Gore In '08? Pundits Debate 'Inconvenient' Oscar Joke

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When his environmental-apocalypse film An Inconvenient Truth won the Academy Award for Best Documentary feature last night, Al Gore jested, "My fellow Americans, I’m going to take this opportunity here and now to formally announce my intentions..." Immediately, a debate came to a boil: Is the former vice president -- and 2000 presidential candidate -- considering another White House run?

Brian Darling, director of Senate relations for The Heritage Foundation, declared on "Power Lunch" that whatever the case, Gore "should run": the ex-VP is at the "height of popularity," Darling said, citing the tidal-wave of attention gathered by An Inconvenient Truth. He pointed to Gore "rubbing shoulders" onstage with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Best Actor nominee for Blood Diamond -- another socially-conscious, if fictionalized, movie.

Faiz Shakir, director of research at the Center for American Progress, believes that Gore "is running" -- that is, "running a campaign" versus global warming. Shakir noted that the ecology advocate has amassed much respect for his devotion to the cause -- and thrives like a "liberated man" since he left the vicious clash of electoral politics. "Why would he give that up?" the CAP researcher asks rhetorically, adding that he thinks Gore "lacks the presidential itch...in his heart."