When I read that Al Gore had revealed his decision not to run for president in '08 to his friends in the Japanese press, I knew for sure there was no message in there for us in the American media -- no way, right? And if the man television never loved was rather enjoying his success in mobilizing public opinion on global climate change with a movie, well, who could blame him?
As it turns out, though, Gore did no such thing, and contrary to the Reuters report out of Tokyo, has not definitively ruled out another presidential run. (Neither has he given those close to him any indication he's seriously considering it, though many in his party continue to hope he'll reconsider.)
"Absolutely nothing new,'' Gore spokesman Michael Feldman said of the report. "He's been saying the same thing for six years - that he's not running but has not completely ruled it out - and depending on where he is, it's reported differently.''
The Japanese might not have 50 different ways to say, "I'm not running 'til I am,'' but we do, which at the moment strikes me as a measure of deep linguistic abundance; we'll take it.