NASHVILLE - Former Vice President Al Gore's profile has been lower in recent weeks than following his much-publicized appearance at the Academy Awards and at his congressional testimony on climate change earlier this year.
But all that likely will change later this month with the release of his new book, "The Assault on Reason," and in the buildup to the seven-continent "Live Earth" concert in July.
Gore, who still hasn't completely ruled out a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, could wait to gauge the response to his high-profile summer activities before making a final decision on another White House run.
Spokeswoman Kalee Kreider acknowledged that Gore is anticipating a "very busy summer" but stressed that his focus remains on raising awareness about climate change.
"Mr. Gore has made it very clear that he does not plan on becoming a 2008 presidential candidate," she said.
The new book is described by publisher Penguin Press as an analysis of the current "politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism and blind faith." In the book Gore takes aim at the administration of President Bush, to whom he lost the 2000 presidential election despite winning the popular vote.
"America is in the hands of an administration less interested than any previous administration in sharing the truth with the citizenry," according to the publisher's description of the book.
The release is expected to be followed by a national book tour.
The Live Earth concerts will be held July 7 in cities around the world with the goal of raising climate change awareness. The shows are scheduled for London, East Rutherford, N.J.; Shanghai, China; Johannesburg, South Africa; Sydney, Australia; Tokyo; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Organizers have also promised an event in Antarctica. The concerts mark the start of a new campaign called "Save Our Selves, The Campaign for a Climate in Crisis" and proceeds will create a foundation to combat climate change led by The Alliance for Climate Protection, a group chaired by Gore. Gore's activism contrasts with the more low-key approach of fellow Tennessean Fred Thompson, the Republican actor-politician who has said he is considering a White House bid. Thompson, who was elected in 1994 to the Senate seat Gore gave up when he was elected vice president, has mostly confined his public appearances to Republican gatherings and Fox News. Supporters expect him to make up his mind about whether to run as early as next month. Gore starred in the global warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," which won an Academy Award in February. He has continued to present the slideshow the movie was based on around the world and has trained more than 1,000 volunteers to take the message back to their communities. Gore's return to Congress in March marked the first time he had been in the Capitol since January 2001 and 20 years since he held the first hearings in Congress on global warming. Gore appeared before House and Senate committees to plead his climate-change case. Several public opinion polls show Gore among the top three in the race for the Democratic nomination, despite his repeated disavowals of the intention to run again. If Gore's ultimate decision on a White House run doesn't come as summer draws to a close, he will likely have at least one more round of free publicity as speculation about the Nobel Peace Prize winner begins in earnest. Norwegian lawmakers announced Gore was their choice as the nomination deadline ran out in February. The winner is usually announced in October. (AP) On the Net: Al Gore: http://www.algore.com Live Earth: http://www.liveearth.msn.com AP-CS-05-12-07 1225EDT
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