No Gore Endorsement

Says Greg Sargent. This seems like as good a time as any to lay out my theory that… Al Gore won’t endorse anyone.

In addition to touring the world with his slide show, Al Gore has also joined Kleiner Perkins, the mother of all Silicon Valley venture capital firms, as a partner. He’s focusing on green tech, which is becoming an increasingly large part of KP’s focus. Acutally, to put it bluntly, KP’s John Doerr brought Gore on and bet the farm on green tech.

What does this have to do with an endorsement? As the article I linked above makes clear, green tech is risky diversion for a Silicon Valley VC firm. Gore can help, but it’s still a big leap:

Gore can certainly help in this arena by, for example, introducing Kleiner people to top atmospheric scientists or government decision-makers. Policy and politics, his specialties, will have a huge impact on the business of clean technology.

Another new twist: The capital requirements in the energy business are massive compared with what’s needed to start a software or Internet company. So while Kleiner’s cash can help companies get going, building power plants or cars requires complex financing that’s well beyond what it can offer.

It’s very likely that the next president will introduce some sort of carbon tax or cap-and-trade system. When that happens, one of the Kleiner-backed alternative energy companies will get huge and go public, and Al Gore may well become a billionaire in the process. So it wouldn’t surprise me if he wants to keep some distance between him and the next president, lest the right-wing media machine start to draw connections between Gore’s proximity to the president and his bank account.