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Jewish World Review Oct. 3, 2000 / 4 Tishrei 5760

John Leo

John Leo
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The Al Gore quiz

Test your skills against the candidate's flip-flops -- LAST WEEK Al Gore, father of the Internet, revealed that he was in on the establishing of the strategic petroleum reserve. What else did he help create?

the Strategic Air Command

Hubert Humphrey's 1968 acceptance speech

the Olympics

hip-hop culture

six of the Ten Commandments, maybe seven

the No. 1 hit song "Look for the Union Label"

Speaking of "Look for the Union Label," Al Gore says he recalls his mother singing him to sleep with that song, though it was not written until Gore was 27. Explain.

Union ditties are so catchy that many Democratic politicians can recall loving them before they were written, particularly in election years.

If some 27-year-olds still need lullabies, who are we to judge?

It was a simple mistake. His mother actually sang him a quite similar song by Britney Spears.

Gore said that in Vietnam, "I carried an M-16. I pulled my turn on the perimeter at night and walked through the elephant grass, and I was fired upon," and "I was shot at . . . I spent most of my time in the field."

Gore served five months in Vietnam as a visiting military journalist, earning special protection as the son of a famous senator. He pulled occasional guard duty at a secure base. His best Army buddy said this was "the equivalent of being a school-crossing guard." Nobody seems to remember Gore being fired on. What can we conclude from this?

School-crossing guards lead dangerous lives.

A gun must have gone off in a Saigon hotel bar. While attempting to flee, Gore probably stepped into a container of elephant grass.

Republicans will stop at nothing in their despicable attempts to smear a genuine fighting hero.

Al Gore gave Hollywood's moguls six months to stop marketing violent junk to kids, or else. This indicates:

A strong stand by a principled candidate

One of his aides, shuffling some papers before Gore's speech, accidentally inserted an old op-ed piece by Joe Lieberman, which was on its way to the shredder.

Triangulation time. Two more big Hollywood fundraisers were coming up.

Gore said his mother-in-law pays nearly three times as much for the same arthritis medicine as he does for his ailing dog, Shiloh. But his staff could not confirm the tale. What's the story here?

Faulty memory

Hey, nobody complained when Reagan quoted the last words of World War II pilots who crashed into the sea before they could be interviewed for presidential anecdotes. Why are we picking on Al and his dog?

In 1999, Gore said he had cosponsored the McCain-Feingold bill to reform campaign financing. Yet Gore left Congress before Russell Feingold ever arrived. Explain.

Faulty memory

See lullaby options (above)

It's not Al's fault that McCain and Feingold thought up the bill after Al had already cosponsored it.

Gore says he was "always, always, always" a backer of abortion and Roe v. Wade. Yet 11 years after the Roe decision, he wrote to an antiabortion constituent: "I share your belief that innocent human life must be protected, and I have an open mind on how to further this goal." Isn't there a contradiction here?

What constituent? What letter?

Why are you trying to make it look as though Gore flip-flopped to please the abortion lobby, like Jesse Jackson, Richard Gephardt, and Bill Clinton?

Why can't we have a positive campaign, instead of quoting from old mail?

Campaigning in Iowa, Gore depicted himself as Farmer Al. "I lived on a farm," he said. "[My father] taught me how to clean out hog waste. . . He taught me how to clear land with a double-bladed ax. . . . He taught me how to take up hay all day long in the hot sun and then, after a dinner break, go over and help the neighbors take up hay before the rain came and spoiled it on the ground." Didn't Gore grow up in Washington, living in the Fairfax Hotel, and going to a fancy private school, then Harvard? Explain.

Gore did not mean to imply that he grew up on a farm in Washington. There are no farms in D.C.

Maybe he spends vacations on his family's farm now and then.

Commuting from the Fairfax Hotel to a Tennessee farm isn't easy. It takes a lot of commitment. You have to work with the hogs all morning, attend school in D.C. in the afternoon, then go all the way back to the farm again before the hay spoils. Then there's the tobacco crop to worry about. Nothing but headaches. Maybe he should give up the rustic life.

JWR contributor John Leo's latest book is Two Steps Ahead of the Thought Police. Send your comments by clicking here.


09/26/00: The sleeper effect
09/19/00: Baby-saving made easy
09/12/00: Line between reporting and editorializing continues to blur
09/05/00: In the key of F
08/29/00: Hollywood connection
08/22/00: Some friendly advice to the GOP
08/15/00: You can't make this up
08/08/00: The niceness strategy
08/01/00: When rules don't count
07/25/00: Anti-male bias increasingly pervades our culture
07/18/00: Banned in Boston
07/12/00: What Jacoby had to deal with!
07/11/00: Will boys be boys?
07/05/00: Partial-sense decision
06/27/00: Attitude toward death penalty gets in the way of facts
06/20/00: Double troubles
06/13/00: Fools paradise
06/06/00: Accidental conspirator
05/30/00: Faking the hate
05/23/00: Was it law or poetry?
05/16/00: Here, there and everywhere, people have gone bonkers
05/09/00: Tufts evangelicals are punished for acting on their beliefs
05/02/00: Elian's opera isn't over until nearly everyone sings
04/25/00: All the news that fits: The media serve up many stories from a standard script
04/19/00: Those darned readers: The gap between reporters and the general public is huge
04/05/00: Census sense and nonsense
03/29/00: Hollywood message films leave no room for other views
03/22/00: The Vatican confesses, but is it enough?
03/14/00: Watch what you say: The left can no longer be counted on to defend free speech
03/07/00: McCain's malleable messages
03/01/00: Bush's appearance at Bob Jones U. will dog him all the way
02/23/00: 'Multi-millionaire' show is new evidence we're insane

© 2000, John Leo