- The Washington Times - Monday, August 21, 2000

Albert Unser

We were curious why Vice President Al Gore didn't draft his 17-year-old son, Albert Gore III, to extoll the virtues of his dad on the Democratic National Convention dais, as the country's newest heartthrob, George P. Bush, nephew of Republican nominee George W. Bush, did for his favorite uncle.

Apparently young Albert was still in hot water with his folks, having been arrested only days earlier for speeding and reckless driving after tearing through North Carolina at an incredible 97 mph.

"The Gores are dealing with this as a family matter," says Tipper Gore's spokeswoman, Camille Johnston.

Campaign speeds

A comparison of George W. Bush's and Al Gore's (aboard a paddlewheel boat floating down the Mississippi River) post-convention campaign trips:

Days on the road: Bush 5, Gore 4.

States visited: Bush 5, Gore 6.

Electoral votes visited: Bush 138, Gore 86.

Miles covered: Bush 725, Gore 400.

Top speed: Bush 75 mph, Gore 7 mph.

Following orders

Speaking of our vice president, we wrote last week that the Competitive Enterprise Institute had submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to Uncle Sam in an attempt to determine how many energy-efficient products on which Al Gore pontificates double-flush toilets and double-pane windows to upgraded appliances and insulation have been installed in the vice-presidential mansion.

So far, the CEI has been told that Mr. Gore has fixed a pool leak, repaired his helicopter pad, cut down several trees and sprayed pesticides.

While the institute awaits further information including whether Mr. Gore carries his recycling to the curb Inside the Beltway has been in contact with one woodworker who in 1993 plied his craft on the Vice Presidential Mansion Restoration Project, started under the Bush administration.

"While working for Winchester Woodworking Inc., I primed quarter-sawn 'old growth' fir for the floor and Honduran (rain forest) mahogany for the rails and posts of the vice president's mansion's porch," says Bucky Fields.

"Winchester Woodworking also made replacement 'single-pane' window sashes for the Old Executive Office Building … out of Honduran mahogany," according to the carpenter, referring to the White House building that houses Mr. Gore's suite of offices.

"At the time," Mr. Fields adds, "I found it unusual that Al Gore, the newly elected vice president, would not take an active interest in the house he was to live in and never change the specifications to meet his environmental policy. After eight years I realize their double standard."

Fall lineup

Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore, along with their respective running mates, Richard B. Cheney and Joseph I. Lieberman, will participate in a modern-day record of five debates this fall.

The two presidential wannabes will go head to head in three presidential debates this fall, exceeding the norm that has been two debates during some recent presidential elections 1996, 1988, 1984 and 1980.

Three presidential debates took place in 1976 and again in 1992, when Bill Clinton stole the White House from George Bush.

Mr. Cheney and Mr. Lieberman will become the first vice-presidential candidates in modern history to participate in two debates. No vice-presidential debates were conducted between 1960 and 1980, educates the Bush campaign's Karen Hughes, while one vice-presidential debate has taken place in every presidential election year since 1984.

Both parties are eager for the televised debates, considering the bump in the polls that each ticket received from its convention. Still, the upcoming debates have some stiff competition this fall: the Major League Baseball World Series and the 2000 Olympic Games from Sydney, Australia.

In closing

"When watching Joe Lieberman standing next to Al Gore, I couldn't help but notice the striking resemblance between the Democrat veep nominee and Teller of the comedy/magic duo Penn & Teller," writes a concerned column reader, Christopher P. Nicholson.

"What makes this even more striking is that if this ticket wins in November, Lieberman will likely be assigned the same speaking role as Teller, especially on such issues as vouchers, affirmative action, campaign finance reform and privatizing at least some of Social Security. Please look into this possibility."

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