Al Gore

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This article is about the former United States Vice President. For his father, Congressman from Tennessee, see Albert Gore, Sr.
Albert Arnold Gore, Jr.
Image:Al Gore, Vice President of the United States, official portrait 1994.jpg

Al Gore, official portrait 1994<small/>


In office
20 January 1993 – 20 January 2001
Preceded by Dan Quayle
Succeeded by Dick Cheney
President Bill Clinton

Born 31 March 1948
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic
Spouse Mary Elizabeth "Tipper" Gore
Religion Baptist

Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., commonly known as Al Gore (born March 31, 1948) is an American politician, teacher, businessman, and environmentalist who was the 45th Vice President of the United States in the Clinton administration from 1993 to 2001. Previously, he had served in United States House of Representatives (1977-85) and United States Senate (1985-93) for Tennessee.

Gore was the Democratic nominee for President in the 2000 election. He won a plurality of the popular vote, with over half a million more votes than the Republican candidate George W. Bush, but was defeated in the Electoral College by a vote of 271 to 266.

Gore currently is president of the American television channel Current TV, chairman of Generation Investment Management, a director on the board of Apple Computer, and an unofficial adviser to Google's senior management. He lectures widely on the topic of global warming, which he calls "the climate crisis"<ref>http://wired.com/wired/archive/14.05/gore.html</ref>, including on the August 31 2006 MTV Video Music Awards.

Although speculation about a possible Presidential run in 2008 continues, he said as recently as June 4, 2006, "I have no plans to run for President again", <ref>Financial Times: Buzz around Gore fuels talk of another run for president</ref> <ref>Yahoo News: Gore in movie campaign to protect Earth</ref> but hasn’t ruled out a future in politics.<ref>MSNBC: Al Gore denies planning an ’08 presidential bid</ref>

Gore's popularity has increased among grassroots Democrats, with Gore getting 68% of support among potential 2008 Democratic presidential candidates on a May 2006 Daily Kos poll<ref>http://www.dailykos.com/poll/1148396397_RcAkIUdC</ref>, and 35% on July 13 2006 AlterNet poll.<ref>http://www.alternet.org/story/38849/</ref> A Gallup poll of August 2006 showed that nearly half of Americans view Gore favorably (48 percent to 45 percent). <ref>http://www.washtimes.com/national/20060803-112138-5988r.htm</ref> <ref>http://poll.gallup.com/content/default.aspx?ci=23992</ref> CNN telephone poll conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation of registered or independent leaning Democrats in November 2006 has Gore with 14% support.<ref>[1]</ref>

Contents

Early life

Al Gore was born in Washington, D.C., to Albert Arnold Gore, Sr., a U. S. Representative (1939-44, 1945-1953) and Senator (1953-1971) from Tennessee, and Pauline LaFon Gore, one of the first women to graduate from Vanderbilt University Law School. Al Gore Jr. thus divided his childhood between Washington, D.C., and Carthage, Tennessee: During the school year, he lived in a hotel in Washington; during summer vacations, he worked on the Gore family tobacco farm in Carthage.<ref>Bob Zelnick: Al Gore: A Political Life. Regnery Publishing, 1999, ISBN 0-89526-326-2.</ref>

Gore had one elder sister, Nancy Gore Hunger (1938-1984), who died of lung cancer, an issue important to him in subsequent years.

Education

Gore attended the elite St. Albans School where he ranked 25th (of 51) in his senior class. In preparation for his college applications, Gore scored a 1355 on his SAT (625 in verbal and 730 in math). Al Gore's IQ scores, from tests administered at St. Albans in 1961 and 1964 (his freshman and senior years) respectively, have been recorded as 133 and 134.<ref name="PostGrades">Template:Cite web</ref>

In 1965, Gore enrolled at Harvard College, the only university to which he applied. His roommate (in Dunster House) was actor Tommy Lee Jones. He scored in the lower fifth of the class for two years in a row <ref name="PostGrades" /> and, after finding himself bored with his classes in his declared English major, Gore switched majors and worked hard in his government courses and graduated from Harvard in June 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government. <ref name="PostGrades" /> After returning from the military he took religious studies courses at Vanderbilt University and then entered its Law School. He left Vanderbilt without a degree to run for Congress in 1976.

Family

Image:Tgore.jpg
Al Gore's wife Tipper Gore, around 2000

In 1970, Gore married Mary Elizabeth Aitcheson (Tipper Gore), whom he had first met at his high school senior prom in Washington, D.C. They have four children: Karenna Gore (born August 6, 1973), married to Drew Schiff; Kristin Gore (born June 5, 1977); Sarah (born January 7, 1979); and Al Gore III (born October 19, 1982). The Gores also have two grandchildren: Wyatt (born July 4, 1999) and Anna Schiff.

The Gores reside in Nashville, Tennessee, and own a small farm near Carthage. The family attends New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Carthage. The Gores in late 2005 bought a condo at San Francisco's St. Regis.<ref name="San Francisco">Al Gore's Move to San Francisco Generates Real Estate Buzz Newswire</ref>

Soldier and journalist

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Gore served as a field reporter in Vietnam for five months.

Although opposed to the Vietnam War, on August 7, 1969, Gore voluntarily enlisted in the army in order to participate in the war. After basic training at Fort Dix, Gore was assigned as a military journalist writing for The Army Flier, the base newspaper at Fort Rucker. With seven months remaining in his enlistment, he was shipped to Vietnam, arriving January 2, 1971. He served for four months with the 20th Engineer Brigade in Bien Hoa and for another month at the Army Engineer Command in Long Binh. As his unit was standing down, he applied for and received a non-essential personnel discharge two months early in order to attend divinity school at Vanderbilt University.<ref>[2]</ref> The chronology of Gore's military service is:

Gore opposed the Vietnam War, but chose to volunteer anyway though he could have avoided serving in Vietnam in a number of ways. A friend of the Gore family reserved a spot for him in the National Guard, which he turned down. Gore has stated that his sense of civic duty compelled him to serve.<ref>[3]</ref>

Gore said in 1988 that his experience in Vietnam:

didn't change my conclusions about the war being a terrible mistake, but it struck me that opponents to the war, including myself, really did not take into account the fact that there were an awful lot of South Vietnamese who desperately wanted to hang on to what they called freedom. Coming face to face with those sentiments expressed by people who did the laundry and ran the restaurants and worked in the fields was something I was naively unprepared for.<ref>Turque, Bill. Inventing Al Gore, Houghton Mifflin, 2000. ISBN 0-395-88323-7. cited by Issues2000.org More Al Gore on Homeland Security</ref>

After returning from Vietnam, Gore spent five years as a reporter for The Tennessean, a newspaper in Nashville, Tennessee. During this time, Gore also attended Vanderbilt University Divinity School and Law School, although he did not complete a degree at either.<ref name="PostGrades"/>

Politics

Congressional Service

When Congressman Joe L. Evins announced his retirement after 30 years, Gore quit law school in March 1976 to run for the United States House of Representatives, in Tennessee's fourth district. Gore defeated Stanley Rogers in the Democratic primary, then ran unopposed in the general election and was elected to his first Congressional post. He was re-elected three times, in 1978, 1980, and 1982. In 1984 Gore successfully ran for a seat in the United States Senate, which had been vacated by Republican Majority Leader Howard Baker. Gore served as a Senator from Tennessee until 1993, when he became Vice President.

While in Congress, Gore was a member of the following committees: Armed Services (Defense Industry and Technology Projection Forces and Regional Defense; Strategic Forces and Nuclear Deterrence); Commerce, Science and Transportation (Communications; Consumer; Science, Technology and Space- chairman 1992; Surface Transportation; National Ocean Policy Study); Joint Committee on Printing; Joint Economic Committee; and Rules and Administration.

1988 Presidential run

In 1988, Gore ran for President but failed to obtain the Democratic nomination, which went to Michael Dukakis. During the campaign, Gore's strategy involved skipping the Iowa caucus and putting little emphasis on the New Hampshire Primary in order to concentrate his efforts on the South. He won Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee in the Super Tuesday primaries but dropped out of the presidential race in April after a poor showing in the New York primary.<ref name="Gore Chronology">Gore Chronology up to 2000 Frontline PBS.org</ref>

Son's accident and effect on 1992 presidential campaign

On April 3, 1989, Gore's six-year-old son Albert was nearly killed in an automobile accident while leaving the Baltimore Orioles opening game. Because of the resulting lengthy healing process, his father chose to stay near him during the recovery instead of laying the foundation for a presidential primary campaign. Gore started writing Earth in the Balance, his book on environmental conservation, during his son's recovery. It became the first book written by a sitting Senator to make The New York Times bestseller list since John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage.

Vice Presidency

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Vice President talking with President Clinton as the two pass through the Colonnade at the White House.

Bill Clinton chose Gore to be his running mate on July 9, 1992, to the surprise of many as the two were both young and from the same region of the nation. After winning the 1992 election, Al Gore was inaugurated as the 45th Vice President of the United States on January 20, 1993. Clinton and Gore were re-elected to a second term in the 1996 election.

During his time as Vice President, Gore was mostly a behind the scenes player. However, many experts consider him to be one of the most active and influential Vice Presidents in U.S. history.[citation needed] This was evident as Gore had weekly lunches with Clinton to keep each other abreast of current developments.

Debate with Perot

In 1993, Gore debated Ross Perot on CNN's Larry King Live on the issue of free trade, with Gore arguing for free trade and the passage of NAFTA, and Perot arguing against it. Public opinion polls taken after the debate showed that a majority of Americans agreed with Gore's point of view and supported NAFTA.[citation needed] Some claim that this performance may have been responsible for the passing of NAFTA in the House of Representatives, where it passed 234-200.<ref>http://clinton5.nara.gov/WH/EOP/OVP/initiatives/reinventing_government.html</ref>

Initiatives

One of Gore's major accomplishments as Vice President was the National Performance Review<ref>National Performance Review</ref>, which pointed out waste, fraud, and other abuse in the federal government and stressed the need for cutting the size of the bureaucracy and the number of regulations. His book later helped guide President Clinton when he down-sized the federal government.<ref>http://clinton2.nara.gov/WH/EOP/OVP/speeches/interego.html</ref>

Environment

While a Representative, Gore co-sponsored hearings on toxic waste in 1978-79, and hearings on global warming in the 1980s.<ref>http://pbs.org/now/science/climatechange.html</ref> While a senator working on his book Earth in the Balance, Gore had traveled around the world on numerous fact-finding missions. During Gore's tenure as Vice President, he was a proponent for environmental protection. On Earth Day 1994, Gore launched the worldwide GLOBE program, an innovative hands-on, school-based education and science activity that made extensive use of the Internet to increase student awareness of their environment and contribute research data for scientists.

In the late 1990s, Gore strongly pushed for the passage of the Kyoto Treaty, which called for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions <ref>"Remarks By Al Gore, Climate Change Conference". Retrieved on 2006-09-01.</ref> <ref>"Vice President Gore: Strong Environmental Leadership for the New Millennium". Retrieved on 2006-09-01.</ref>. However, many of these proposals were not enacted by Congress, and/or were not implemented to the satisfaction of critics such as Ralph Nader.<ref>http://debatethis.org/gore/enviro/naderopenletter.html#globalwarming</ref> In 1998, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia wrote Resolution S. 98 that opposed ratification of the Kyoto treaty, and in turn the Senate voted 95 to 0 against the treaty.

Space

Since 1998, Gore heavily promoted a NASA satellite that would provide a constant view of Earth, marking the first time such an image would have been made since The Blue Marble photo from the 1972 Apollo 17 mission. The "Triana" satellite would have been permanently mounted in the L1 Lagrangian Point, 1.5 million km away. <ref>[4]</ref> The finished satellite was not launched due to opposition from the Republican congress.

Foreign policy

Because of President Clinton's relative inexperience in foreign policy matters and Gore's service in Vietnam and in the Senate, Clinton often looked to Gore for advice in the area of foreign policy. Gore was one of the first to call for action to remove Yugoslavia's President Slobodan Milošević from power in 1998. Gore also supported Operation Desert Fox, a three day bombing campaign against Iraq that attempted to "degrade Saddam Hussein's ability to make and to use weapons of mass destruction."<ref>http://www.defenselink.mil/specials/desert_fox/</ref> <ref>http://clinton5.nara.gov/WH/EOP/OVP/initiatives/foreign_policy.html</ref>

Economy

Gore supporters point out that during the Clinton/Gore administration, the American economy expanded for eight years. They attribute this growth to the policies of the Clinton/Gore administration, and especially to the passage of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, for which Gore cast the tie-breaking vote. The Administration worked closely with the Republican-led House to slow federal spending and eventually balance the federal budget.

During his 2000 campaign for the presidency, Gore himself attributed positive economic results to his and Clinton's policies<ref>http://clinton5.nara.gov/WH/EOP/OVP/initiatives/economy.html</ref> -- more than 22 million new jobs, the highest homeownership in American history (up to that time), the lowest unemployment in 30 years, the paying off of $360 billion of the national debt, the lowest poverty rate in 20 years, higher incomes at all levels, the conversion of the hitherto largest budget deficit in American history into the largest surplus, the lowest government spending in three decades, the lowest federal income tax burden in 35 years, and more families owning stocks than had up to that point. However Gore later placed a large share of the blame for his election loss on the economic downturn and NASDAQ crash of March 2000 in an interview with National Public Radio's Bob Edwards.<ref>http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=848572</ref>

2000 presidential election

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Al Gore and running-mate Joe Lieberman at the 2000 Democratic National Convention.

After two terms as Vice President, Gore ran for President. In the Democratic primaries, Gore faced an early challenge from Bill Bradley. Gore's nomination was never really in doubt and Bradley withdrew from the race in early March 2000 after failing to win any state primary or caucus.

In August 2000, Gore surprised many[citation needed]when he selected Senator Joe Lieberman to be his vice-presidential running mate. Lieberman, who is a more conservative Democrat than Gore, had publicly admonished President Clinton to speak unambiguously to the U.S. people about the Lewinsky scandal. Many pundits saw Gore's choice of Lieberman as another way of trying to distance himself from the scandal-prone Clinton White House.[citation needed] Lieberman was also the first Jewish nominee on a major party's national ticket.

During the entire campaign, Gore was neck-and-neck in the polls with Republican Governor of Texas George W. Bush. On Election Day, the results were so close that the outcome of the race took over a month to resolve, highlighted by the premature declaration of a winner on election night, and an extremely close result in the state of Florida. On election night, news networks first called Florida for Gore, later retracted the projection, and then called Florida for Bush, before finally retracting that projection as well.

The race was ultimately decided by a margin of only 537 votes in Florida. Florida's 25 electoral votes were awarded to Bush only after numerous court challenges. Gore publicly conceded the election after the Supreme Court of the United States in Bush v. Gore voted 7 to 2 to declare the ongoing recount procedure unconstitutional because it feared that different standards would be used in different parts of the state, and 5 to 4 to ban recounts using other procedures. Gore strongly disagreed with the Court's decision, but decided "for the sake of our unity of the people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession." Following the election, a subsequent recount conducted by various U.S. news media organizations indicated that Bush would have won using the partial recount method of four strongly Democratic areas advocated by Gore, but that Gore would have won given a full recount of the state if overvotes (i.e. optical ballots where the oval next to a candidate was blacked in and the candidate's name was mistakenly written in the space on the ballot headed "Write in Candidate's Name", which were rejected by optical scoring machines but unmistakably assignable by a human scorer) were counted, regardless of whether the undervotes (mainly the infamous punch ballots where "chads" were not completely punched out) were subjected to rigorous (only fully punched out) or loose (any dimple or mark) standards, or a standard in between (i.e. at least one corner detached, at least two corners detached), and/or disputed absentee ballots (including those which were unsigned, undated, dated too late, etc.) were counted.<ref>http://www.consortiumnews.com/Print/111201a.html</ref> <ref>Miami Herald, December 3, 2000</ref> <ref>Los Angeles Times, November 12, 2001</ref>

The states that ultimately voted for Gore over Bush in were New York (by 1.7 million votes), New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Mexico (by mere 366 votes), California (by 1.3 million votes), Oregon, Washington, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, and Hawaii giving Gore 267 electoral votes to Bush's 271. During the formal Electoral College vote in DC, one of Gore's electors cast a blank ballot to protest what she called DC's "colonial status", thus Gore's final number of electoral votes was 266.<ref>http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/2000presgeresults.htm</ref> Gore became only the third nominee to win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote.<ref>http://www.time.com/time/pacific/magazine/20001120/schlesinger.html. Retrieved on 6 September, 2006</ref>

The Florida election has been closely scrutinized since the election. Critics have argued that the Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush (brother of George W. Bush) and the Secretary of State of Florida, Katherine Harris, did play a part in ensuring that the state was in the red column of the Republicans come election day.[citation needed] Some irregularities are thought to have favored Bush, while others may have given Gore an edge. Irregularities favoring Bush included the notorious Palm Beach "butterfly ballots," which were alleged to have produced a large number of mistaken votes for Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan intended for Gore, and a purge of some 50,000 alleged felons from the Florida voting rolls that included some voters who were again eligible to vote under Florida law. Furthermore, most major news networks prematurely projected Gore as the winner of Florida's 25 electoral votes at 7:52 p.m. Eastern Time. This happened before the polls closed in ten Florida counties in the heavily Republican western panhandle which are in the Central Time Zone, and thus closed at 7 p.m. Central Time (8 p.m. Eastern). This may have depressed the pro-Bush vote as panhandle residents waiting to, or going to, cast their ballots did not do so because they thought their votes were meaningless in the aftermath of the calling of Florida for Gore, although the degree to which this influenced Bush's vote totals are unknown and debatable.<ref>http://archives.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/stories/02/02/cnn.report/cnn.pdf</ref> During the numerous recounts (which made the phrase "hanging chads" infamous in the American vocabulary), there were also allegations of both pro-Bush and pro-Gore tampering by low-level operatives in the controversial counties.<ref>http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2000/11/26/230955.shtml</ref> It is unclear what effect, if any, this may have had. Both camps fought (with some success) to keep overseas absentee votes out in counties thought to be favorable to the other candidate, arguing, for example, that votes in envelopes lacking cancellation marks could have been cast after the election. The counterargument was that, regardless of the law, many of the votes were cast by military personnel, and some could have been delayed due to emergency duty shifts by those overseas who chose to submit their ballots at the last hour.[citation needed]
Image:GoreBush.jpg
After a close campaign, Gore greets President-elect Bush at the White House in late December of 2000.

As a matter of law, the issue was settled when the Congress of the United States accepted Florida's electoral delegation, only after a challenge to the Florida electors was presented in the congressional chambers on January 6, 2001 by members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Member after member went up decrying the lack of a senator who would be willing to co-sponsor the challenge without any effect.[citation needed] They thus failed to bring the challenge to a debate.

Concern about the possible disenfranchisement of voters in the Florida vote led to widespread calls for electoral reform in the United States, and ultimately to the passage of the Help America Vote Act, which authorized the United States federal government to provide funds to the states to replace their mechanical voting equipment with electronic voting equipment. However, this has led to new controversies, because of the security weaknesses of the computer systems, the lack of paper-based methods of secure verification, and the necessity to rely on the trustworthiness of the manufacturers whose employees also count those votes.

Joe Lieberman later criticized Al Gore for adopting a populist theme during their 2000 campaign. Lieberman said he objected to Gore's "people vs. the powerful" message, believing it was not the best strategy for Democrats to use to retain the White House.<ref>http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=28519</ref>

The popular political weblog The Daily Howler contends that Gore lost the election due to a relentless media "war," in which his positions were misconstrued and his personal idiosyncrasies exaggerated or even invented altogether by members of the mainstream press corps. Singled out for particularly misleading accounts of Gore and his candidacy are Ceci Connolly of the Washington Post, Katherine "Kit" Seelye of the New York Times and television talk-show host Chris Matthews.<ref>http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh052306.shtml</ref>

Private citizen

Education

Following his election loss, Gore accepted visiting professorships at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, Middle Tennessee State University, University of California, Los Angeles, and Fisk University.

Criticism of Bush Administration

On September 23, 2002, Gore spoke in San Francisco to The Commonwealth Club and made a controversial speech blasting Bush on the timing of the Iraq war,<ref>http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2002-09-23-gore_x.htm</ref> although he admitted Saddam was a potential danger and suggested Saddam had WMD saying: "We know that [Saddam] has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country. Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."<ref>http://www.commonwealthclub.org/archive/02/02-09gore-speech.html</ref>

Gore also spoke against rushing to war with Iraq, advising caution and saying that Iraq was a diversion from fighting Al-Qaeda and terrorism in Afghanistan and elsewhere: "I don't think that we should allow anything to diminish our focus on avenging the 3,000 Americans who were murdered and dismantling the network of terrorists who we know to be responsible for it. The fact that we don't know where they are should not cause us to focus instead on some other enemy whose location may be easier to identify."

Before the November 5, 2002 midterm elections Gore re-emerged into the public eye with a 14-city book tour and a well-orchestrated "full Gore" media blitz which included a pair of policy speeches. On September 23, Gore delivered a speech on the impending 2003 invasion of Iraq and the War on Terrorism that generated a fair amount of commentary. On October 2, he made a speech on Bush's handling of the economy to the Brookings Institution. Also, during this time period Gore guest starred on several programs such as The Late Show with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live.

On the political front, Gore kept his promise of staying involved in public debate when he offered his criticism and advice to the Bush Administration on key topics such as the Occupation of Iraq, USA Patriot Act, and environmental issues, most notably global warming. Gore also continued to visit campuses across the nation lecturing on issues such as race, mass media and democracy.

On April 10, 2004, Gore met with the 9/11 Commission in private to give his testimony on what the Clinton administration did to prevent terror attacks. In a statement after the three-hour session, the commission said he was candid and forthcoming, and thanked him for his "continued cooperation."

In the summer of 2004, Gore teamed up with MoveOn.org, to promote the science fiction film, The Day After Tomorrow. Gore said that although the movie shows a far-fetched picture of the climate change, it would escalate public debate on the issue.

On April 27, 2005, Gore gave an hour-long speech lambasting the GOP's effort to do away with the legislative filibuster. In response to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who for weeks had repeated threats to impose the "nuclear option" if Senate Democrats did not stop blocking judicial nominees via the filibuster, Gore said, "Their grand design is an all-powerful executive using a weakened legislature to fashion a compliant judiciary in its own image. The Senate has confirmed 205 or over 95% of President Bush's nominees. Democrats have held up only 10 nominees, less than 5%. Compare that with the 60 Clinton nominees who were blocked by Republican obstruction between 1995 and 2000. What is involved here is a power grab." Gore also took aim at what he called "religious zealots" who claim special knowledge of God's will in American politics. He went on to say, "They even claim that those of us who disagree with their point of view are waging war against people of faith. How dare they!" This was Gore's first major policy speech of 2005 and also the first one since the defeat of Democratic hopeful John Kerry in late 2004.

Civil Rights

On January 16, 2006, Al Gore delivered a speech criticizing President Bush's use of domestic wiretaps without a warrant. Gore stated that Bush broke the law and recommended that an independent counsel investigate the matter further<ref>"Transcript: Former Vice President Gore's Speech on Constitutional Issues". Retrieved on 2006-09-01.</ref>.

On February 12 2006 at the Jeddah Economic Forum, Gore contended the US government had committed ‘terrible abuses’ against Arabs living in America after the 9/11 attacks, and that most Americans did not support such treatment. "The thoughtless way in which visas are now handled, that is a mistake,” Gore stated. “The worst thing we can possibly do is to cut off the channels of friendship and mutual understanding between Saudi Arabia and the United States.” He told the Saudi audience, many of them educated in US universities, that Arabs in the United States had been “indiscriminately rounded up, often on minor charges of overstaying a visa or not having a green card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable. (...) Unfortunately there have been terrible abuses and it’s wrong. I do want you to know that it does not represent the desires or wishes or feelings of the majority of the citizens of my country.”<ref name= newsmax220618>http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/2/12/220618.shtml</ref> Gore however was criticized for these comments, with Terrence Jeffrey of Human Events and Jack Kelly of RealClearPolitics pointing out that 9/11 Commission reported that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who planned the attacks, told interrogators most of the hijackers he selected were Saudis because they had the easiest time getting visas (page 492). <ref>[5]</ref> <ref>[6]</ref>

Hurricane Katrina

In September 2005, Gore chartered two aircraft to evacuate 270 evacuees from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.<ref>http://www.detnews.com/2005/nation/0509/09/nat4%2D309467.htm</ref> He was highly critical of the government and federal response in the days after the hurricane.

Future plans

Speaking at an economic forum in Stockholm, Sweden, in October 2005, Gore again stated that he had no intention of ever running for president again, in response to questions from reporters. However, he refused to rule the possibility out completely saying, "I do not completely rule out some future interest, but I do not expect to have that." When asked how the United States would have been different if he had become president, Gore stated, "We would not have invaded a country that didn't attack us. We would not have taken money from the working families and given it to the most wealthy families. We would not be trying to control and intimidate the news media. We would not be routinely torturing people." <ref>http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/12/politics/main938098.shtml</ref>

In 2006, Gore purchased a luxury condo at San Francisco's St. Regis tower. This has created speculation that he may eventually run for political office in California. <ref>http://www.americanthinker.com/comments.php?comments_id=5913</ref>

Environment

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Gore giving his global warming talk on 7 April 2006

In the past years, Gore has remained busy traveling the world speaking and participating in events mainly aimed towards global warming awareness and prevention. His Keynote presentation on global warming has received standing ovations, and he has presented it at least 1000 times.

Gore is a vocal proponent of carbon neutrality, buying a carbon offset each time he travels by aircraft.<ref>"Born Again", Guardian Unlimited, May 31, 2006.</ref> Gore and his family drive hybrid vehicles.<ref>"Larry King Live - Interview with Al Gore", CNN, June 13, 2006.</ref>

Beginning in the fall of 2006, Al Gore and a team of renowned climate change scientists and educators will train more than 1,000 individual volunteers to give a version of his presentation on the effects of – and solutions for - global warming, to community groups throughout the U.S. The presentation and training program are based on the message Gore has been giving for more than two decades, which inspired the documentary film and book, An Inconvenient Truth.<ref>http://www.cutco2.org/2006/09/this-just-in-from-climate-project.html</ref>

An Inconvenient Truth

Main article: An Inconvenient Truth
Image:An Inconvenient Truth.jpg
An Inconvenient Truth Book Cover

Al Gore starred in the film An Inconvenient Truth produced by Paramount Pictures, released on May 24 2006, and on DVD on 21 November 2006. It concerns global warming, an issue which Gore has followed since the 1970s. It shows some of Gore's more recent speeches, as well as him talking and performing research. Before August it surpassed Bowling for Columbine as the third-highest grossing documentary film in U.S. history.<ref name="Box Office Mojo">http://www.boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=documentary.htm</ref> Gore has also published a book of the same title.

Coinciding with the release, Gore appeared on the May 13, 2006 episode of Saturday Night Live. In the cold opening, he plays himself from a parallel Earth in which he won the 2000 Presidential race. Gore then addresses the nation on the fact that: they stopped global warming and glaciers are now attacking America; gasoline costs 19¢ a gallon; George W. Bush is Baseball Commissioner; welfare and Social Security have been fixed and America now enjoys universal health care; Gore helped develop an anti-hurricane/tornado machine; and the federal surplus is down to eleven trillion dollars. Gore later appeared on Weekend Update and engaged in a debate on global warming with Amy Poehler.

Investment firm

In late 2001, Al Gore became Vice Chairman of Los Angeles financial firm Metropolitan West Financial LLC.

In late 2004, Gore launched an investment firm Generation Investment Management, which he chairs, to seek out companies taking a responsible view on big global issues like climate change. It was created to assist the growing demand for an investment style which can bring returns by blending traditional equity research with a focus on more intangible non-financial factors such as social and environmental responsibility and corporate governance.

Television network

Image:Current.png
Current TV logo
Main article: Current TV

On May 4, 2004, INdTV Holdings, a company co-founded by Gore and Joel Hyatt, purchased cable news channel NewsWorld International from Vivendi Universal. The new network will not have political leanings, Gore said, but will serve as an "independent voice" for a target audience of people between 18 and 34 "who want to learn about the world in a voice they recognize and a view they recognize as their own."<ref>http://www.eonline.com/News/Items/0,1,14032,00.html?newsrellink</ref> The network was relaunched under the name Current TV on August 1, 2005.

2004 presidential election

Endorsing Dean

Initially, Al Gore was touted as a logical opponent of George W. Bush in the 2004 Presidential Election. "Re-elect Gore!" was a common slogan among many Democrats who felt he had been unfairly cheated out of the presidency, on the grounds of his winning the popular vote and the Florida voting controversies. On December 16, 2002, however, Gore announced that he would not run in 2004, saying that it was time for "fresh faces" and "new ideas" to emerge from the Democrats. When he appeared on a 60 Minutes interview, Gore said that he felt if he had run, the focus of the election would be the rematch rather than the issues. Gore's former running mate, Joe Lieberman quickly announced his own candidacy for the presidency, which he had vowed he would not do if Gore ran.

Despite Gore taking himself out of the race, a handful of his supporters formed a national campaign to "draft" him into running. However, that effort largely came to an end when Gore publicly endorsed Governor of Vermont Howard Dean (over his former running mate Lieberman) weeks before the first primary of the election cycle. This caused a rift due to the contentious relationship between Lieberman and Dean during the primary. Furthermore, Gore did not call Lieberman to apprise him of the endorsement. There was still some effort to encourage write-in votes for Gore in the primaries by a different group of Gore supporters who were separate from the draft movement. Although Gore did receive a small number of votes in New Hampshire and New Mexico, that effort was halted when John Kerry pulled into the lead for the nomination. Gore's endorsement of Dean was helpful to the latter in legitimizing him in the eyes of the establishment faction of the Democratic Party, but it also led the media to dub Dean as the clear front-runner, with the result that his opponents devoted more of their emphasis to opposing him.[citation needed]

Campaign against Bush

On January 15, 2004, Al Gore gave a major address in New York City on climate change and the Bush administration's approach to the environment. Accompanied by slides and projector, Gore slammed the Bush administration's attitude towards global warming saying, "There are many who still do not believe that global warming is a problem at all. And it's no wonder: because they are the targets of a massive and well-organized campaign of disinformation lavishly funded by polluters who are determined to prevent any action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming out of a fear that their profits might be affected if they had to stop dumping so much pollution into the atmosphere."

On February 9, 2004, on the eve of the Tennessee primary, Gore gave what many consider his harshest criticism of the president yet when he accused George W. Bush of betraying the country by using the 9/11 attacks as a justification for the invasion of Iraq. "He betrayed this country!" Gore shouted into the microphone. "He played on our fears! He took America on an ill-conceived foreign adventure dangerous to our troops, an adventure preordained and planned before 9/11 ever took place!" Gore also urged all Democrats to unite behind their eventual nominee proclaiming, "Any one of these candidates is far better than George W. Bush." In March 2004 Gore, along with former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, united behind Kerry as the presumptive Democratic nominee.

On April 28, 2004, Gore announced that he would be donating $6 million to various Democratic Party groups. Drawing from his funds left over from his 2000 campaign, Gore pledged to donate $4 million to the Democratic National Committee. The party's Senate and House committees would each get $1 million, and the party from Gore's home state of Tennessee would receive $250,000. In addition, Gore announced that all of the surplus funds in his "Recount Fund" from the 2000 election controversy that resulted in the Supreme Court halting the counting of the ballots, a total of $240,000, will be donated to the Florida Democratic Party. Gore stressed the importance of voting and having every vote counted, foreshadowing the 2004 United States election voting controversies.

On May 26, 2004, Gore gave a highly critical speech on the Iraq crisis and the Bush Administration. In the speech, Gore demanded Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone all resign for encouraging policies that led to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners and fanned hatred of Americans abroad. During the fiery speech, which lasted more than an hour, Gore called the Bush administration's Iraq war plan "incompetent" and called George W. Bush the most dishonest president since Richard Nixon, who resigned the office of the presidency in 1974 following the Watergate scandal.

Gore also decried the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq, saying, "What happened at that prison, it is now clear, is not the result of random acts of a few bad apples. It was the natural consequence of the Bush Administration policy."

2004 Democratic National Convention

As the first major speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Gore held himself out as a living reminder that every vote counts. "Let's make sure not only that the Supreme Court does not pick the next president, but also that this president is not the one who picks the next Supreme Court," said Gore. Gore directed remarks to supporters of third-party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who abandoned the Democratic Party four years ago, asking them, "Do you still believe that there was no difference between the candidates?"<ref>PBS transcript of Gore speech at 2004 convention</ref>

Post-convention

On October 18, 2004, Al Gore delivered his final major policy speech of the 2004 political season. In an hour long presentation, Gore concluded that, "I'm convinced that most of the president's frequent departures from fact-based analysis have much more to do with right-wing political and economic ideology than with the Bible." Currently, Al Gore is a possible 2008 candidate for President; while he has repeatedly said that he currently has no interest in running, he has refused to rule out the possibility.

Policy positions

Gore is a supporter of abortion rights, free trade, and strong environmental policy. Gore is often said to have gradually moved politically from a moderate towards a more liberal stance within the Democratic party. For example, he was one of ten Democratic senators to cross party lines and support the 1991 Gulf War, but was a vocal opponent of the 2003 invasion of Iraq<ref>http://www.commonwealthclub.org/archive/02/02-09gore-speech.html</ref>.

Abortion
In 1977, Gore voted for the Hyde Amendment to prevent federal funding of abortion. Due to votes such as this one, Gore's Congressional voting record through the late 1980's was rated by the National Right to Life Committee as 84% anti-abortion. Gore also at one point opposed a provision allowing exceptions in the case of rape.<ref>[7]</ref> In a letter to a constituent from 1984-07-18, then-Congressman Gore wrote
"It is my deep personal conviction that abortion is wrong. I hope that some day we will see the current outrageously large number of abortions drop sharply. Let me assure you that I share your belief that innocent human life must be protected. In my opinion, it is wrong to spend federal funds for what is arguably the taking of a human life…."<ref>Boston Globe, p.A30 Jan 30, 2000.</ref>

Gore did not start consistently voting pro-choice until 1988. <ref name=boston>[8] </ref> Gore explained the purported contradiction by distinguishing his view on federal funding of institutions performing abortions from his view on the legality of abortion, "I voted to restrict federal funding of abortions[, but] I've always supported Roe v. Wade. I've always supported keeping abortions legal..."<ref name=boston />

Gay Rights

Gore did not support gay rights until 1988. Gore was quoted by Nashville's The Tennessean in 1984 as saying homosexuality is not "an acceptable alternative that society should affirm" and said in his 1984 U.S. Senate race that he would not accept money from gay rights organizations and that he opposed a "gay bill of rights".<ref>Ivers, Kevin. "Gore Political Ties to "God Hates Fags" Founders Uncovered", Georgia Log Cabin Republicans, 2000-10-25. Retrieved on 2006-09-19.</ref> <ref>Hohler, Bob. "Bradley rips Gore's scare tactics to win gay votes", Boston Globe, 2000-02-15. Retrieved on 2006-09-26.</ref>

The Internet and the Webbys

Gore bill

Al Gore has been involved in the development and mainstreaming of the Internet. Campbell-Kelly and Aspray note in Computer: A History of the Information Machine "The problem of giving ordinary Americans network access had exercised Senator Al Gore since the late 1970s" <ref>Campbell-Kelly and Aspray (1996). Computer: A History of the Information Machine. New York: BasicBooks, 298</ref>.

Gore was highly influenced by the 1988 report Toward a National Research Network <ref>http://newton.nap.edu/books/NI000393/html</ref> submitted to Congress by a group chaired by UCLA professor of computer science, Leonard Kleinrock, one of the central creators of the ARPANET <ref>http://www.isoc.org/internet/history/brief.shtml#Transition</ref>.

After hearing this report, Gore introduced legislation during the late 1980s known informally as the 'Gore Bill <ref>http://www.computerhistory.org/exhibits/internet_history/internet_history_90s.shtml</ref>. It was passed, however, as the High Performance Computing Act of 1991 <ref>http://www.mit.edu/afs/net.mit.edu/dev/mit/jis/OldFiles/nrenbill.txt</ref> on Dec. 9, 1991 and led to the NII or National Information Infrastructure <ref>http://www.ibiblio.org/nii/goremarks.html</ref> which Gore referred to as the Information superhighway.

Leonard Kleinrock lists this bill as an important moment in Internet history:

A second development occurred around this time, namely, then-Senator Al Gore, a strong and knowledgeable proponent of the Internet, promoted legislation that resulted in President George Bush signing the High Performance Computing and Communication act of 1991. This Act allocated $600 million for high performance computing and for the creation of the National Research and Education Network [13-14]. The NREN brought together industry, academia and government in a joint effort to accelerate the development and deployment of gigabit/sec networking <ref>""The Internet rules of engagement: then and now" (PDF).</ref>.

Information superhighway

According to Campbell-Kelly and Aspray:

In the early 1990s the Internet was big news...In the fall of 1990 there were just 313,000 computers on the Internet; by 1996, there were close to 10 million. The networking idea became politicized during the 1992 Clinton-Gore election campaign, where the rhetoric of the 'information highway' captured the public imagination. On taking office in 1993, the new administration set in place a range of government initiatives for a National Information Infrastructure aimed at ensuring that all American citizens ultimately gain access to the new networks (1996:283).

In February 1993, President Clinton and Vice President Gore submitted a report, Technology for America's Economic Growth <ref>http://ntl.bts.gov/card_view.cfm?docid=23566</ref> which outlined the ways in which their administration planned further development of what Gore referred to as the Information Superhighway by the year 2000. Gore further developed these ideas in speeches that he made at The Superhighway Summit <ref>http://www.clintonfoundation.org/legacy/011194-remarks-by-the-vp-on-television.htm</ref>, on 1994-01-11 at Royce Hall, UCLA and for the International Telecommunications Union <ref>http://clinton1.nara.gov/White_House/EOP/OVP/html/telunion.html</ref> on 1994-03-21. In addition, on 1994-01-13, Gore "became the first U.S. vice president to hold a live interactive news conference on an international computer network". <ref>http://www.unc.edu/depts/jomc/academics/dri/pioneers2d.html#al</ref> <ref>http://www.clintonfoundation.org/legacy/011394-press-release-on-vp-online-conferencing.htm</ref>

Mosaic

Funding for the development of Mosaic in 1993, <ref>http://www.totic.org/nscp/demodoc/demo.html</ref> the World Wide Web browser which is often credited as leading to the Internet boom during the mid-1990s, came from the High-Performance Computing and Communications Initiative, a program created by the High Performance Computing Act of 1991 <ref>http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/lazowska/faculty.lecture/innovation/gore.html</ref>.

CNN interview about role in Internet's creation

On 1999-03-09, during an interview on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, Gore said,

During my service in the United States Congress I took the initiative in creating the internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system. <ref>http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/03/09/president.2000/transcript.gore</ref>

This quote became the subject of heavy satire <ref>http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue5_10/wiggins/</ref>, often changing <ref>http://sethf.com/gore/</ref> Gore's words to claim that he "invented the internet".

Cerf and Kahn response

In response to this controversy, Internet pioneers Vint Cerf and Robert E. Kahn issued a statement on 2000-09-28:

[A]s the two people who designed the basic architecture and the core protocols that make the Internet work, we would like to acknowledge VP Gore's contributions as a Congressman, Senator and as Vice President. No other elected official, to our knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of time.
Last year the Vice President made a straightforward statement on his role. He said: "During my service in the United States Congress I took the initiative in creating the Internet." We don't think, as some people have argued, that Gore intended to claim he "invented" the Internet. Moreover, there is no question in our minds that while serving as Senator, Gore's initiatives had a significant and beneficial effect on the still-evolving Internet. The fact of the matter is that Gore was talking about and promoting the Internet long before most people were listening. We feel it is timely to offer our perspective. <ref>http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200009/msg00052.html</ref>

Apple Computer and Google

In May 2003, Gore joined the board of directors of Apple Computer.<ref>http://www.apple.com/pr/bios/gore.html</ref> <ref name=apple>http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2003/mar/19gore.html</ref> He also serves as a Senior Advisor to Google, Inc.<ref name=apple />

Webby award

In 2005, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences honored Gore at the Webby Awards for Lifetime Achievement for three decades of contributions to the Internet. The Webby Awards, which are widely hailed as the Oscars of the web, "wanted to set the record straight" about Al Gore and the Internet once and for all. Tiffany Shlain, the awards' founder and chairwoman said, "It's just one of those instances someone did amazing work for three decades as Congressman, Senator and Vice President and it got spun around into this political mess." <ref>http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2005-05-04-gore-webby_x.htm</ref>

Trivia

  • On 19 March 1979, Gore became the first person to appear on C-SPAN, making a speech in the House chambers.<ref name="Gore Chronology" />
  • Gore is the highest elected official to have run a marathon while in office. He ran the 1997 Marine Corps Marathon in 4:58:25 or a pace of 11:25/mile. His Secret Service agents were also runners and changed every few miles.
  • Gore climbed to the summit of Mt. Rainier in 1999.<ref>http://quest.cjonline.com/stories/102700/gen_ease.shtml</ref>
  • Gore provided a spoken-word contribution to the song "Al Gore", written by Robert Ellis Orral, and performed by Monkey Bowl.
  • Gore wrote a note targeted toward savvy web users on his 2000 campaign site (algore.com) that was hidden in the HTML source code, only visible by "viewing source".
  • Gore has a voice credit in two episodes of Futurama (on which his daughter Kristin was a writer and story editor) where he appears as himself. In addition, Futurama's Bender appears with Gore in A Terrifying Message from Al Gore, promoting An Inconvenient Truth.

Controversies

Main article: Al Gore controversies

See also

Footnotes

<references/>

Further reading

  • Campbell-Kelly, Martin; Aspray, William. Computer: A History of the Information Machine. New York: BasicBooks, 1996.
  • Gore, Albert. An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We can do about it. New York: Rodale Books, 2006.
    • Common Sense Government: Works Better and Costs Less. New York: Random House, 1995.
    • Earth in the Balance: Forging a New Common Purpose. Earthscan, 1992.
    • "Infrastructure for the global village: computers, networks and public policy." Scientific American September 1991 (Special Issue: Communications, Computers, and Networks) 265(3): 150-153.

External links

General sites

Film and television

Recent speeches by Al Gore

Al Gore and the Internet

Al Gore's early career in journalism

Al Gore myths and media bias


Preceded by:
Joe L. Evins
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee's 4th District
1977 – 1983
Succeeded by:
James H.S. Cooper
Preceded by:
Robert J. Beard, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee's 6th District
1983 – 1985
Succeeded by:
Bart Gordon
Preceded by:
Howard H. Baker Jr.
United States Senator (Class 2) from Tennessee
1985 – 1993
Served alongside: James R. Sasser
Succeeded by:
Harlan Mathews
Preceded by:
Lloyd Bentsen
Democratic Party vice presidential candidate
1992 (won), 1996 (won)
Succeeded by:
Joe Lieberman
Preceded by:
Dan Quayle
Vice President of the United States
January 20, 1993January 20, 2001
Succeeded by:
Dick Cheney
Preceded by:
Bill Clinton
Democratic Party presidential nominee
2000 (lost)
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John Kerry
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Dan Quayle
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