Gore Announces Decision Not To Run for President in 2004
Former Vice President Al Gore (D) said yesterday that he will not run for president in 2004, the Washington Post reports (Balz, Washington Post, 12/16). In an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes," Gore said, "I personally have the energy and the drive and the ambition to make another campaign. But I don't think it's the right thing for me to do" (Polman, Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/16). The announcement took many observers by surprise, as Gore had been making several media appearances that some thought indicated his "reemergence" in politics, the Post reports. Last week, Gore pledged to unveil more details on his ideas for health care reforms early next year (Washington Post, 12/16). Gore recently discussed his proposal for a single-payer health care system on ABC's "This Week." According to Gore, instituting a single-payer health care system would help reduce health insurance premiums, the number of middle-income families who decide not to purchase health insurance as a result of cost, state budget deficits, the number of businesses that have to decide between reductions in health benefits or jobs and expenditures on "unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy." Gore said that he did not support such a "comprehensive overhaul" of the nation's health care system in his 2000 election campaign because the "viability of building on an incremental approach was still very real" (California Healthline, 12/9).
According to the Los Angeles Times, Gore may still have the ability to influence public policy, as evidenced by the "considerable" media attention his recent speeches on health care have garnered. "He still will have a platform to impact things that he cares deeply about, and he doesn't have to run for president," a former Gore aide said (Chen, Los Angeles Times, 12/16). Gore's announcement raised speculation over who will emerge as the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee. Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.), Rep. Dick Gephardt (Mo.), Sens. John Kerry (Mass.), Tom Daschle (S.D.), John Edwards (N.C.) and the Rev. Al Sharpton have all expressed interest in seeking the Democratic nomination, the Los Angeles Times reports (Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 12/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.