|love||Tipper Gore: When I was sixteen
I met Al at a party after his graduation prom.
Remember formal dresses and corsages?
We had come with different dates, but wound up hitting it off better with each other.
I remember right from the start he was a good listener and he had the most intense and beautiful blue eyes.
He called me the next day and soon we began
to fall in love.
|When Al went to Harvard as a freshman,
I traveled there with my grandmother to see him a couple of times.
He had a great group of friends who remain close today.
I also went to his home in Tennessee; I
met his friends there,
|Al's sister, mother||and for the first time his sister Nancy--a
beautiful woman, with the wit to match--and his mother Pauline, one of
the first women to graduate from Vanderbilt Law School and still one of
the wisest women I know. Both strong, intelligent, independent women
who I think gave Al an early and lasting respect for women and their views.
|It was the late '60s, an exciting time,
a time of change...
|Martin Luther King, Jr.: Thank
God almighty, we are free at last...
|We certainly were touched by it, but we
also had a lot of fun. Riding on his motorcycle, going to the beach,
going to concerts, just falling in love and enjoying the way the world
around you just fades away when you are only focused on each other.
|decision to enlist||But soon Al faced the most important decision
of his young life: Vietnam.
We opposed the war, but for Al, as for
many people, it was complicated. Al knew that if he didn't go, then
someone else from Carthage could go in his place. So he did something
I remain so proud of today: he decided to enlist in the Army.
|One night that Spring we went for a long
walk on the banks of the Charles River and Al asked me to marry him.
On May 19th, 1970, I married Private Albert Gore Jr.
After our honeymoon we moved into our first
home, in a trailer park near Fort Rutger, Alabama with other service families.
I soon learned about life on the base, and I learned the hard way.
Like when I hung the laundry out and a helicopter blew it all down and
I had to wash it all over again. Once!
|Al's father||At the same time as Al and I were starting
our life together, his father was facing a tough re-election campaign.
Senator Gore was a man of great principle, who had opposed the war and
supported civil rights. He was not only Al's father; he was his hero.
In November, his father lost, and it was tough for our whole family.
|Just seven weeks later, during Christmas
break, he was due to leave for Vietnam.
|Vietnam||Al was an Army journalist in the field,
and like all wartime wives, I worried, especially because the mail was
so slow and unreliable.
Every night I prayed for his safe return.
|The summer he came home we took a campaign
trip across America, from Nashville to Yosemite National Park here in California.
We had a great time, but I could tell Al was someplace else. His
father's defeat and the war had made him question old assumptions.
|work at the Tennessean||Politics was the last thing on his mind.
Back in Nashville, Al went to the Graduate School of Religion at Vanderbilt
and started out as a reporter at the Nashville Tennessean.
He worked his way up to writing editorials.
|Karenna was born in 1973. Al took
some time off to stay with us, and by the way he treated me like a queen.
It was a special time in our lives. We bought a small farm in Carthage,
right across the river from Al's parents. I went to work for the
as a photographer; Al and I even worked on a couple of stories together--my
pictures, his words.
|Then one Friday morning, the editor of
the Tennessean called us at home to say that the local congressman was
retiring. We spent the weekend thinking about it. I think Al's
work as a journalist gave him the sense that if people got involved they
could make things better. His idealism was tempered but still strong.
min 14 sec
running for office
|Gore: I believe that with your
help, I can make a difference.
|Al announced his candidacy on Monday,
and we hit the campaign trail. We tried to meet every person who
could cast a vote, and I mean every person, no matter what it took.
I sure wish we could do that this year. It was a tough campaign but
late on primary night as the last votes were counted, Al won.
|Gore: I'm going to take Tennessee
ideas to Washington and put them to work for this country.
|That campaign marked the beginning of
Al's public life--24 years as a congressman, Senator and Vice President.
|Gore: We will make democracy work
the way it's supposed to.
|I believe Al's leadership style was formed
early on in the hundreds of open meetings he held in Tennessee.
|Gore: We can glimpse the future
in the hearts and minds of Tennesseans.
|He listened to his constituents' concerns,
he took them back to Washington, and he made the system respond to them.
He took on powerful interests and held the first hearings on protecting
families from toxic waste, the beginning of his commitment to the environment.
|Gore: We have to accept responsibility
for choosing the destiny of America.
|Meanwhile, Al and I were raising our family
through these years. After Al went to Congress, our daughters Kristin
and Sarah were born, followed by our son Albert.
Family vacations were a very special time and he enjoyed them as much as the kids did.
Al always worked long hours, but as busy as he was, he put his family first.
One year I remember Al going to Speaker Tip O'Neill and saying: "Sir, you scheduled votes on Halloween night." The Speaker just looked back at him, and Al said, "Well there are a lot of us with kids who want to take them trick or treating."
The Speaker realized how important this
was to Al and other young parents in Congress, and he changed the schedule.
With an even busier schedule today, he still manages to make time for Halloween.
|tragedy||Eleven years ago our family life was shaken
to its core when a car struck our son Albert after a baseball game.
With support and prayers from people all across America, our entire family
helped him get well. I will never forget the kindness of Senators
and their wives who visited and prayed for Albert's recovery.
It was the hardest time in my life.
I talked with Al, with my friends and with mental health professionals,
and I realized that I was suffering from clinical depression. I got
help and it worked, and Al was there for me and our family day after day,
every step of the way We know the shame and the pain so many other
American families have faced with this illness, and we want you to know:
you're not alone, people care, professionals can help.
|a strong family||We'd always been a close family, but after
the accident we saw more clearly how precious we are to each other.
We made sure we made time for the little things like baseball, soccer and
lacrosse games. In recent years, Al spent months training to run
the Marine Corps Marathon with our daughters and climbed Mount Rainer with
our son. And you should see Al with our first grandson, Wyatt, who
by the way was born on the 4th of July.
|A year and a half ago, Al lost his father.
I wish his father could be here to see his son accept your nomination.
I know how proud he'd be, not just of his son's sense of duty and love
of country, but fore his dedication as a husband, father and grandfather.
You see to me what is most important is with all the past accomplishments and future promises, he's still the man I fell in love with in high school 30 years ago.
Music, more photos of Gore, close on same photo as at start.
The lights come on, Tipper Gore says, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please
welcome my husband, the next president of the United States, Al Gore."
There is cheering, applause and music as Gore makes his way through the
audience and up to the podium. Tipper is standing on the stage, arms
outstretched; they hug and Gore plants "The Kiss."