The past week has been almost too much for liberal Seattle. First, Barack Obama. Now Al Gore. Who's next, Dennis Kucinich? What? He was? (Update: A reader points out that Bill Richardson also was in town recently. Sorry. Forgot. Anyone else?) Of course, Obama and Kucinich (and Richardson) are running, while Gore probably isn't, despite the hopes of a lot of folks around here. During his talk at Town Hall, he wasn't asked if he would run and he didn't address the subject, although at the start he described himself thusly: "I'm a recovering politician. I'm on about step nine. I figure you win some and you lose some and then there's that little-known third category." With that crystal-clear, let the speculation and keyboard strategizing continue unabated. David Postman, the veteran Seattle Times chief political reporter who wrote the definitive straight-news account of the speech, also blogged. Gore is not remembered as a brilliant campaigner, even in the light of his current celebrity. The public Gore is more relaxed now, and at the same time he seems more forceful and focused. "One of the more interesting moments tonight," Postman writes, "was when Gore quoted Abraham Lincoln saying, 'We must disenthrall ourselves and then we will save ourselves.' ... He got quieter and quieter as he spoke, and then in a near whisper, his voice seeming to catch at points ..." Over at The Daily Weekly, Seattle Weekly's Aimee Curl says: The new Gore may be more professorial than presidential, but his passion resonates. He serves as a salve that reminds us of a time when they weren't out there attacking our freedoms and we weren't attacking other countries. But it's more than just that. He speaks truth in a way that compels, even inspires. But that magic is only possible because he's doing it outside of politics. For some reason, some thought there was a snowball's chance in global-warming hell that Gore would announce his candidacy in Seattle. Not Dan Gonsiorowski of Seattlest, who learned from having his hopes dashed by Obama last week: [N]o politician (or "recovering politician" as Gore referred to himself) is going to make a major announcement in the latte-sippin', Volvo-drivin', tree-humpin' Pacific Northwest. Sorry, Seattle. Gore dared to bore, Gonsiorowski says: Philosophy, the printing press, the facts, Relativity, the Ecology of Information, "truth force"... It got real lecturey and if the Stranger guys weren't typing so furiously behind me here I may have started dozing. And what were the Stranger guys typing? Apparently, it was Dan Savage: Six LaRouchies, everyone immediately presumes, dressed like Christmas elves or something just interrupted. No, wait. Their supposed to be those chanting monks from Monty Python and the Holy Grail–they're chanting something and hitting themselves on their empty heads with their idiotic tracts. "That's the LaRouche cult," says Gore, as Town Hall ushers rush them out of the auditorium, to applause. "For some reason they've taken a liking to me." Savage says the guy looked exhausted. Okay, I love Al Gore ... I want him to run for president ... I've been a Gore/Obama man longer than just about anyone else out there. But I have to say: Gore seems exhausted. He's on a book tour, and I know from personal experience that book tours can be exhausting. But anyone that came here tonight expecting a slashing, barn-burning, raise-the-roof, motherfucking speech is going to leave disappointed. If you'd like to get a sense of Al Gore's non-slashing talk, the first 15 minutes can be heard here, courtesy of Seattle Weekly.