Politics The Contenders: Al Gore
posted by March 2 at 9:05 AMon
Sure, November 2008 is nearly two years away, but it’s apparently never too early to declare one’s intention to run for president, and thus it’s never too early to get to know the people who might be the next leader of the free world. This month we’ll be taking a brief look at them.
He’s won a presidential election (sort of), an Oscar, and been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. However, despite a heavily orchestrated joke at the Oscars award ceremony, Al Gore has yet to throw his hat into the ring for the 2008 election. He hasn’t ruled out the possibility, though.
Al Gore was born in Washington D.C. in 1948. His father was a Senator for Tennessee from 1953 to 1971. Gore graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Government in 1969. After graduation, he enlisted in the military and was sent to Vietnam, where he served as a field reporter for five months. He then requested, and received, an honorable discharge. He has said that he was opposed to the war but enlisted because he felt it was his civic duty.
Gore briefly took religious studies courses at Vanderbilt University upon returning from Vietnam before transferring over to the law school. He also worked as a reporter for the Tennesseean in Nashville, Tennessee.
In 1976, Gore quit law school to run for Congress in Tennessee’s fourth district. He ran unopposed in the general election and was later re-elected three times. In 1984, he ran successfully for the U.S. Senate where he served on several important committees, including the Armed Services Committee and the Consumer, Science, and Transportation Committee (where he introduced the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991, which helped to expand the Internet in its early stages).
In 1988, while still a Senator, Gore ran in the presidential primaries, but failed to gain the Democratic nomination. In 1992, Bill Clinton chose Gore as his running mate, and he served as Vice President from 1993 through 2000.
After the Gore/Lieberman ticket lost the 2000 election to Bush by dint of a Supreme Court decision, Gore has been busy making himself a spokesman about the damaging effects of global warming. In addition to his 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, Gore (along with Richard Branson) has instituted a $25 million dollar prize for the first viable design to remove excess greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere, has orchestrated a series of worldwide concerts for the summer of 2007 to bring attention to the issue of climate change, and chairs an investment firm which seeks out environmentally responsible companies. Gore has also helped to launch the independent TV network Current TV.
Recent criticism from a global-warming-denial think tank has claimed that Gore’s Tennessee mansion uses more energy in a month than the average American household uses in a year. Gore’s spokesperson has said that Gore purchases his energy through renewable energy sources and also purchases carbon offsets for his home energy consumption (as well as every time he takes a plane flight). Gore owns three Toyota Prius cars.
Gore has criticized the war in Iraq from the beginning, saying that Iraq was a diversion from fighting terrorism in Afghanistan. He has also called for a repeal of the Patriot Act and has spoken out against Bush’s tax cuts. Gore is pro-choice and pro-civil union (but against gay marriage). He and his wife, Tipper, live in Nashville, Tennessee. They have four children— Karenna, Kristin, Sarah, and Albert III; and two grandchildren: Wyatt Gore Schiff and Anna Hunger Schiff.
Posted by Eli’s Intern: Sage Van Wing
Previously: John Edwards, John McCain, Bill Richardson, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Barack Obama, Sam Brownback, Christopher J. Dodd, Newt Gingrich, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Huckabee, Tom Vilsack, Joe Biden, Duncan Hunter, Tommy Thompson, Ron Paul, James Gilmore III, Tom Tancredo, Wesley Clark, Chuck Hagel, and George Pataki.