Rich Galen

* Al Gore will not run for President in 2008.

* He will be coy about not running because, as Newt Gingrich has taught us over the past 10 months, being a potential candidate gets you Tim Russert asking you about health care on Meet the Press.

* Being an actual candidate gets you a local AP reporter asking you, at a stop in a diner in Manchester, New Hampshire, what really did happen at that fundraiser with those Buddhist Monks.

* I know that sounds backwards, but that's the way it is.

* If I were advising Mr. Gore here's what I would tell him.

1. When people ask you about running simply smile that supercilious smile you have been perfecting for the past 30 years, shrug, and walk away.

2. Meanwhile, instruct your staff, aides, advisors, friends, former employees and anyone else you have an e-mail address for to tell everyone they have an e-mail address for all the good reasons why would shouldn't run, without ever actually saying you wouldn't run.

2a. For instance, Paul Begala was quoted in the NY Times yesterday as saying:

"[Gore] knows there's a Democratic field that Democrats are happy with, and that they don't need a white knight riding in."

That, back in the Watergate days, was known as a non-denial denial.

3. When it comes to "Draft Al" websites, say, with the precision and clarity which has made us adore you over the years:

"As the inventor of the Internet, I know that a person can run any website he or she may desire so long as there is no controlling legal authority preventing it."

* The Clintonistas understand that Gore is not going to run and so can pretend to be very, really, extremely happy about that fact that he won a Nobel Peace Prize before Bill did - although it is reasonable to suspect Bill Clinton misunderstands the spelling of that particular award.

* Nevertheless, do not think for one second that the Clinton campaign hasn't hired someone to sit at the Secretary of State's office in New Hampshire to make certain no papers are submitted on Gore's behalf prior to the November 2 filing deadline which would make him eligible for the first-in-the-nation primary there in early January.

* According to some reports, Gore is making up to $175,000 per speech which means he makes more in three speeches than he would make in a whole year as President.

* And, having won the Nobel Peace Prize it will sort of be required that he take a position against having a strong military because, according to the Information Please web page, the Peace Prize was developed by Alfred Nobel to honor "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

* Which explains why Jimmy Carter's dismantling of America's military and intelligence capabilities during his Presidency would have been rewarded with the Peace Prize in 2002.

* Al Gore has certain Jimmy Carter-esque personality traits including truly believing he is superior to the rest of us which is sort of antithetical to what your average Democratic voter in Storm Lake, Iowa might be looking for in a candidate.

* The punditocracy will be in full roar this week analyzing a potential run by Al Gore in 2008. It is not going to happen.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.