From the moment Al and Tipper Gore announced their split two weeks ago, the timing seemed suspicious. The Gores had just celebrated their 40th anniversary weeks before and bought an $8.8 million ocean view mansion in California in late April.
The Al Gore cheating scandal, which erupted on Tuesday, came as no surprise to some in Washington.
Rumors of former Vice President Al Gore’s extramarital affairs have been whispered in D.C. for many years, but fondness for Tipper and loyalty to Gore has protected him. So, the public has been shocked – with many still in denial – by tabloid reports of his infidelities.
The National Enquirer, which gained respect from its breaking the news of John Edwards' cheating, reportedthat the Gore divorce was caused by Tipper’s jealousy over other women including “an environmentalist named to a prominent cabinet position by Gore when he was vice president, a sexy Hollywood actress, a gorgeous massage therapist” and “a Tennessee Titans cheerleader.”
Also, Star magazine reported that Al Gore had a two year affair with Laurie David, the ex-wife of Seinfeld creator Larry David. “The rumor is completely and totally untrue. I adore Al and Tipper and consider them part of my family,”
Laurie David responded in a written statement. Neither Al nor Tipper Gore has responded to this or any other allegation of extra marital affairs.
Sex scandals are interesting to the public because of our prurient curiosity into the private lives of public figures, but why is Gore’s alleged cheating relevant to the public?
From a political perspective, Al and Tipper Gore used their marriage as a counterbalance to the albatross of the Clinton’s marriage when he was vice president.
When Gore ran for president in 2000, he emphasized his marriage and family to separate himself from the recently impeached Clinton. Gore made a spectacle of them at the Democratic convention by awkwardly French kissing Tipper on stage.
The Gores’ kiss was awkward to watch, but their point was clear: Bill Clinton is a philanderer, but Al Gore is loyal to his wife.
Al Gore’s extramarital affairs are also relevant because some allegedly occurred while he was in public office. If this is true, the timing of his affairs raises serious legal questions:
1. Did the vice president’s official White House staff set up his rendezvous with women?
2. Who in the campaign or official staff knew of the affairs and covered up for Gore?
3. Did Gore or his staff use official tax payer funds or campaign funds for travel or payment to these women?
The last question relates to former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards who is facing indictment by a federal grand jury on charges of breaking campaign finance laws. Edwards is charged with diverting the funds to pay for housing, travel and expenses for his mistress Rielle Hunter and their out-of-wedlock daughter.
The Al Gore cheating scandal, I believe, is going to get worse. Like Tiger Woods -- who started with one affair going public and ended with 121 women -- I suspect many women will admit affairs with Gore. And, like John Edwards, if the affairs were paid by official or campaign funds, a federal investigation will ensue.
Bottom line: this is just the tip of the iceberg. And despite Gore’s warnings of global warming, the iceberg isn’t melting.