Gore's Money Trail Grows Cold

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What is the ultimate prize in the current campaign finance investigations? Answer: Al Gore's head. More than anything else, Fred Thompson & Co. would dearly love to catch the Veep red-handed in some hard-money misdeed. But no matter how hard they sniff, the trail always seems to run cold at Gore's door.

The Senators ran into another dead-end Tuesday, in the shape of former DNC chairman Donald L. Fowler. Although Fowler knew at the time that the now-infamous Buddhist temple event was "in essence" a fund-raiser, he insists the Vice President did not share that wisdom. Fowler also claimed he couldn't recall asking the CIA to recommend White House access for the rich and very shady donor Roger Tamraz, who wanted to push a Mideast oil pipeline deal. "Memory is fallible," said the former Democratic chief.

But the real blow for Thompson is how many Americans concur with Fowler by implicitly trusting Al Gore. According to a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll, 64 percent believe Gore is "an honest person." Which, given what we know about that fund-raiser and those phone calls, means we probably aren't crediting him with that much intelligence.