Al Gore: “I used to be the next President of the United States”

25 10 2007

Photo: Al Gore (center) at the Mobilecome mobile.futuretalk 07 in Vienna, October 2007.

On October 24, 2007, the newly honored Peace Nobel Prize Laureate and former presidential candidate Al Gore, paid Vienna a short visit. Invited by Mobilkom Austria, which proudly claimed in advance that the advocate of Environmental Policies against Climate Change, as well as pioneer of the Internet, is the most expensive keynote speaker they ever invited for their mobile.futuretalk 07 with an estimated fee between EUR 100,000 and EUR 300,000.

“I have no plans to stand as a candidate for the US Presidential Elections”, he declared, though Gore did not rule out to return to politics in the nearer future. According to recent polls in the United States, the Democrat contender of 2000 would stand good chances in the primaries in the upcoming month, and grass root activists, particularly on the Internet, hope to encourage him to stand again in 2008. Online polls, such as at Democracy for America, give Gore currently a lead among the Democratic candidates, though national polls show him trailing fourth among the Democratic nominees with about 10%.

More than a 1,000 guests, a press release of the company informs us, “enjoyed the event and exciting discussions at the buffet of Do& Co.” Of course, The Vienna Review, Vienna’s only English-spoken newspaper produced and published here, could not have hoped to be on the honored guest list. Nevertheless, as the only Viennese media outlet that reaches the international community of the city, I did expect to be at least informed about the event. After all, there are about 200,000 people that live and work here, whose native or working language is English.

But things are different in Vienna, still, and therefore I should not have been surprised that the response from Mag. Astrid Wagenhofer, Mobilkom’s Corporate Communications Officer, of October 9, 2007 did not hold much sympathy for a small media outlet, as, undoubtedly, the invited guests take priority. Neat less to say, the promise of being in touch about the event never materialized, and that is why there is no possibility to report on the matters discussed, other than to referring to press releases by Mobilkom and reports of the ‘special media guests’, like the ORF, in German translations – after all, the ORF Anchor Man Armin Wolf chaired the discussion.

Interestingly enough, Al Gore’s The Alliance for Climate Protection does not even mention the event in Vienna, but Gore’s visit to French President Nicholas Sarkozy the next day was extensively covered by the international media. Setting the right priorities! If you have been to the event in Vienna, and would like to comment or share some quotes, let me know. I’d love to hear from you – please post it here as comment!

See an interesting article in international media: International Herald Tribute

This is an excerpt, the full article was published in November 2007 in The Vienna Review.




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