Al Gore and the Internet

March 25, 1999

You've got to wonder if the office of Vice President is jinxed. Lately Vice President Al Gore has been given to as many gaffes as Vice President Dan Quayle. His latest was his boast that he created the Internet. Obviously he did not, and the comment might have passed into oblivion if it weren't for the fact that it has begun to reinforce a stereotype.

That was the problem with Dan Quayle. He had been on a long campaign trip, was tired, and was handed a card where "potato" was misspelled on a card. The media assault on him stuck, not because the mistake was that great, but because it reinforced an existing image of Dan Quayle's lack of competence.

Bill Kristol, publisher of the Weekly Standard, knows something about Vice Presidential gaffes since he served as Dan Quayle's chief of staff. He believes that this latest gaffe will stick because, according to him "people have the sense that Gore is conceited and full of himself."

In the past Al Gore claimed that he and his wife were the model for Love Story, an assertion author Eric Segal says is untrue. While at Monticello, he asked the tour guide "who are these people?" while looking at the busts of Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers. He told reporters a "leopard cannot change his stripes." He has attacked conservatives as having an "extra chromosome," thus angering people with Down's syndrome.

And there are many others. But the real issue is whether these gaffes stick. Some of these mistakes are starting to affect the public image of Al Gore. Don't consider him Dan Quayle just yet, but if this trend continues, Al Gore will have difficulty getting the Democratic nomination next year.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.