One former Democratic presidential nominee, a man who was elected president by popular vote in 2000 but lost when the Senate made a ruling on delegate count alone, will not be attending the Democratic National Convention this week. He also has, at this time, still not endorsed any candidate.
Al Gore is one of nine superdelegates from the state of Tennessee. Eight have endorsed Hillary Clinton, and Gore is the lone holdout who insists on waiting to endorse anyone until after a nominee has been officially announced.
The role of a superdelegate can be explained the following way:
‘Superdelegates can support the candidate of their choice at the Democratic National Convention, regardless of what happens in the primaries and caucuses. They make up about 30 percent of the delegates needed to clinch the nomination.’
It is not unprecedented that Al Gore is not speaking at this year’s convention. He also skipped the convention in 2012, although he did speak at the DNC in 2008, when he endorsed President Obama, and in 2004, when he endorsed Howard Dean.
In November of 2015, Politico analyzed the lack of a Gore endorsement for Hillary Clinton, whose husband chose Al Gore as his vice president:
‘At least four times in the past year, Al Gore has passed up opportunities to endorse Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, brushing off questions from People Magazine and other media outlets with the admonition that it’s still too early in the Democratic primary process for him to take sides. On Monday, an aide to the former vice president told POLITICO he’ll stay on the sidelines until his party has selected its nominee.’
‘Gore’s reticence, his friends and allies say, is in part to maximize his own leverage on fighting climate change. But his repeated demurrals also reflect a complicated relationship with his former boss’s wife that dates back more than two decades. While Gore and Hillary Clinton may not be enemies, they’re not exactly close friends, either.’
Since Hillary Clinton is expected to be announced as the official Democratic nominee for president during the DNC this week, it will be interesting to see whether or not Gore decides to endorse her after her nomination.
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