State of Alabama secondary Archives: on Principles & Values

Al Gore: Son’s serious accident spurred interest in environment

My son had suffered a concussion, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, a compound fracture of the thigh bone, and massive internal injuries as well as a bruised lung & pancreas & a fractured kidney.

I tell this story because it was a turning point that changed me in ways I could not have imagined. I asked myself how did I really want to spend my time on Earth? The environment had for years been at the forefront of my policy concerns, but it had been competing for attention with a lot of issues. Now, in this comprehensive and soul-searching rethinking of how I would spend my time, the global environment trumped other concerns. I realized that this was the crisis that should occupy the bulk of my efforts.

I believe I was handed not just a 2nd chance, but an obligation to do whatever I can at this moment of danger to try and make sure that what is most precious about God’s beautiful Earth--its livability for us, our children, future generations--does not slip out of our hands.

Source: An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore, p. 69-71 May 26, 2006

Heritage Foundation: 1980: Conservatism converted from intellectual to active

Did millions of Christian conservatives turn out to vote on social issues like abortion, gay marriage, and Bible banning? Sure. Is this anything new? Not really. Back in 1980, Paul Weyrich, founding president of the Heritage Foundation, explained what happened:

"The conservative movement, up to that point, was essentially an intellectual movement. It had some very powerful thinkers, but it didn't have many troops. And as Stalin said of the Pope, `Where are his divisions?' Well, we didn't have many divisions. When these folks became active, all of a sudden the conservative movement had lots of divisions. We were able to move literally millions of people. And this is something that we had literally no ability to do prior to that time."

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p.130 Oct 25, 2005

John Kerry: OpEd: Swift Boat mess caused by media reporting accusations

Tom Oliphant, the mild-mannered "Boston Globe" columnist, was mad. Nearly 40 years of journalistic experience informed Oliphant's elegant rage. He had covered Kerry since his return from Vietnam and his emergence as an antiwar leader. He knew Kerry's story chapter and verse and he had heard these attacks before. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth had been slinging their feces at Kerry like gorillas for months. But Tom was mad because of the way the media had responded:

"We've put a million stories in our wastebaskets over the years, because they don't check out. Today, we publish, or we broadcast, the mere FACT of the accusation, regardless of whether it's filled with helium. THAT'S what changed in our business. We served as transmission belts for this stuff without ever inquiring into its accuracy. 'How did this happen?' That's the way the news business runs now." For weeks, political news coverage had been dominated by "the mere fact of the accusation."

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p. 69-71 Oct 25, 2005

Al Gore: Offer to Bush: Hand count, then meet to show unity

Source: Statement by Al Gore on Florida recount Nov 15, 2000

Al Gore: Al & Tipper as model for “Love Story”?

Erich Segal began working on the script for Love Story while in residence [at Harvard while Gore was a student there]. He saw in Gore some of the elements for the character of Oliver Barrett IV, the blue-blooded Harvard hockey player who falls for Jennifer Cavilleri, the smart-aleck Radcliffe musician. Segal sketched Barrett as an amalgam of [Gore’s roommate] Tommy Lee Jones--the tough guy with the poet’s soul--and Gore, who Segal recalled, was “always under pressure to follow in his father’s footsteps.“

The literary footnote became an embarrassment to Gore three decades later when he suggested that he and his wife were models for the young lovers. Being merely part of the inspiration for Oliver wasn’t enough; he needed to be all of it. Segal was forced several days later to concede that Gore was only half right about Oliver and completely wrong about Jenny. ”I did not draw a thing from Tipper,“ he said. ”I knew her only as Al’s date.“

Source: Inventing Al Gore, p. 58 Mar 3, 2000

Al Gore: Born-again Baptist; serves God & obeys God’s will

His teachers at Vanderbilt Divinity school say that while Gore never intended to get a degree or to enter the ministry, he didn’t come across as a dabbler. A professor said, “He came to get what he wanted. The question of credentials was not important. He learned what he felt he needed to know.”

When he returned to Washington to join the House of Representative, he and Tipper began attending Mount Vernon Baptist Church where they were “born again” in the late 1970s. He was also, at least through his first vice presidential term, part of a small weekly prayer group, and friends say that religious faith is a cornerstone of his life. “I believe in serving God and trying to understand and obey God’s will for our lives,” Gore told Harvard students at his 1994 commencement speech. “Cynics may wave the idea away, saying God is a myth, useful in providing comfort to the ignorant and in keeping them obedient. I know in my heart--beyond all arguing and beyond any doubt--the cynics are wrong.”

Source: Inventing Al Gore, p. 93-4 Mar 3, 2000

Al Gore: Congressional campaign style: hard work & cautiousness

Gore’s first campaign was the only close race he ever ran in Tennessee. A look at how he won reveals the roots of an operating style that has remained largely intact for nearly 25 years: a relentless work ethic; tactical caution; passionate advocacy of worthy but low-risk issues; and a willingness to revise, or simply muddy up, politically inconvenient positions. “Rekindling the American Spirit” was the bland, feel-good bicentennial tag line of the Gore campaign.
Source: Inventing Al Gore, p.118 Mar 3, 2000

Al Gore: In Congress, called himself a “raging moderate”

Gore worked assiduously to avoid the left-wing labeling that had hastened the end of his father’s career. He dubbed himself a “raging moderate,” a term he thought captured his carefully confined activism. Although widely viewed by voters as a moderate, his overall record leaned to the liberal side sometimes-especially in domestic affairs. He was a reliable liberal vote on economics, taxation, and labor matters, and some of his legislative impulses resonate today as classic “big government.”
Source: Inventing Al Gore, p.132 Mar 3, 2000

Al Gore: “One of our greatest Pres.” but “disappointed” by Clinton

[In August 1998, after his Monica testimony, Clinton concluded,] “Now this matter is between me, the two people I love most, my wife and daughter, and our God.” Gore praised Clinton for acknowledging his mistakes before the American people, but steered clear of any specific character endorsement. In September, Gore reaffirmed his friendship with Clinton but made a point of calling his conduct “indefensible.” In a September cabinet session, Gore told Clinton he was “disappointed,” concluding with a blunt warning: “Mr. President, I think most of America has forgiven you, but you’ve got to get your act together.” In December, after the House impeachment vote, Gore said, “I do believe this is the saddest day I have seen in our nation’s capital. The president has acknowledged that what he did was wrong, but invoking the solemn power of impeachment is wrong. What happened as a result does a great disservice to a man I believe will be regarded in the history books as one of our greatest presidents.”
Source: Inventing Al Gore, p.347-50 & p.356 Mar 3, 2000

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