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WASHINGTON - Al Gore, long mocked as an exaggerating bore, is certain to land a lead role at the Democratic National Convention as an internationally recognised defender of the earth.
Eight years after losing one of the closest White House elections ever, Gore is being embraced by party faithful as the Nobel Peace Prize-winning cru-sader against global warming.
While the Democratic Party has yet to announce its line-up of convention speakers, Gore is on an anticipated short list of headliners at the four-day gathering in Denver that opens on August 25, party aides say.
"He'll receive a tremendous reception," said Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, a convention delegate.
"A lot of us still feel he was cheated" in the 2000 vote, Harkin said. "If he'd been president, we wouldn't have had these (Bush administration) messes of the past eight years.
"Also, we admire his tenacity in protecting the environment. Many share his vision on what needs to be done," Harkin said.
In travelling the world to warn against the threat of climate change, Gore, 60, routinely draws packed crowds and has earned rock-star status among young supporters.
"He's charismatic. He has a presence that draws you in," George Chipev, a 20-year-old Georgetown University student, said. - Reuters