When Al Gore hit the lecture circuit following his defeat by George W. Bush in the controversial 2000 election, he raised a chuckle by introducing himself as "the man who used to be the next president of the United States". Nowadays, Mr Gore has dispensed withthe self-deprecation. Some people are even suggesting he could have a second bite at the apple. Al Gore comes second only to Hillary Clinton as the Democrats' preferred candidate for the 2008 election.
Mr Gore himself demurs whenever he is asked if he is considering another run for the White House. But few who have seen An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's documentary on global warming which was released in the spring in the US and came out this week in the UK, walk out of the theatre believing he has abjured all further political ambition.