Six years ago...
Al Gore was stiff, boring, lacking in emotion, dull, hampered by Bill Clinton...you name it.
Al Gore is electric, passionate, committed, and the one person who many Democrats think can slow down the speeding train that is the (so far non-)candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
What gives? How did Gore morph into a Democratic dynamo? Perhaps he hasn't. Perhaps what is going on here is "spin", and spin that is being bought by and played out in the media. I'm sure the people who are convinced journalists love liberals and will do anything to derail Republican efforts at political success this year and in 2008 are saying Gore is enjoying a media honeymoon. No critical questions about anything he has done since he left political office. (As an aside, and this should not be interpreted as a political statement, my sense is much of what he has done has been positive and successful.) Moreover, they are saying Democrats are uneasy about Clinton's ability to win the general election and are going to push Gore to the top of the heap in an effort to give the party a name that can win in 2008.
Regardless of whether this aforementioned argument is true, I see it a different way. I see the fascination with Al Gore as further evidence that the national media have written off George Bush. Second term presidents inevitably become lame ducks, afterthoughts, etc, as attention turns to the people who will next occupy the White House. But for Bush, the lame duck status has come very early and, if you buy my argument, ensures that he will little chance to use his political office to rally GOP voters in 2006. (Considering his current poll numbers, might this be a good thing for the Republicans?)
Perhaps Gore is more dynamic than he was in 2000. Perhaps he is more qualified to be president than he was then. Perhaps he will run in 2008. Regardless, media attention has turned to the future. Gore will enjoy a lengthy period in which others (and perhaps he) tout the virtues of a Gore presidency. But don't forget that Clinton will enjoy the same lack of scrutiny. John Kerry and the other likely Democrats also will.
In short, I don't necessarily accept the rationale that the liberal media are rallying around their guy. But I do think that the focus on the president and the White House is rapily decreasing, and if that is so then presidential contenders on both sides ought to make appointments with their spin doctors and get a prescription for "media coverage."