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Lost leaders: Al Gore

US vice-president, Democratic presidential candidate, 2000.

After serving as vice-president under President Bill Clinton from 1993-2001, Al Gore set his sights on the top job at the White House. Clinton had been a popular leader. And having been in politics since 1977, the odds were in Gore's favour.

In 2000 Gore ran against the Republican George W Bush and emerged with a national lead of roughly 500,000 in the popular vote, but the presidential race came down to 27 electoral college votes in Florida. Gore thought he had won the state but, following a recount, the controversy was eventually settled in the US Supreme Court -- with a 5-4 decision in favour of Bush.

As Bush was inaugurated into the White House, Gore's supporters, and perhaps Gore himself, remained adamant that the recount was unfair and that the Supreme Court had made the decision based on members' own political leanings.

Since then, Gore has distracted himself from politics and become an avid environmental activist. He wrote and starred in the documentary An Inconvenient Truth, which aimed to educate the public about the urgency of global warming. He is also the founder and chair of the Alliance for Climate Protection, and frequently updates his Twitter account with short blurbs about climate change.

The 2008 election revived speculation that Gore would try to run once more for president, but he vehemently denied it, never seeking the Democratic nomination.

Although he seems to have reinvented himself in recent years, he is still, to many, the president who should have been.

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