for reelection who are eschewing the boring rubber-chicken dinner fundraisers in favor of rock-and-roll concerts at Verizon Center this fall. Washington Post: Congressional Fundraisers Let it Rock.
WAXMAN DENIES INVESTIGATION INTO CONSERVATIVE TALK SHOW HOSTS: Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who chairs the House Oversight and Government Affairs panel and has launched numerous investigations into the Bush administration since taking the gavel in January, is denying a report that he is setting his sights on three politically conservative talk show hosts. DC Examiner's Yeas and Nays: Waxman in No Rush to Silence Rush
THE NEW PIN ON LAWMAKERS' LAPELS: The way Representative John Yarmuth of Kentucky sees it, lawmakers on Capitol Hill and Americans everywhere have forgotten who the Founding Fathers really intended to run the country –- not the President who was more of a Constitutional after-thought but the Congress, the people’s elected representatives. New York Times: Congressional Fashion Statement: Were Article 1
TERRORISM EXPERIENCE TO INFLUENCE MUKASEY: Early in the Bush administration, Michael B. Mukasey's position at the intersection of terrorism and the justice system may have cost him a promotion. Washington Post: Attorney General Nominee Made His Name With Terror Cases
NEW DETAILS ABOUT WHITE HOUSE INVOLVEMENT IN THE CASE AGAINST FORMER ALABAMA GOVERNOR: The son of Alabama’s current Republican governor boasted that a Republican judge would “hang Don Siegelman,” a former Democratic governor of Alabama, for partisan reasons, according to a deposition by a Republican lawyer from Alabama. New York Times: Partisanship Accusation Expanded in Alabama
THE NINE ERRORS IN AL GORE'S "AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH": Al Gore’s award-winning climate change documentary was littered with nine inconvenient untruths, a judge ruled yesterday. The Times of London: Al’s Inconvenient Judgment
On the Trail:
Compiled by Lauren Kornreich
CNN Washington Bureau
* Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, talks about college affordability at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire. She then heads to Hackleboro Orchard in Canterbury for a barn party.
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani meets with local supporters at Spill the Beans in Greenville, South Carolina. He also delivers a speech to York County Republicans at Laurel Creek in Rock Hill.
* Former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, visits schools in Darlington and Summerton, South Carolina to talk about his education plan and meets with supporters at Brown's BBQ in Kingstree. In the evening, he headlines the Jasper County Democratic Party Dinner in Ridgeland.
* Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, unveils his health care plan in a speech to the Rotary Club of Des Moines at Hotel Fort Des Moines in Iowa. After, he travels to Mount Pleasant for a town hall meeting at Iowa Wesleyan College.
* New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson participates in the National Education Association's "School House to the White House" event and delivers a speech on education in Manchester. He also holds a "Presidential Job Interview" event in Concord and addresses the New Hampshire Latino Summit at Southern New Hampshire University in Hooksett.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney raises money in Oklahoma City. He holds a media availability at Cutter FBO Operations Building in Phoenix, Arizona.
* House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and South Carolina state Rep. Fletcher Smith accept an endorsement on behalf of Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa.
* Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, meets with local residents for coffee at Green's Tea and Coffee in Muscatine, Iowa. At night, he delivers a speech at Loras College in Dubuque.
* Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, gives a speech to the Robert Taft Club in Arlington, Virginia.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook