Al Gore III and the public eyeAll the talk in the papers in Tennessee this morning is about the arrest of Al Gore III, a young man whose father I don't even need to mention. Yes, I understand that the most junior Gore son is under tremendous public pressure. He isn't just the son of a former Vice President and Senator who is still a prominent member of the Democratic Party, but there is the matter of the family name as well.
Even if his father had never been Vice President of the United States, this would still be a major story in Tennessee. Al Gore Jr. once carried every county in the State (it was the 1990 Senate election, I believe), a feat matched only by our current sitting Governor. Indeed, it was because of his father that Al Gore Jr. was able to become such a prominent political force in Tennessee. I can understand that the public pressure can cause Al III to do some things that are really inappropriate, but this isn't his first run-in with the law-at some point I think we need to ask how much of this has to do with being in the public eye and how much of it is this young man believing that he can do whatever he wants because he is Al Gore III.
I recall the uproar among certain people in the media when President Bush's daughters were caught drinking underage, especially among pundits on the Left. I even heard some folks say that this reflected on Bush's ability to run the country. Obviously, after seven years, it is fair to say that I am dissolusioned with the President, and that this is a major understatement. Jenna and Barbara Bush had little to do with that in my estimation, however. If trouble with the law were to become a continual problem for the Bush girls, it is fair to ask the same question that I just asked about Al Gore III.
Some will argue that it isn't fair to place Al Gore III under that kind of microscope, he didn't ask to be born into one of Tennessee's prominent political families. While I agree that this is quite true, I think it is worth noting that we really don't hear much at all about Al Gore III, he is not all over the papers and everywhere in the press like his father. For the most part, Al Gore III is left out of the public eye, and we have to presume that is as he wishes it to be. Since that is the case, that means that he will only be placed into the spotlight if he does something great, or if he engages in stupid or criminal behavior.
Of all the people who should know this, it is that young man. He doesn't want to be in the press all the time, and so he isn't. If he prefers to maintain a relatively private existence apart from the rest of his famous political family, that is certainly his prerogative and his right. He ought to know, however, that if that is what he wishes for himself, you don't do anything to screw that up, like having illegal drugs in your car.
Labels: Tennessee politics