The Bright Coast

Progressive Thoughts from San Diego Alums on Law, Politics, and Culture

Clinton/Gore: Yesterday’s Gone, Yesterday’s Gone

Posted by demkid on September 29, 2009

Or, perhaps the two are simply remembering the good parts of “yesterday” (there were a lot, afterall!), setting the old feuds aside, and focusing on developing a lasting goodwill toward each other.  Bill Nichols wrote a fascinating piece for Politico (Clinton and Gore: Still the odd couple) about Bill and Al’s unique relationship over the years.  The Clinton/Gore campaign was really my first foray into politics and I’ve admired both men (one for his centrism; the other for his environmentalism) ever since they came onto the scene in 1992.  However, their stormy relationship is well-documented, and things were particularly tense after Gore’s 2000 presidential “defeat.”  (Nichols brings up the fact that the feud may not have been as bad as the media made it out to be, but who really knows?)  In any case, it’s definitely comforting that the relationship between the two Democratic heavyweights has become noticeably warmer as of late:

Bringin it in for the real thing!

Bringin it in for the real thing!

A few good cuts from the Politico story:

Clinton always wanted Gore’s friendship, in the same fashion that he prefers to be friends with almost everyone he meets. Gore’s feelings, people close to him say, have always been more complicated. But he seems to have mellowed on Clinton as he has gained his own celebrity and international stature and his former partner’s gigantic shadow over him has lessened. The sting of Gore’s 2000 disputed Electoral College loss to Bush is also receding.

They were, and are, deeply different personalities. With his once-in-a-generation political skills and effortless gift of gab, Clinton never quite got Gore’s brainy awkwardness and seeming inability to totally master the basic stagecraft of running for office. For his part, Gore, by numerous accounts, was horrified by Clinton’s lack of discipline, an irritation that grew to near-revulsion when the details of his affair with Lewinsky finally became public.

Yet the pride both men clearly feel in what they accomplished in office seems — now, nearly 10 years on — to have begun to override all that. As does the sense often felt by their less celebrated fellow citizens that the longer you live, the harder it can be to remember why you are so mad at someone.


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