PHILADELPHIA — Al Gore will not be attending this week’s Democratic National Committee Convention in Philadelphia despite being a Tennessee superdelegate, a spokeswoman for the former vice president said Sunday.
Gore is one of eight Tennessee superdelegates this year, but he’s the only one who is not committed to a candidate. POLITICO has previously reported that Gore plans to wait until Democrats officially nominate a presidential candidate before he endorses someone.
Betsy McManus, director of communications for Gore, in an email said Gore is unable to attend the convention this week due to “obligations in Tennessee.” She did not specify what they are.
Gore, who has become less active on the national political scene as he’s turned his attention to environmental causes, did not attend the 2012 DNC convention either after speaking at both the 2008 and 2004 conventions in which Barack Obama and John Kerry were nominated as Democratic candidates for president, respectively.
Gore, a former U.S. senator from Tennessee and native of Carthage, Tenn., maintains a home and office in Nashville.
Tennessee Democratic Party spokesman Spencer Bowers said the state party has not corresponded with Gore about his attendance at the DNC convention this year.
“We always welcome him but completely understand his busy schedule and prior engagement,” Bowers said.
Unlike traditional delegates, superdelegates can choose who to cast their nomination for and are not bound to candidates based on how they performed in their states.
Gore served as vice president for President Bill Clinton, husband of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, before losing his bid in 2000 to become president. Gore’s loss in Tennessee proved costly in his defeat to Republican George W. Bush.