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Will Al Gore's endorsement help Barack Obama?
The former vice president only spoke up once a divisive primary ended.
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hat happened
Former vice president Al Gore endorsed fellow Democrat Barack Obama in Detroit, weeks after Obama locked up the nomination. Gore criticized the Bush administration, and urged Democrats to rally behind Obama. "Take it from me, elections matter," Gore said. (CNN)

What the commentators said
Talk about an anti-climax, said Joe Gandelman in the blog The Moderate Voice. Gore’s endorsement might have meant something if he had mustered the courage to bestow it while Obama was still locked in his epic battle with former rival Hillary Clinton. “But it came so late in the game that the person who’ll be most impressed with it will be Tipper Gore.”

Gore’s endorsement would have had a bigger impact earlier, to be sure, said Don Frederick in the Los Angeles Times’ Top of the Ticket blog, but he can still help Obama unite the party. "If committed Democrats agree on anything, it's that the 2000 election was stolen from Gore,” so having the party’s “elder statesman” on board might help Obama accelerate the process of uniting Democrats after a divisive primary.

Nobody expected Gore to endorse Republican John McCain, said the Detroit Free Press in an editorial, but “Nobel laureate, Academy Award winner and first-place finisher in the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election could have decided to sit this one out.” Instead, he gave Obama a “ringing endorsement,” and he did it with “attention-getting” flair in job-hungry Michigan, which will help Obama talk up his ideas for boosting the struggling economy.

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