Gore gets warm hometown welcome at book signing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Former Vice President Al Gore got the

same question at a hometown book signing Friday that he gets all

over the world when pitching his documentary and book on global

warming.

Will he run for president in 2008?

"I'm not planning on it, but thanks for encouraging me," was

the pat answer given by Gore at the first signing for the book in

his home state of Tennessee.

The Democrats' nominee for the White House in 2000, Gore says he

has all but ruled out running for president in two years - saying

the best use of his time is to educate people about the urgency of

global climate change.

The movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," debuted at last winter's

Sundance Film Festival and opened in U.S. theaters last month, when

the book of the same title also went on sale.

Gore, who served as Tennessee senator from 1985-93 after eight

years in the House, renewed his ties to the Volunteer State

following the 2000 presidential election - buying a home in

Nashville and teaching courses at Middle Tennessee State

University.

Nearly 800 people lined up at the Davis-Kidd bookstore, store

manager Tony Mize said. Some waved old Gore campaign placards while

others took pictures of the former vice president with cell phones

and digital cameras. Almost 1,200 copies of the book were sold.

"Whether you agree with him or not, you have to be fascinated

by the topic. He has really deep roots in this community," Mize

said.

He said the last time the bookstore had a signing "with this

kind of affection" was about 10 years ago, when country legend

Johnny Cash signed copies of his memoir.

Andra McDowell, 39, a teacher from Nashville, said she worked on

Gore's presidential campaign in 2000 and asked a photographer with

a local newspaper to get a picture of Gore signing her copy of his

book.

"I'm excited to see him. I'm a big fan of Gore and his issues.

My dad was a soil conservationist, so I grew up as a tree-hugger,"

McDowell said. "I would like to see him run again. I would vote

for him."

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)