Revved-Up Al Tries to Leave Bill in the Dust

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Al Gore was back in Carthage, Tenn., on Wednesday to make it official. Delivered at the same spot he announced his uninspired 1988 run, his revved-up speech, says TIME White House correspondent Karen Tumulty, was a capsule of what Gore is going for this time around. "Itís simple," she says. "To associate himself with everything good about Clinton and distance himself from everything bad." For the economy, it was "we": "Seven years ago, we needed to put America back to work -- and we did." For the, er, morals thing, it was "I." "With your help, I will take my own values and faith and family to the presidency," he shouted, as "Gore 2000" placards constantly got between the cameras and the candidate, "to build an America that is not only better off, but better."

Yes, Al Gore knows Bill Clinton, and except when he is, heís no Bill Clinton. "What he did was inexcusable," Gore -- holding tight to Tipperís hand -- told Diane Sawyer about his bossís you-know-what with you-know-who. "Particularly as a father, I felt that it was terribly wrong, obviously." The half-hour interview will be broadcast on "20/20" Wednesday night, capping a day in which Gore tried as hard to be the anti-Clinton as Democrats (and the still-shimmering economy) will possibly allow. But can it be done? With Clinton half a world away in Europe, it was Gore's chance to be in the limelight. "The President believes that it's time for the vice president to get out and make the case," White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said. "He takes an important first step on that journey today." Translation: The clean-cut kid brother needs to grow up and forge his own path.