When “two-term vice president of the United States” is one of the least interesting things on your bio, it’s official: You’ve led an awfully exciting life. With “The Future” author Al Gore in town Friday, here’s a look at “The Past” as he’s experienced it. Or not exactly (that whole “I invented the Internet” thing):
- Eat Your Heart Out, Eloise: Like the beloved children’s book character and resident of The Plaza, Gore grew up in a hotel. His family lived at Washington’s Fairfax Hotel while his dad was a congressman and senator. They spent summers back home in Tennessee.
- Lights, Camera, Love Story: Gore attended Harvard University, where he roomed with future Oscar-winning actor Tommy Lee Jones. Erich Segal, a classics professor on sabbatical there in 1968, later admitted to “modeling” Oliver Barrett IV — the preppy male lead in his tearjerker novel “Love Story” — on the duo.
- “Inventing” a mAl-apropism: What Gore said in a 1999 interview: “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.” What late-night comics and political foes heard: “I invented the Internet.” What the prestigious Internet Society said about its 2012 Hall of Fame inductee: [Gore was] “instrumental in helping to create the ‘Information Superhighway.’ ”
- Al and Tipper Up in a Tree: The press dubbed presidential nominee Gore’s enthusiastic lipsmack of wife Tipper at the 2000 Democratic National Convention as “The Kiss.” The only thing that seemed more endless (the smooch actually lasted 6 seconds) was the amount of joking it spawned. It sadly resurfaced in 2010 when the Gores separated after 40 years of marriage.
- Mr. Popularity: Gore won the 2000 popular vote by over half a million, but he lost the presidency because George W. Bush got five more Electoral College votes. It was the third time in history this type of split decided the presidency — and the first time the Supreme Court had to get involved.
- An Inconvenient Detail: Gore has since snagged a Grammy, an Emmy, and — ho, hum — a Nobel Peace Prize. He starred in “An Inconvenient Truth,” which won a documentary Oscar, but only for its director; had Gore shared in that, he would’ve joined playwright George Bernard Shaw as the only dual Nobel/Oscar winner. On the other hand, the “Pygmalion” scribe never played himself on “30 Rock.”
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