- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 5, 2000

To prepare for Wednesday's presidential debate, Vice President Gore says he met regularly with 13 "real people" from different corners of the country. One wonders why that should be necessary. He has had the last 24 years to meet "real people" inside the Beltway. Presumably he has had plenty of opportunities to meet others like him, Harvard attendees and the scions of well-known senators. He has also had the chance to chat with real parents who send their real children to elite private schools within the District.
It's true Mr. Gore may be just a bit out of touch, considering his accomplishments. During his brief stint as a public servant, he discovered the Love Canal, established the Earned Income Tax Credit, pioneered the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and co-sponsored McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform. At the next opportunity, he will probably claim credit for opposing the Taft-Hartley labor law, lobbying for the passage of the 19th amendment, and writing the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Indeed, between inspiring "Love Story," and inventing the Internet, it is surprising that Mr. Gore found time to meet anyone at all.
One wonders what sort of advice these new informal advisers gave Mr. Gore. Did Winnifred Skinner, the 79-year-old retiree, who, along with her poodle, rode to Boston with the Gore campaign, give Mr. Gore advice on prescription benefits for seniors? Mr. Gore, after all, has complained about how much more his mother-in-law's drug prescriptions cost relative to that of his dog. Could Joseph Austin, a construction worker from Albuquerque, N.M., have told Mr. Gore to sigh frequently and smirk? Perhaps it was Katherine Cowan from Lake Oswego who gave Mr. Gore tips on playing up his victimhood from the attacks that Mr. Bush made on Mr. Gore's credibility and character.
Mr. Gore, it's true, had already acquired the dress of real people, having donned the earth tones of authenticity. Suitably attired and now suitably informed, he can campaign as the real thing for real people. Call it "The Selling of Al Gore." He's counting on the American electorate to buy it.

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