Al Gore's a lucky man. As we speak, his facade is being added to Mt. Huffington, that virtual Rushmore of Great Men Destined to Save America. The committee deciding who gets chiseled onto Mt. Huffington has only one member: Arianna Huffington. In years past she has elevated her ex-husband, Michael, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and formerly relevant Warren Beatty as saviors of the republic. Now it's Gore's turn.
In a recent write-up of Gore's visit to the Cannes Film Festival to promote his new film on global warming, which premiered Wednesday in Los Angeles, Huffington hailed the "new Gore" as the "hottest star in town," beating out Bruce Willis and Tom Hanks.
Gore told Huffington that this was his second trip to Cannes. "The first was when I was 15 years old and came here for the summer to study the existentialists - Sartre, Camus. ... We were not allowed to speak anything but French!" This, gushed Huffington, "may explain his pitch-perfect French accent." Perhaps. Though according to David Maraniss' biography of Gore, the former vice president's 15th summer was spent working on the family farm. Remember those stories about how Al Sr. said, "A boy could never be president if he couldn't plow with that damned hillside plow"? That was the same summer.
Apparently, Poppa Gore thought a boy who couldn't both plow a field and parlez French existentialism could never be president either. Then there's the fact that young Al got C's in French at his tony Washington high school, St. Alban's. That's some school if a kid who can intelligently discuss Sartre's "La Nausée" and Camus' "Betwixt and Between" in apparently pitch-perfect French still can't earn a B in French class. Mon dieu!
But let's be fair. Maybe he misremembered the age at which he studied existential philosophy in France (though I could find no mention of such a trip in a quick search of his biographies). Why not trust him? After all, he's not running for anything, right?
Wrong. Or at least that's the hope of a growing number of liberals and journalists who are starting to get pre-buyer's remorse for Hillary Clinton. In a giant love letter to Gore in New York magazine titled "The Comeback Kid," an unidentified Democratic strategist likens the perceived inevitability of the Hillary nomination to "some Japanese epic film where everyone sees the disaster coming in the third reel but no one can figure out what to do about it." The answer seems to involve Gore on a white horse.