DETROIT - Al Gore announced his endorsement yesterday of Barack Obama and promised to help him achieve what eluded the former vice president - the presidency.
"The outcome of this election will affect the future of this planet," Gore said last night, addressing about 20,000 people at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena. "We've got to have new leadership. Not only a new president, but new policies."
In 2000, Gore won the popular vote but lost the disputed 2000 election to George W. Bush, who captured Florida and its electoral votes after a divided Supreme Court ended the recount. Since then, Gore has made combating global warming his signature issue, and has been recognized worldwide for his efforts.
"It means a lot, obviously," Obama said of Gore's support, as he greeted workers outside a
Gore is one of the most popular figures in the Democratic Party, but he maintained a low profile in the primary campaign.
It is the second time that Obama has rolled out a major endorsement in Michigan, a state he did not campaign in during the primary because its election violated the party rules. Last month, he appeared with 2004 vice presidential nominee John Edwards in Grand Rapids, as party leaders united behind Obama as their nominee .
Yesterday, Gore also asked for donations to help fund Obama's effort - the first time he has asked members of his website, AlGore.com, to contribute to a political campaign.