A might-have-been US President Gore to teach journalism at American University

Former Vice President Al Gore is still deciding exactly what to do with his life, but has already accepted a teaching job at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in New York City, a former aide said. The aide had few details, but said Gore, who worked as an investigative reporter in Tennessee before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1976, would teach a class once a week at the prestigious journalism school, starting next month. Shortly before Election Day, Gore, who published a best-selling book on the environment called "Earth in the Balance," openly mused that if he lost, he might return to a career in writing. Some Democratic leaders have said Gore would be an early front-runner for the party's 2004 presidential nomination, if he decided to pursue it. But centrist Democrats on Wednesday said Gore lost the 2000 election to President George W. Bush because he ran a campaign based on old-fashioned populism and because he was a lacklustre campaigner. By 2004, Gore will be 56 years old, relatively young for a presidential candidate. But by then, there is certain to be a new line-up of Democrats to challenge him. Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism administers the top honour in journalism, the coveted Pulitzer Prize, Reuters news agency reports.

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