- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 10, 2000

Not the Gore readers know

In the Aug. 8 column "Not the Cheney I know," Bill Alexander makes the case that Richard B. Cheney's "splendid display of talent and character was tarnished by the ill-conceived strategy of attacking Vice President Al Gore on character" during his recent address to the Republican convention. He goes on to claim "Attacking Al Gore on the character issue will cost George W. the election. Al Gore has an unblemished record of service to his country as a Vietnam veteran, congressman and vice president."

With all due respect to the former congressman from Arkansas, character is not about a resume that lists the elected offices that one has attained or if they served in the military, but rather, it is the aggregate of a number of features and traits including honesty, courage, integrity and compassion that comprise the individual nature of the person. By this more meaningful measure of character, Mr. Gore leaves many voters wanting given his well-chronicled penchants for exaggeration (e.g. inventing the Internet), partisanship (e.g. acting as shill for President Clinton following his impeachment) and continual flip-flops and reinventions (e.g. now embraces the idea of Social Security reform after trashing Texas Gov. George W. Bush on the issue). Of course, let's not forget the Buddhist temple and campaign finance matters.

It is precisely because of Mr. Gore's true character that the Bush-Cheney ticket will continue to widen its lead and win the presidency. Unless of course, Mr. Gore is able to pull off another reinvention by cloaking himself in Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's clothes and convincing voters that character now matters.


Reno, Nev.


Bill Alexander states that, based on Richard B. Cheney's speech at the Republican convention, this is not the Mr. Cheney he knows. After reading Mr. Alexander's column with some amusement, I find it hard to believe that he would actually pen this and expect anyone to take it seriously. When Mr. Alexander writes that Vice President Al Gore has integrity, he obviously missed Mr. Gore on the podium stating that President Clinton would go down in history as one of the greatest presidents. Mr. Gore's integrity will forever be tarnished and will have to be rebuilt.

The Al Gore I know derides the choice of parents to send their children to better schools via vouchers. The Al Gore I know sent his children to one of the most exclusive schools in the D.C. area but does not want other families to have this choice. But then the Al Gore I know doesn't have his hand in the pocket of the big teachers union.

The Al Gore I know, thinks giving taxpayers the ability to invest their own money to provide for their future is a "risky scheme." The Al Gore I know wants to let the government invest more of my money in the stock market to finance the rest of the country's retirement. Why, Al Gore, can't they invest their own money? Oh, that's right, the Al Gore I know believes that this would only help the rich like the Al Gore I know.

Come on, Mr. Alexander, you should really take another look at the Al Gore you know.


Jacksonville, Fla.


It is truly heartwarming to read Bill Alexander's remembrances of the Gore family. It pleases me that Mr. Alexander considers both the Gore and Bush families to be "fine" and "decent." I am also pleased he considers Richard B. Cheney to possess "wisdom and insight" and that he admires him.

I am sure that Mr. Alexander must be perplexed that a wise and insightful man that he admires would "smear" Vice President Al Gore. It is generous of him to allow that Mr. Cheney may not have even written the speech, that he was under the control of "political strategists."

What Mr. Alexander doesn't explain is why a wise and insightful man, a man to be admired, would smear Mr. Gore. The answer is to be found in the obfuscation by Mr. Alexander of what Mr. Cheney actually said.

Mr. Cheney did not smear the Gore family. What he did was ask the rhetorical question of whether anyone could ever look at Mr. Gore without thinking of Bill Clinton. Is that a smear?

Who will ever look at Mr. Gore without seeing Buddhist monks, controlling legal authorities, impeachment lawn parties reminiscent of a mafia don who just beat the rap? Indeed, who will ever forget Mr. Gore's speech at this party proclaiming Mr. Clinton to be in the company of Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln?

Mr. Alexander concludes his column by declaring that "the American people want and deserve a leader who is worthy of our nation." This may be the want, but too often they get what they deserve.




Bill Alexander's "Not the Cheney I know" should have been titled "The Gore I used to know." The column was almost all about the Al Gore Jr. of 1976. Mr. Alexander wrote:

"A young and ambitious politician, Rep.-elect Gore sought an assignment to the powerful Rules Committee. To secure a position on the Rules Committee would give him a jump-start in politics. As a friend of the family, I agreed to help him. The events that followed are important in the ensuing presidential election.

"I told Al that he must promise allegiance to the speaker in order to be assigned to the Rules Committee. Even though he coveted this position, he quickly said no.

" 'I won't do it,' he said. 'I will not sell my vote in Congress to anyone, even the speaker,' he insisted. He missed the post. Al Gore has integrity, I concluded."

No doubt Mr. Gore had integrity in 1976. Mr. Gore was also pro-life in 1976. The Mr. Gore of 2000 is pro-abortion; he doesn't know what a fund-raiser is; he is not subject to any controlling legal authority; he has called the impeached President Clinton the greatest president of the 20th century; and high-level Justice Department officials have recommended to Attorney General Janet Reno that she appoint a special prosecutor to investigate him for possible lawbreaking, including lying under oath to federal agents who were conducting an official investigation.

The Mr. Gore of 2000 is not the Mr. Gore Jr. of 1976 that Mr. Alexander knows.


Ellicott City, Md.


After reading Bill Alexander's column, I was dumbfounded. Vice President Al Gore a man of integrity? Mr. Alexander uses a story of how a young Rep. Gore would not vote along with the speaker of the House in order to join the Rules Committee. Well, as all of us know, Mr. Gore was not your typical Democrat in those days. His voting record had similarities to Richard B. Cheney's when they served together in the House.

However, something has happened to Mr. Gore. He is certainly not the same person who voted against the funding of abortions by Medicaid. According to him now, that is denying a woman's rights. What gets me is not that Mr. Gore has changed his views, but the fact that he is deceitful to try and hide his record. I do not know what it was, but the days of standing on his own are long gone.

There is no doubt the story told by Mr. Alexander is not the Al Gore we know today.


Kernersville, N.C.


Bill Alexander comments on Richard B. Cheney's acceptance speech with his "Not the Cheney I know" column. Mr. Alexander goes on the tell us about the Al Gore he knows. The Mr. Gore he knew is not the Mr. Gore we all know today. The Mr. Gore of today calls President Clinton one of the best presidents in our history. The Mr. Gore we all know did not know that campaign calls from the White House were illegal. Who believes that excuse? The Mr. Gore we know did not know that the Buddhist temple event was a campaign fund-raiser.

Come on, Mr. Alexander. The Mr. Gore you knew is not the Mr. Gore we know today. Your column is lacking serious argument for your position. Mr. Gore has supported every lame and irresponsible act of the Clinton administration. Mr. Cheney's speech was right on the mark, and Mr. Gore has only to blame himself for that truth.


St. Louis


Bill Alexander states that Vice President Al Gore has a blemish-free record. Mr. Alexander must be a liberal in order to ignore all of Mr. Gore's blemishes.

The first thing I learned was you are judged by your friends. After the impeachment proceedings in the House, Mr. Gore said President Clinton would "go down in history as one of our greatest presidents." You are judged by your words (Mr. Gore said he invented the Internet). You are judged by your convictions (Mr. Gore rationalized wrongdoing by saying there is "no controlling legal authority"). This is just a short list of Mr. Gore's blemishes.

Who is Mr. Alexander trying to hoodwink? The people who read your newspaper know all about Mr. Gore's freckled record.


Ovilla, Texas


I would suggest to Bill Alexander that perhaps it is Vice President Gore who has lost his way and that Richard B. Cheney, a true man of character, is simply pointing that out. After all, how could a man of character not condemn the actions of President Clinton? I have to disagree with Mr. Alexander. Texas Gov. George W. Bush's attacks on Mr. Gore will only reinforce the feelings most American's already have about the vice president: He is not morally fit to be president.


Durham, N.C.

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