- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 11, 2001

The Washington Post reports that after the presidential election was resolved, Vice President Gore and President Clinton had a one-on-one meeting at the White House in which, using “uncommonly blunt language,” Gore blamed his defeat on Clinton's sex scandal, and Clinton faulted Gore for failing to run on the administration's record. Below is an unconfirmed transcript of what could have been said.

President Clinton: Good to see you, Al. Just let me finish signing these pardons, and I'll be right with you. Let's see: Charles Manson — check. Timothy McVeigh — check. Puffy Combs — I just can't say no to Jennifer Lopez. Mark Chmura — you bet. Now, what did you want to talk to me about?

Vice President Gore: I suppose I should begin by thanking you for giving me the opportunity to be the most influential vice president in American history.

Clinton: Isn't that like being the best dancer in Salt Lake City?

Gore: Ha, ha, Mr. President. I see what you mean. It's not a terribly meaningful distinction because the standard of comparison is so low. Sort of like being the most honest member of the Clinton family.

Clinton: That would be Chelsea. But give her time. Say, would you like a bag of White House silverware? There's a couple dozen of them in the closet. I can't take them all.

Gore: No, sir, I won't be needing any silverware.

Clinton: Really? Hmm. Maybe I can take them all.

Gore: You really should, sir. The American people know that you and the first lady have made enormous financial sacrifices to serve the public. If you didn't take it, I think the public would rise up as one and insist that you accept some token of their gratitude. The idea of a freshman incoming senator not having place settings for 300 — it's too much to bear. Really, don't skimp. I know there are some people who say you and Hillary would steal a hot stove if it weren't bolted down, but I never believed that.

Clinton: Depends on how hot, I guess. Now, where were we? Oh, yeah — you were thanking me. Well, you've been an excellent vice president, and if I had another eight years, I might be able to teach you how to win a presidential election, too. Say, have you ever thought of taking up the saxophone? Maybe it would loosen up your image.

Gore: You may not have noticed that I got the most votes in the election. Got more than you did either time you ran, now that you mention it. But it's not easy to get elected to the presidency when people identify you with a partner who's held in contempt by millions of Americans.

Clinton: Oh, I know Tipper isn't popular enough to get elected to the Senate. But I don't think she's generally held in contempt.

Gore: Not Tipper, Mr. President. You with your White House intern. Do I look like I've lost a lot of weight? Because this is the first time in the last year that I haven't had to carry Monica Lewinsky on my back.

Clinton: Gee, that's strange. The more Ken Starr and Newt Gingrich talked about Monica Lewinsky, the higher my approval ratings went. Americans may talk like puritans, but trust me — they like a little entertainment in the White House. Heck, if W's daddy had arranged a little sex scandal for himself, I might be teaching law back in Fayetteville right now. Which reminds me: where did I put Gennifer's phone number? The nice thing about leaving office is that I can start dating again.

Gore: Thanks for letting me know, sir. I'll lock up my daughters.

Clinton: Very funny, Al. It's that sharp sense of humor that's always made you so popular with the American people. You know, the ones who elected that frat boy, even though he couldn't find his way out of an elevator if you gave him a map.

Gore: Well, he's smart enough to keep his pants zipped. Or maybe he just does his thinking with the right organ. Did I mention I got the most votes? I can't help it if those Republicans down in Florida are so good at stealing elections. But if it weren't for being dragged down by you, I'd have beaten Bush like a rented mule.

Clinton: Hey, if I'm an albatross, the Chicago Bulls are a basketball team. Aren't you the guy who lost three debates to an empty chair?

Gore: I suppose I did make my share of mistakes. But I don't want to leave on a bad note. I've learned a lot from you, and it will come in handy if I'm ever investigated by a special prosecutor.

Clinton: No need to thank me. I've enjoyed our association, and if you need help four years from now, I'm prepared to do everything I can to help you.

Gore: You mean that, sir?

Clinton: Absolutely. I can't think of anyone better suited than you to be Hillary's running mate.


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