The Gores' split
The thing that makes the announced separation of Al and Tipper Gore more than just the impending breakup of another high-profile couple is the role their marriage played in Gore’s near-ascension to the White House in 2000. Even more than a marriage, the Gores had a romance. It softened his stiff, cardboard-like persona and presented them as a breath of fresh air after the storminess that often surrounded Bill and Hillary Clinton. An enduring image from the Gore 2000 campaign has to be Al and Tipper, on the nominating convention stage in Los Angeles, in an extended embrace and kiss that genuinely plucked heartstrings everywhere. A sense that the Gores had a loving, stable marriage wasn’t the only reason Gore got more raw votes than George W. Bush, but it was an important one, especially in the context of the preceding era. All marriages undergo stress, and perhaps the amazing thing about Al and Tipper Gore’s marriage is that it lasted 40 years despite the pressures of politics, travel, constant scrutiny and more. In a statement they said their decision to separate was mutual and “followed a process of long and careful consideration.” They asked for and are entitled to privacy, but it’s hard to imagine they’ll get it.
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