Ann Coulter
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You don't realize what a gift President Clinton has until observing Al Gore. The vice president vainly tries to mimic the master, sometimes lifting lines directly from his mentor, but he just doesn't have enough Elmer Gantry smarm to fool even the Democratic Party base.

Interestingly enough, the "risky scheme" phraseology, now merely comic, was a Clinton innovation. Clinton first trotted it out during the last presidential campaign. Indeed, until 1996, a Lexis-Nexis search of the phrase "risky scheme" produced one, maybe two, hits each year. Then in 1996, presidential candidate Bob Dole proposed cutting taxes and -- wham! -- there are 182 search results for "Clinton and risky scheme."

Of his Buddhist temple fund-raiser, Gore has said: "I'll tell you what I learned from it, which is that we need campaign finance reform." Even the Democratic Party adjuncts in the major media were stunned by the absurdity of Gore's claim: By virtue of breaking the law, he was in a better position to reform it?

But it was Bill Clinton who pioneered that amazingly brazen retort when he was asked about his own questionable campaign fund-raising in 1996. He responded, "The only way to ever put this to rest is to pass campaign finance reform." Somehow it almost seemed like a real answer when Clinton said it. But when Gore deploys the identical lies, you know he's lying. Odder still, the Clinton Kool-Aid drinkers know he's lying. Gore has the con man's patter down, but without the ability to win anyone's confidence.

On "Meet the Press" last weekend Gore gamely tried to explain why he was once against abortion, and now he's for it, and why he was once against gun control, and now he's for that, too. (Or as The New York Times searingly put it, Gore has "a lengthy record that could be examined for consistency.")

It's hard to imagine that Gore has more 'splaining to do than Bill Clinton did, though Clinton was at least able to hide behind the sordidness of what he was lying about. (If only Gore had molested a nun rather than raised campaign money at the Hsi Lai Temple, he'd be in much better shape right now.)

Gore said he had switched on abortion after he "talked to a lot of women who taught me about the kinds of circumstances that can come up and the kinds of dilemmas that women can face." What did talking to all these women teach him exactly? That the only alternative to abortion is for a woman to bear the child? This is somewhat alarming.

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