Gore's New York speech seems especially dreary in contrast to the crowd's lively street theater. Hecklers from the same group who disrupted Gore's Carthage speech (as well as the Manchester town hall) shake up the New York rally, too, whistling and screaming and handing out their leaflets (HIV drugs for Africa) till they get arrested. As they shout, a tiny bearded guy by the press pen starts shouting, "Gore is an environmental phony!" It turns out that he's an animal-rights activist, and he is soon engaged in a shouting match with another bearded guy, who's holding an anti-Gore, pro-libertarian sign. Behind them is another bearded guy in a plaid shirt who yells, "You're killing children," when Gore praises the Kosovo operation. Flanking these three are two more bearded guys, one costumed as a sunflower, the other as a pea pod. Sunflower tells me that he's an activist for community gardens. He's hoping that Gore will expand them. Now that's grassroots politics.
Photograph on Slate's Table of Contents by Jeff Mitchell/Reuters.