Al Gore-Teddy Roosevelt Comparison

History repeats itself, but not without a few wrinkles. We make the connections—then pick them apart.

The Comparison
When Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his global-warming work last week, it harked back to Teddy Roosevelt, who returned to presidential politics after collecting the prize in 1910. Will Gore also use the honor as a springboard for another run at the White House? One bad omen: the Rough Rider lost the election in 1912.

Why It Works
Like Roosevelt, who challenged his chosen successor, William Howard Taft, Gore would be taking on a former ally, Hillary Clinton, in a 2008 presidential run. Gore and TR each raised their global profiles through expansive travel after the executive branch. And post-Washington, each man's waistline grew expansive as well.

Why It Doesn ' t
Well, Gore might not run. Calling himself "deeply honored" to receive the prize, he basked in the attention. TR took four years to collect his Nobel. In his speech, Roosevelt noted that peace "is never the highest good unless it comes as the handmaid of righteousness." Righteousness: never a problem for Gore.