By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON, Oct 12 (Reuters) - The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Democrat Al Gore on Friday increases pressure on him to launch a late bid for the U.S. presidency, but advisers say he is showing no signs of interest in the 2008 race.
Gore, the former vice president who lost a Florida vote recount battle in the 2000 election to George W. Bush, has attracted growing support in recent days from thousands of Democratic activists who want him to enter the race.
An organization called draftgore.com is one of several trying to persuade Gore to run. The group ran a full-page ad in The New York Times on Wednesday described as "an open letter to Al Gore."
"Many good and caring candidates are contending for the Democratic nomination," the ad said. "But none of them has the combination of experience, vision, standing in the world, and political courage that you would bring to the job."
The attention represents how far Gore has taken his quest to call global attention to concerns about climate change with the movie that won him an Oscar, "An Inconvenient Truth."
San Francisco-based Current TV, Gore's television network, won an Emmy award last month for outstanding achievement in interactive television service.
After losing the Supreme Court case that cost him the White House, Gore from all accounts had a difficult time getting over the closest presidential election in U.S. history. He escaped to Europe for a time, and, puzzlingly, grew a beard.
Once considered a wooden speaker, he now is a pop culture icon, and happily engaged in a life that includes many speaking engagements about climate change, positions on corporate boards and much travel.
'LIGHT BULBS, NOT POLITICS'
At a time when the United States is preoccupied with the most wide-open presidential race in more than 50 years, former aides like Julia Payne say he does not talk much about politics, recalling that she saw him at the wedding in Nashville of a former staffer.
"The last time I talked with the Vice President, we talked light bulbs, not politics," she said.
Long-time adviser Carter Eskew said he talks to Gore about once a week.
"I don't think he's going to run," said Eskew. "He has said technically he hasn't ruled it out. But I can tell you he's making no moves and no sounds to indicate to me that he's going to run."
Gore's spokeswoman, Kalee Kreider, was more definitive.
"He has no intentions of running for president in 2008," she said recently from Nashville, where Gore lives.
But that is not stopping the draft Gore movement.
Peter Ryder is an activist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, trying to persuade Gore to run. His group, Algore.org, is planning a Nov. 11 concert to raise money for the effort.
He said none of the other Democrats running in the race for the November 2008 election have the complete package like Gore.
"I think we need more than just a good president. I think we need someone with the potential for greatness. Al Gore, his rational approach to issues and problems, and obviously his work on global warming, made my decision to support him," Ryder said.
A West Virginia activist, Jim Tate, agreed. He said he was concerned that the current Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, could be defeated by the Republican nominee because "she carries a lot of baggage with her."
He said he also believes Gore is the person who can "do the most for our country, and bring back foreign policy. We have no foreign policy."
(To read more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters "Tales from the Trail: 2008" online at blogs.reuters.com/trail08/)