In case you're keeping score, former Vice President Albert Gore has now: Won the popular vote, written several bestselling books, successfully launched a cable network, starred in the most successful documentary of all time, won two Oscars, won an Emmy, and won the Nobel Peace Prize:

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their work raising awareness about global warming.

The Nobel committee cited them "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

...The Nobel committee praised Gore as being "one of the world's leading environmentalist politicians."

"He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted," said [Ole Danbolt Mjoes, chairman of the Nobel committee].
The official award ceremony will be held on December 10 in Oslo, where Gore and IPCC will each receive a gold medal, a diploma, and a share of $1.5 million.

As you can imagine, there is some serious blubbing going on over here.

Regular (long-suffering, indulgent) readers of Shakesville are all too familiar with my huge crush on Al Gore. Not the kind of crush that would, say, lead to his impeachment, ahem, should he ever find his way into the Oval Office, but a deep and enduring admiration which has spanned so many years, seen such dizzying thrills and disappointments, that it does, at this point, have the capacity to make me blush and babble endlessly about the object of my political affection, as if it were, indeed, a crush of another sort.

A tale I've told before comes from my 18th year—and my first opportunity to vote in the '92 election. I took the presidential campaign very seriously, convinced as I was that my measured contemplation of the issues would result in my casting not only a wise and discerning vote, but most assuredly the deciding vote that would singly hand the president to my chosen man. (Yes, ever the geek, I was more excited about voting for the first time than I had been about getting my driver's license.) I was discussing the campaign with my dad one day, very early on (maybe even as early as '91), and I said that I liked Al Gore. He looked at me with a knitted brow. "Al Gore?"

"Yes," I enthused. "He's a Senator from Tennessee, and he's very pro-environment and he's well into technology and—"

"Shouldn't you be going on dates or something?" my dad said, approximately.

Dates schmates. I had candidates to pay attention to.

When Clinton chose Gore as his running mate, I was on the moon. You see, I never found Gore to be the stiff, stuffy, robotic doofus that he was supposed to be (according to a lazy and hostile media). Okay, he was a bit shy and awkward, and kind of a nerd, but I never figured Lincoln or FDR to be the first on the dance floor, either. I liked him. I admired him. The entire Clinton presidency was, for me, about one thing—getting Gore into the White House. So you can imagine how I felt in November of 2000. Inconsolable is, perhaps, inadequate.

Nonetheless, I hoped we hadn't seen the last of Al Gore. And so we hadn't.

I would be lying if I said that his awesome emergence as the closest approximation to a real-life planet-saving superhero that we mortal Earthlings are ever going to see makes up for the fact that he was never our president. It doesn't. And there's no small irony in the fact that, thanks to Bush's energy and environmental policies over his two terms, there's even more need for the work Gore is doing and a longer, harder road for the people who are trying to fix this mess we're in.

But, despite all that, I'd also be less than totally forthcoming if I didn't admit that Gore winning the Nobel Prize also feels like a vindication, not just for him, but for me, and scientists and nerds and wonks everywhere, and all of us who have always adored him and mourned the loss of his presidency on behalf of a sleepy nation.

Roll your eyes, conservatives. Tell me it doesn't mean anything; it's just a symbol.

I know. And I don't bloody care.

In the words of the immortal Johnny Cash:

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