NEW YORK – Al Gore is waging a fierce campaign for recognition and an Oscar statuette for his global warming documentary, while reviving talk that he’s pursuing a bigger prize: the presidency.

His recent itinerary has been the ultimate in high profile. The former vice president made self-deprecating jokes on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, offered ideas on preserving the environment to Oprah Winfrey and her daytime audience and parried questions on Iraq from Matt Lauer on The Today Show.

On Saturday, Gore is hosting a network of 1,600 house parties across the country to watch and discuss his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, with the Democrat planning to address the gatherings by satellite hookup. The movie is on the short list of feature-length documentaries being considered for Oscar nominations.

Crisscrossing the country to promote the DVD version of the movie Gore insists that he’s not planning a return to politics.

“I am not planning to run for president again,” Gore said last week, arguing that his focus is raising public awareness about global warming and its dire effects. Then he added, “I haven’t completely ruled it out.”

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