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What an unlikely journey it's been for Al Gore. When he ran for the presidency in 2000, he didn't engender the sort of enthusiasm among rank-and-file Democrats that his predecessor, Bill Clinton, enjoyed -- and that accounts for his subsequent loss more than anything Ralph Nader did. Rather than winding up in the Michael Dukakis/John Kerry pariah camp, however, Gore managed to reposition himself as an environmental savior, and after winning an Academy Award and a Nobel Prize, he's now more popular than he ever was as a standard-issue politician. At Barack Obama's Invesco Field at Mile High acceptance speech on Thursday, he earned two standing ovations and more enthusiasm than anyone other than the star of the show. Moreover, the genuine excitement displayed by the folks in section 524 rivaled the rapturous reception given to Clinton at the Pepsi Center during Wednesday's DNC festivities. If F. Scott Fitzgerald had been at the stadium, he might have eaten that line about there being no second acts in American lives. -- Michael Roberts