"Gore figures he can't afford to skip this," says TIME White House correspondent Jay Branegan. "On Monday, negotiators were sending back word that they think they can get a deal. And Gore needs to be there when it happens."
Tuesday, Janet Reno is expected to decline an independent counsel for Gore's White House phone calls — which means that Gore can show up in Kyoto with nothing to answer for to except greenhouse gases. "The U.S. position is relatively firm; Gore will tell the Europeans that it's better than nothing," says Branegan. "The environment is his issue; if he can bring a deal back home, he can make headlines in a positive light." For the tainted Gore, that is an opportunity not to be missed.