June 2nd, 2010

Tipper and Al are splitsville…

…and there’s sorrow and consternation in the land.

Seriously, there is. And in order to feel sad about it, it’s not even necessary to be a Democrat, or to like Tipper and Al Gore. It’s almost always upsetting and even somewhat shocking to hear of a long, long marriage gone bad.

People are wondering why? WHY? You made it through all sorts of tough stuff, the way all couples married for forty-one years must. Couldn’t you just hold on till death do you part?

As somewhat of an expert on this in two capacities (having a degree in marriage and family therapy, and being a person who was herself divorced after thirty-one years of marriage) let me just say that sometimes the unfortunate answer is that no, you can’t.

The reasons vary. Sometimes there is infidelity, which can be helped along by the notion that time is running out and it’s now or never to sow those pent-up wild oats. Sometimes one person has undergone huge personality changes that have transformed him/her into someone the spouse can’t tolerate. Sometimes the marriage was always difficult or even bad, or a sham, and the couple was just barely tolerating each other for the sake of the kids, waiting till the youngest children grew up and were on their own.

I have no idea what’s going on with the Gores. But I’ve noticed a lot of changes (for the worse) in Al in the past decade. So perhaps he’s grown to be such a condescending egotist, so puffed up with his own great worth, that Tipper just can’t take it any more.

Or maybe it’s something altogether different. Whatever it is, it’s a sorrowful thing when a long term marriage ends (and particularly stressful for the couple, as well). Even adult children can be deeply (and surprisingly) thrown by the news.

The Gores’s friends are surprised, too, because apparently the couple really did seem to be very much in love for a long time. But one of the basic rules of marriage is that no one knows anything about anyone else’s marriage. In fact, another basic rule of marriage is that sometimes the couple themselves doesn’t know much about the workings of their own marriage, either.

Sometimes it seems to be going really well and then the life just whooshes out of it. Sometimes everything appears fine and dandy and it turns out that one spouse has been conning the other one all along and has been living a double life. Sometimes couples seem contentious, and no one can figure out why the marriage works, but it does. And sometimes the opposite. Sometimes even the couple themselves don’t know exactly why they are miserable; they just know that they are, and bone weary of dealing with each other.

But whatever the reason is for the Gore separation, I hope they keep it to themselves. I don’t want another tell-all book, or separate or joint interviews with Barbara Walters or appearances on Oprah. Some dignity and preservation of privacy would be awfully nice.

And now we will leave them, with an image from happier days—when two high school sweethearts married at the ages of twenty-one and twenty-two, hope and love in their hearts, and their unlived futures before them:


As usual, the poets have something to say about it:

The Ache of Marriage
—-Denise Levertov

The ache of marriage:

thigh and tongue, beloved,
are heavy with it,
it throbs in the teeth

We look for communion
and are turned away, beloved,
each and each

It is leviathan and we
in its belly
looking for joy, some joy
not to be known outside it

two by two in the ark of
the ache of it.

37 Responses to “Tipper and Al are splitsville…”

  1. Scottie Says:

    I’m sure someone, somewhere, is going to blame Bush or Cheney for this…..

  2. Pablo Says:

    I heard he’s blaming the break up on Bush…

  3. roc scssrs Says:

    Old joke, but: A Jewish couple in their nineties go to see their lawyer. “We want a divorce,” he says. “We’ve never loved each other.” What, says the lawyer, after all these years? Why separate now? Why didn’t you come to see me earlier? “We were waiting,” she says, “for the children to die.”

  4. SteveH Says:

    Just maybe Tipper’s gut is telling her old Al is going to end up in prison. And i believe her gut would be right.

  5. Artfldgr Says:

    She’s just cashing out while the reported prospects and her share are huge, rather than in the future, where realized, they are much smaller…

    IE. cash out while he and everyone thinks he will be a billionaire… but before the reality sets in.. he may not make what they thought he would make, but he will have to pay as if he did.

    Its the American Way….

  6. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Al’s a bullshit artist–more than most politicians. He’s been promoting and getting rich off the AGW scam for so long that he’s probably changed considerably.
    He may not be a sociopath. He may be forcing himself to believe in what he’s peddling, which can be a strain.
    And once you convince yourself that something is true because you think it is, that could apply to any number of other things.
    Maybe John Edwards was once a good guy, too.

  7. M J R Says:

    I have absolutely no use for Al Gore, never have, and, barring the thoroughly unforeseen, never will. But hey all, let’s lay off the wiseacre remarks, and leave the distressed couple to sort their situation out. We have much more important stuff with which to occupy our thoughts.

  8. Michael Says:

    Long before there was AGW, Al was on both sides, serially, of Civil Rights laws, abortion, Saddam’s WMD, and many other issues, too numerous to count. I’m sorry to say it, even about him, but it does appear that he has seen his opportunity to trade for a much younger model, who might be able to revive his flagging schmuch.

  9. Gringo Says:

    I was neutral about Al Gore before November 2000. His performance in the Florida recount, coupled with subsequent statements on the Middle East and AGW, turned me Goreaphobic.

    My guess is that had Al Gore returned to private life after 2000, the marriage would have endured. I can imagine his wife wanting a “return to normalcy” after the 2000 election, after 30 years in the public eye, and finally decided enough is enough.

    I do not want to read any ” he said..she said” about the Gores. They are under no obligation to reveal to the rest of the world the myriad details about their private woes.

  10. Curtis Says:

    Poor, darling fellow – he died of food. He was killed by the dinner table.

    Diana Vreeland

  11. Artfldgr Says:

    according to Mr Bernard Salt,

    It was a no-brainer in the 1950s: half the working age population was not engaged in the paid workforce. Change based on the role of women was always going to transform our society over the course of a generation.

    But what’s left? Who else can we commandeer into working and spending so as to keep our consumerist society ticking along?

    How about the long-term unemployed? How about a shift in social values to such an extent that we now see it as “good corporate karma” to embrace these previously spurned minorities?

    How about a shift to acceptance, to celebrate workplace diversity and especially ethnic and religious diversity? How about an era in which we stream in workers from around the globe to add to economic capacity and to our rising consumer spending base? (How to keep our consumerist society ticking: spend, Bernard Salt The Australian, 21 May 2008.)

    if you read old feminists with an eye for economics, you will realize that all they wanted was a labor force who could be taxed for social programs.

    women who worked for their families, could have their labor taxed.

    to those who see people, this is just fine… as individuals are not cattle… chattel, etc..

    to those who see the masses as workers, and means of production, having half the population idle and not taxable, is a big problem. after all their idea is to get all the cattle chattel they own into productive capacity.

    they needed people to spend outside their own needs and reasonable ways as they did when they were families, and have them spend so that those who already earned and invested could reap higher profits for higher output and halved labor costs (pushing off the social costs which were ignored onto the poor and others to live with)

    so same ideas and things different purposes, which are more personal, which is why we cant see the same thing over and over.

    they used vanity, and shame, and jealousy, to get women to deconstruct the world of free individual agents and impose statist outcomes on them

    Gore and his wife are products of such. marriages of convenience for the mobile women, who have that as an alternative path to success and wealth that others don’t have (ie men).

    a marraige of such financial convenience ends when its no longer financially convenient.

    she can unhitch her pony to the failure after the long run, and collect the goods and let it at that.

    given the rules we have now (created by whom)
    cashing out on him, is the best thing she can do.

    shall i list out the bevy that have done the same now that female self interest is promoted as equal to morals…

    he is moving from an upward arc with the crest unsure, to after the crest and we are in decline…

    that’s when the mans usefulness ends and when loyalty of those who never were loyal to start with, becomes evident

    [i will also point out that divorce is a new modern way to secure wealth!!!! that is if they stay together, and he is sued, the money can be taken. but if they separate (as friends and teammates), she takes half, and instantly, half is no longer available in a way that it was before! and if they are married for successes convenience, then this is just one more convenient strategy of living]

    the only other reason they are giving is that it too, is bushes fault…

    which actually may be true…

    modern women tend not to stick with men to the end the way their mothers and ancestors did. [why should they, men are not needed any more! according to them]

    (if the ancestors didn’t do that, would there be a several million year unbroken line of life going back that didn’t end until their children got”socialist” smart?)

  12. vanderleun Says:

    “Some dignity and preservation of privacy would be awfully nice.”

    “Al Gore, you have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

  13. Julia NYC Says:

    Wow, the folks with the perfect marriages: John and Elizabeth Edwards, Al and Tipper have split, and Bill and Hillary still going strong. Who’d a thunk? Still, it’s too bad.

  14. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    As I remind myself from time to time, all relationships – good, bad or indifferent – come to an end.

  15. Hangtown Bob Says:

    So this is how the real “Love Story” ends…………..

    (you may remember that Al bragged that the author Erich Segal based his novel “Love Story” on Al and Tipper whom he knew at school)

    Maybe one of the two discovered that “Love means that you never have to say you’re sorry” is an utter crock!

  16. Scottie Says:

    Perhaps Tipper is simply following the national trend?

    It seems, at least according to Rasmussen, that fewer people these days are identifying themselves as democrats….


    (no, I’m not sympathetic at all – Algore is in the same catagory as John Edwards as far as I’m concerned.)

  17. Tatyana Says:

    Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s.

  18. ck Says:

    Protecting assets, when al gets drug into court over his carbon trading scam,they’ll still have her half to live on.

  19. Tom Goff Says:

    I absolutely agree with CK. They’re protecting assets for the coming bankruptcy court and lawsuits over the carbon trading scheme. People who are capable of a global warming and carbon-cap scam of the scale these two have pulled off are perfectly capable of assessing the inevitable crash and are clearly taking steps to preserve the assets from their long-running (but doomed) international game. Think the 1973 movie “The Sting”. If you haven’t seen it, rent it. That’s who these people are. As CK says, “they’ll still have her half to live on….”

  20. Splashman Says:

    Good post, Art. Thanks!

  21. Mr. Frank Says:

    One of the major benefits of marriage is not having to grow old alone. Things must have been very unpleasant to pass on that.

  22. LisaM Says:

    Rush Limbaugh agrees with Art that she’s getting her share of the loot before he loses it all.

    However, I did read today that their friends actually are blaming Bush. They just never got over the 2000 election and its aftermath. That W is EVERYWHERE!

  23. anna Says:

    I concur with the asset-protection theory, courtesy of small dead animals.

  24. betsybounds Says:

    I have long thought that Tipper was the single good thing that Gore had going for him. She was the one with the sense of humor–he has none, has always had none. I remember once, I think it was as far back as the 1992 presidential campaign, that Al was on Larry King-Live and Tipper got a call through. She sounded all smoky-voiced and said, “Oh Senator Gore, I think you’re a very attractive man, and I’d like to get together with you, we could go out for a quiet dinner together . . . .” Well Big Al went all cold and stiff, he didn’t recognize her voice at all, and she burst out laughing. It was genuinely funny, and she was genuinely winsome.

    Since then, there have been other moments where Tipper shone, and put him to shame. I admired her self-restraint when he planted that God-awful public kiss on her at the 2000 Democrat Convention–if my husband had kissed me like that on a public stage, I might have slapped him for his trouble. She smiled and hugged him; what a trouper.

    For some years now, the only thing that’s made me think that Big Al MIGHT JUST POSSIBLY be sane is the fact that she stayed with him. While I agree that their troubles should remain private and in a very real way I don’t care what they are, this split confirms to me that, whatever else the man might be, he is beyond any further doubt completely, irredeemably, utterly INSANE.

  25. Cappy Says:

    Tipper dumped him ’cause she knows the old fraud has nothing on Cappy!

  26. Sgt. Mom Says:

    In about 2002 when I first started writing for The Daily Brief, (www.ncobrief.com) it was Sgt. Stryker’s Daily Brief. The original Sgt. Stryker was an active-duty Air Force mechanic. Until about mid-2002, he was assigned to Andrews AFB, as a member of the flight ground-support crew which handled not AF-One, but to the AC which flew all the other prominent members of the administration around. He had to sign non-disclosure agreements about all of this, of course, but he once vouchsafed on the blog that of all them, Tipper Gore and Louis Freeh (of the FBI) were the only two who managed to come off as real, personable and genuinely nice people.

  27. Oldflyer Says:

    My wife is sad about this. I suppose most women are; at least those who are long married and revere the institution..

    On the other hand, my reaction is “what took her so long?”.

  28. kcom Says:

    So perhaps he’s grown to be such a condescending egotist, so puffed up with his own great worth, that Tipper just can’t take it any more.

    That sums up my working theory.

    I think his head has swelled so much that there is not enough room in their home, even if it’s a mansion, for it and anything else. She probably wanted to grow old with a real human being, and not this puffed up piece of puffery. Is that redundant?

    The asset theory is interesting, though. But if Tipper Gore is as nice as people say, the asset theory seems a tad too Machievellian, because she would have to be a knowing participant.

  29. ck Says:

    Just watch, it will be the quickest, easiest, scandal free divorce in history.Tipper is in on the scam. The lawyers wont even make much money.

  30. Tom Says:

    It’s not too bad, it’s not too sad. I have long thought poorly of them both, and anyone who thinks well of Tipper has clearly fallen prey to her media image. That image is all most of us know. But anyone who has stuck with alGore for 40 years is categorically less than virtuous. An dependent enabler, perhaps, but not innocent and not virtuous.
    But that most posters profess no interest, nada, in knowing more about their private lives strikes me as odd. All autopsies have informational value, even marital autopsies.

  31. Walter Sobchak Says:

    Al has a bimbo. There is always a bimbo. Count on it.

    Sanctimonious prig that Al is, he told Tipper about it.

    Tipper figured out that they had been leading separate lives for years, and the only thing at stake is money, so they split the money and were done. More class than I thought she had, bravo for her.

  32. Bob From Virginia Says:

    There should be a statute of limitations on marriages, seven years sounds good; after seven a couple has an automatic divorce or they have to get counseling. Remember a divorce is better than a murder.

  33. bill Says:

    Gore has been out of his mind for years, stark raving certifiable nuts. I can’t imagine he can be like that in public and not be a raving tyrant at home.
    She should have bailed years ago when in full campaign delusion he compared America to his kid lying in the gutter after being hit by a car. That was the work of a sociopath without a soul. Clowns like Gore and Edwards are what make politics the disreputable swamp it is.
    Good move Tipper dumping that fat fool.

  34. Scottie Says:

    Bob from Virginia,

    Your 7 year statute of limitations plan would never work.

    I firmly believe that the wedding ring was originally a symbol of matrimony – that women actually wanted pierced through the groom’s nose….lol.

    (jokingly stated as a guy happily married for almost 19 years now!)

  35. Michael Says:

    The number of women leaving men when the men are no longer a financial asset may be rising, but it is still less than the number of men who leave a sick or dying wife. Maybe in the next generation, but not now. I agree with Walter Sobchak, (only I said it first 😉 Al probably has a bimbo. Men our age don’t like to turn the page on that chapter of life, the reproductive one, and, with sufficient financial assets, they don’t have to do so. If Al takes up with a twenty five year old, people may ask, what’ll he do when he is ninety three and she is fifty five. His answer will be, “Find myself another twenty five year old.”

    Now here is the painful part: In the South we are rather vague on what it means to “look Jewish.” We have a goodly number of Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews, and Syrians and Lebanese and Greeks, and all just look Mediterranean, to us. (OK, not the Kazar type, like Woody Allen.) However, we are quite good at spotting other types. We all know who looks Southern and who does not. There is a White Trash look, e.g. Bill Clinton. There is a Southern pretty-boy look, which we try to get our daughters to avoid, because they are good looking and weak of character. Look at Al and Tipper’s wedding photo. Did you say he flunked out of divinity school? Did he jump on every passing band wagon? Did he allow his handlers to pursue endless recounts in Florida, when he knew quite well that these were efforts at election fraud, even unto stealing a Presidential election? Did his charm finally fade for Tipper? Or did he chase la bimbeau? Sorry, folks, it’s all there in his face.

    Maybe they are doing the divide and hide scam. Maybe not. The other, you would not find one Southerner in ten, Black or white, who would not see the weakness in one glance at that photo.

  36. John Says:

    “Did I dream this, or was it just yesterday that President Obama was congratulating Al and Tipper Gore on their long and happy marriage?”

    “Maybe Obama should endorse oil spills.” Ann Coulter

  37. Barry D Says:

    Maybe she listened to one of his speeches backwards and heard, “Smoke pot, worship satan and masturbate!”

    Maybe they couldn’t reconcile their disagreement: he thinks that everyone should send him money to save the earth, whereas she just thinks that the real answer is to ban AC/DC songs.

    Perhaps they can be as miserable as they both have tried to make others, for their own amusement, and to amass power and wealth. Screw ’em both.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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