Al Gore and Bill Clinton
During the discussion, Clinton told his vice president that he was disappointed that Gore had not used him in the last ten days of the 2000 campaign in strategically significant stateâ€”Arkansas, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Missouri. But Clinton said he could understand that. What was more upsetting for him, Clinton remarked to Gore, was that Gore had not crafted a more winning message during the campaign, that he had not campaigned on any grand themes. Clinton insisted to Gore that he hadn’t cared about how Gore had referred to Clintonâ€”and his personal scandalâ€”during the campaign. Paraphasing this portion of the conversation, Branch writes that Clinton told Gore, “To gain votes, he would let Gore cut off his ear and mail it to reporter Michael Isikoff of Newsweek, the Monica Lewinsky expert.”
At one point in the conversation, Gore told Clinton that he was still traumatized by having been caught up in the fundraising scandals of the 1996 Clinton reelection campaign, and he indicated that he blamed Clinton. Clinton could hardly believe this, and he told Branch that Gore was probably in shock from the election or unhinged, remarking, “I thought he was in Neverland.”
Exit question: Did Al Gore just NOT want the Presidency? You know, no fire in the belly?
Obviously, it was Gore’s to lose and he did just that……
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