AL GORE: HIS STRUGGLE TO GET REAL

WHO IS AL UNDER THE WOODEN VENEER? SOONER OR LATER, HE'LL HAVE TO FIND OUT

Among Washington journalists who have covered him--and especially among those who covered him as a Congressman and Senator, before he slipped into the cocoon of the vice presidency--the line on Al Gore is nearly unanimous. In private the Vice President can be an inordinately charming fellow: informal, enthusiastic, self-deprecating, with the kind of knowing wit that many baby boomers admire. But switch on a TV camera or get him in front of a crowd, and a mysterious alchemy transforms him into solid oak. This is the Al Gore the public has come to know--something akin to the robotic Abe Lincoln at...

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