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Thursday, July 14, 2005

HE'S BACK: What is it about Al Gore that leaves so many people thinking: This guy is disturbed. The strange incongruence between what he says and the body stuff: voice booming weirdly, and the strangely manic gestures. When he first got elected to the House and later to the Senate, Gore was respected as a political moderate (strong on national defense) who did his political homework and avoided grandstanding. Prior to the 2000 election, Gore came across as having a coherent personality. Then something happened. In the last few years, it's like his evil twin has been unleashed — not simply the bizarre left-wing assertions but the strange ... emotional tone. Lately Gore reminds me of another politician who always struck me as disconnected in some deep way: Richard M. Nixon. In neither case am I talking about policies or ideology. I'm talking a certain basic human oddness. The thing is: Some human oddness is endearing; neurosis can be charming. Am I the only one whose skin crawls at the thought of Gore returning to the electoral political scene?