FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Hey Al, What's that Again?Politicians at every level of government, unfairly or not, live under a microscope, and the magnification increases as the officeholder climbs the political ladder. There may be arguments - and recently with the President, have been arguments - to leave the personal life of politicans and celebrities behind closed (bedroom) doors. But that's a discussion for another day and a weightier article.
Here, I would like to point out that, regardless of opinion about the personal lives, it is quite logical that a politician's public life should be open to scrutiny. The press did it to Vice President Quale, President Bush and are now in the process of combing through George W. Bush's every word. Their mistakes are minor compared to these Yoggi Berra-esque slip ups by Vice President Al Gore, who apparently should take just an extra few seconds to think through his soundbites before they come tumbling (stumbling?) out of his mouth. The following are some of Gore's interesting observations on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."
"Welcome to President Clinton, Mrs. Clinton, and my fellow astronauts."
"Mars is essentially in the same orbit... Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe." - August 11, 1994
"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century." - September 15, 1995
"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change." - May 22/, 1998
"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is 'to be prepared.'" - December 6, 1993
"Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things." - November 30, 1996
"I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future."
"The future will be better tomorrow."
"We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world." - September 21, 1997
"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."
"I stand by all the misstatements that I've made." - to Sam Donaldson, August 17, 1993
"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe."
"Public speaking is very easy." - to reporters October 1995
"I am not part of the problem. I am a Democrat."
"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls."
"When I have been asked who caused the riots and the killing in L.A., my answer has been direct and simple: Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame. Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame.
"Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it." - May 20, 1996
"We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur." - September 22, 1997
"For NASA, space is still a high priority." - September 5, 1993
"Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children." - September 18, 1995
"The American people would not want to know of any misquotes that Al Gore may or may not make."
"We're all capable of mistakes, but I do not care to enlighten you on the mistakes we may or may not have made."
"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
"[It's] time for the human race to enter the solar system."
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PICTURE of Al Gore copyright ©1999 Gore 2000