(CNN) - When the public spotlight shined brightly on Al and Tipper Gore in 2000, a majority of Americans held them in high regard, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll conducted in June of that year. The light was likely blinding at times as then-Vice President Al Gore was running for his own four year presidential term.
The CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey, conducted 10 years ago this month, showed that 52 percent of Americans approved of the then-vice president, while 57 percent thought favorably of his wife.
After losing the presidential contest to then-Texas Gov. George Bush later that year, the former vice president stepped out of the public spotlight for several years before re-emerging as an influential voice warning about the dangers of global warming. And in 2004, after deciding not to run for the Democratic presidential nomination again, Gore stepped back into the political spotlight when he endorsed Howard Dean for his party's nomination.
Later, Gore's best-selling book about global warming – "An Inconvenient Truth" – was the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary film.
The most recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll on Al Gore, taken in December 2009, showed that 52 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of the former vice president. And 50 percent of Americans, surveyed by CNN/Opinion Research Corporation in January 2009, said that if Gore had been elected in 2000, the U.S. would have been better off, while 27 percent responded the country would be worse off and 22 percent added things would be about the same.