What Gore Was Thinking

What Women Really Think
July 1 2010 2:49 PM

What Gore Was Thinking

Emily B. , Hanna , you have both described the very understandable reasons a middle-aged massage therapist does not go running into the hallway of a swank hotel screaming that her client, Mr. Stone, aka Al Gore, is sexually assaulting her. The police report vividly conveys her thinking that if she can just handle him right, she won’t have to "handle" him. Let’s assume this she-said is accurate-then how does the man who’s supposed to be saving the world end up in this tawdry hotel scene? I know it’s a cliché to taunt eco-minded celebrities who live in mansions and fly in private planes, but I think this basic hypocrisy may offers an insight into Gore.

He had to have long ago concluded there are different rules for the people whose little, wasteful lives are destroying the planet and the person whose mission it is to save it. While the rest of us are supposed to fret about our choice of light bulb, Gore must believe it’s actually more efficient for him to have a string of mansions where he can rejuvenate himself for the burdens he must carry. And since he’s rich he can take care of any personal indulgences with the modern indulgence of carbon offsets. So, there he was at the end of another long day, meeting draining people, lecturing them on how to live, and he needed to blow off some tension. It’s understandable he doesn’t want to bed groupies-they could want things like phone calls and attention. And he's not going to cross the legal line by going to a pro. So the late-night massage is perfect. The masseuse is a woman whom you pay well to come to your room and rub your naked body, and if some special adductor work happens, all the better.


Almost exactly 10 years ago the great Marjorie Williams wrote a column about Gore’s legal troubles over possible fundraising violations while vice president. She quoted from his Justice Department interview about what a politician goes through to cultivate donors: "[I]t was very common to trigger the initial impulse and then it’s massaged. … I  pick up my schedule for that day and when I get to it, there it is, and it’s either a pleasant surprise or an unpleasant surprise." Williams wrote presciently that Gore’s testimony paints a picture, "of the quotidian steps by which a man can deal away his reputation."

Emily Yoffe is a regular Slate contributor. She writes the Dear Prudence column. 



Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 7:03 PM Once Again, a Climate Policy Hearing Descends Into Absurdity
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 7:23 PM MIT Researchers Are Using Smartphones to Interact With Other Screens
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.