Friday, June 04, 2010

The Gore Divorce

A decade ago, who would have thought Hillary and Bill would still be together as Tipper and Al end their forty-year marriage?

In announcing their breakup, the Gores requested "respect for our privacy," but that hasn't stopped speculation about what happened to the man who might have been president if Bill Clinton had kept his pants zipped.

The Gore news comes right after the premiere of an awful HBO movie titled "Special Relationship" that explores Tony Blair's bond with Clinton as his presidency was being damaged by the Monica Lewinsky scandal and succeeds only in underscoring how messy the interplay between public and private lives can be.

The HBO take on the Clinton marriage, incidental to its portrait of Blair as a devout toady, portrays the 42nd president as a devious glutton, whose "sex with that woman" comes as a surprise to his wife.

Not likely. Nobody has ever accused the deceived First Lady who parlayed her experience into Senator, almost President and then Secretary of State of being clueless. The more plausible explanation is that the Clinton marriage had long ago morphed into an arrangement between two ambitious Baby Boomers with separate agendas in life.

The Gores, on the other hand, his wooden public persona and that theatrical convention kiss notwithstanding, seemed genuinely connected and Tipper Gore, in a way that recalls the forthrightness and public honesty of Betty Ford, spoke openly about the damage politics can do to a marriage and her own bouts with depression.

Serious people, unlike the John Edwardses et al, have a hard time preserving their private lives while living on a public stage.

Whatever gabble there is now about long-marriage breakups, the Gores deserve as much privacy as they can get in this media-drenched age. At least, there is the consolation that HBO won't be making any movies about their life together.

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