Friday, December 15, 2006

From our loyal and clear-eyed chief political correspondent

Al Gore. Mr. Vice President. Mr. President, if not for the meddling of
the Supreme Court. Mr. iMac Keynote Slide Show. Mr. Pants-on-Fire
Climate Change.

Let's get that up front. Me and Al Gore, baby.

The location:
Mitchell Gold Furniture store in Boston. The opening reception for
Tipper Gore's photography show.

The invitation:
Thanks to Doug Brown via Dee Elms via Andrew Terrat (partner in
Mitchell Gold Boston; business partner to Dee; co-Burning Man cohort)

The scene:
Doug, Dee and I, along a few others are gathered in the store near the
open bar (of course). Tipper is in the far corner surrounded by
admirers. Over Doug's shoulder I see Al Gore approaching us. He is
wearing a black suit with a black shirt, casually unbuttoned at the
top. He walks towards our group. Crosses the invisible boundary of our
circle and extends a hand.

I shake his hand and introduce myself, as do the others. Dee
compliments his wife's photography collection. Gore puts a hand to his
chest, in a gesture of love and pride, and thanks her. I decide to

(I will have to paraphrase - since it's all such a dizzying blur in my

I ask him if, like his wife, he has a creative outlet . . . besides
Power Point. Gore makes a comment about Keynote (the superior Mac
software). I second the excellence of Keynote over Power Point. He says
he used to paint, but no longer has long enough stretches of time to
devote to painting. I begin to ask what medium he painted in, but we're
interrupted by one of Gore's friends. They greet effusively and hug.
Gore apologizes (twice) for interrupting his conversation with us and
then leaves with his friends.

Much later, Doug - my most excellent wingman in all situations -
accompanies me as we worm our way over to the fluttering crowd around
Gore (moneyed white men, starry-eyed women dressed to the nines, and
actual Gore friends). I want a photo and realize I don't need an excuse
for approaching him. It's not like Gore will remember that I'm the nut
who sidled up to him for a photo. Still, I don't want to seem TOO
ridiculous. Luckily, someone beats me to the title of Ridiculous Woman
of the Evening. She introduces herself to Gore and asks if she can give
him a hug. He seems a bit startled but acquiesces. She lunges into a
full-contact body hug. I am relieved. I step forward and say "Mr.
Gore. I'm a huge fan. Would you mind if my friend took a photo of us?"
He poses. Doug, at the ready, shoots. We skedaddle.

Other worthy notes:
The crowd is stylishly dressed, much more so than the crowd last
Saturday night at the member opening at the ICA. The large contingent
of gay men are particularly well turned out.

John Kerry arrives. Someone wonders aloud if Deval Patrick will show
up. Doug notes that Patrick is a winner, while Gore and Kerry--not so
much. Later Doug will say he needs to leave because there is just too
much Democratic failure in one place.

Tipper Gore looks fabulous. She speaks briefly to the crowd about her
work and refers to her husband as the "Democratic standard bearer in
2000" and John (please don't run) Kerry as the "Democratic standard
bearer in 2004," which is a much more politic description than Doug's.

Tipper charmingly says that "She went to bed with a recovering
politician and woke up with a movie star."

Tipper later shows up with a small entourage of Mitchell Gold people at
the restaurant (28 degrees) where Doug, Dee and I are having dinner a
few tables over. She does not use the restroom, which is lucky for her,
because the wall separating the restrooms from the hallway is
translucent. No kidding.

—Gore report filed by Sari.