Washington, Oct.13 : The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Al Gore on Friday is now being interpreted as a rebuke to President Bush, who beat Gore by the narrowest of margins to win the White House in 2000 and, has since opposed binding international agreements for reducing carbon emissions.
According to a report in The Times, the Nobel Committee’s decision to award Gore half of the 1.5 million dollar Peace Prize, has probably pitched him into the heart of the 2008 U.S. election battle.
The award citation described him as “probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted”.
The last American to win the prize was former president Jimmy Carter in 2002.
Gore appeared at a brief press conference quoting African proverbs and promising to use his new status to hasten action and “elevate global consciousness about the challenges we face”.
That did not stop Democratic presidential candidates stampeding to congratulate him and condemn Mr Bush’s stance on the issue.
Within minutes of the announcement in Oslo, 5.15 a.m. in Washington, John Edwards was saying that Gore’s leadership “stands in stunning contrast to the failure of the current administration”.
He added that the award “shines a bright light on the most inconvenient truth of all — the selection of George Bush as President.”
Barack Obama praised Gore’s courage to “challenge the sceptics in Washington.”
Hillary Clinton’s website featured a photo of Gore in Socratic pose alongside a headline saying: “CONGRATULTIONS!” There was a flurry of speculation that the former vice-president could be given a post as a roving environmental ambassador if the Clintons were restored to the White House.
According to the paper, such adulation from fellow Democrats, however, would swiftly turn sour if Gore used the peace award as a springboard into the 2008 presidential race himself.
Though efforts are on to convince Gore to enter the presidential race, he and his long-time advisers have reiterated that it is extremely unlikely.
Bush’s spokesman insisted, possibly through gritted teeth, that the President shared Mr. Gore’s joy — but had no plans to speak to him.
US conservatives are reportedly furious, with what they regard as another political statement by the Norwegian committee.
Critics say the remit of the peace prize, which now includes democracy, the elimination of poverty, and improving the environment, has become too wide. (ANI)
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