The Gore Report: Keeping Tabs on Our Favorite Environmentalist

Elect Him, Or We’re Doomed!

Each presidential election is always billed by some navel-gazing pundit or analyst as the most important in a generation. Then four years later the same thing is said about the next race. But a new standard for rhetorical hyperbole might have been set by Bobby Kennedy, Jr., in Iowa stumping for the vice president at a rally of environmentalists kicking off Iowa Earth Year 2000. According to the AP, Kennedy, like Gore a scion of a famous political family, called Gore “our last best chance to save the planet.”

Writing Off the Native Colombian Vote

But not all environmentalists are happy with the veep. He has drawn abuse from some greens because of the more than quarter million dollars worth of Occidental Petroleum stock he inherited upon the death of his father, an Occidental board member. The company, which used to be headed by Soviet propagandist and Albert Gore, Sr., confidante Armand Hammer, hopes to drill on the ancestral grounds of Colombia’s indigenous U’wa Indian tribe;

When Irish Eyes Are Lip Synching

The vice president happily accepted the support of another Kennedy. Patriarch-by-default Ted campaigned hard for Gore in New Hampshire, but put the candidate on the spot at a senior citizens home by bursting into a rousing rendition of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.” Gore didn’t know the words. One sympathetic journalist wrote, “It was almost as painful as when Mike Dukakis put on the helmet, which fit him like a kettledrum, and climbed into the tank for a photo op. Gore didn’t know the words but tried to fake it, and that was the least of his problems. You wanted to run up and tell him: Don’t pretend this is the least bit comfortable for you. It only makes it worse.”

Should’ve Borrowed Ollie’s Shredder

The vice president’s propensity to disregard facts came under harsh scrutiny in January when memos from his 1988 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination surfaced, showing aides feared Gore could get into a lot of trouble. One memo lamented the passing of a time when “few reporters cared if you stretched the truth….But gone are those days….We are becoming increasingly scrutinized, particularly by the national press.” A couple of choice examples were offered, such as Gore’s claim that half of his Senate office’s staff members were women, which just wasn’t the case, and a boast that he had campaigned more in the South than all other candidates combined. “That comment is not easy to defend,” said the memo. It went on to caution Gore against “go[ing] out on a limb with remarks that may be impossible to back up.”

Another memo contains a line which seems comic given the vice president’s claim about inventing the internet; even his staunchest defenders have said that, at best, Gore was merely important in fostering the environment in which the internet could blossom. The 1988 memo, which had to do with a Gore claim about being a hands-on homebuilder, warns, “The main point is to be careful not to overstate your role.” Sounds like sound advice for a man who routinely brags about how he and Bill Clinton have “tripled” the stock market since coming to power.