[Ed. – Get a room, already.]
Al Gore is richer and skinnier than ever, 14 years out of the White House, a tech titan with elder statesman clout, whose disdain for politics in the capital where he lived most of his life has only grown with each year he’s lived away from it. Sure, this new Gore has a great life, what with a net worth well over the $200 million mark following the sale of his Current TV network to Al Jazeera last year, that seat on the Apple board and his starring roles with two investment companies that tout their environmentally friendly business styles: London-based Generation Investment Management and Silicon Valley’s Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He lives well too, between his 20-room, $4 million home in Nashville’s tony Belle Meade neighborhood and a separate apartment in San Francisco’s St. Regis luxury hotel residences.
But even in his fabulously wealthy, I’m-not-a-Washingtonian-anymore phase, Gore is still a policy wonk, of course. He may be a trendy, 50-pound-lighter vegan these days, and wear the all-black uniform of the Silicon Valley gurus who have become his peers. But the former vice president still geeks out when talking about the “cost-down curve for photovoltaic electricity,” his solar-powered houseboat and the infuriating refusal of the news media and the Republican Party to acknowledge the climate change gorilla in the room. …
Whether by choice or design, Gore is clearly working hard to not make it about him. He rarely grants interviews, preferring to lobby President Obama and world leaders in private (he tells me he has “no complaints about any lack of access” to the White House). When Senate Democrats invited Gore to brief them last December, he did it behind closed doors at one of their weekly luncheons in the Capitol, rather than in televised committee hearings, like the ones he headlined in 2007 and 2009. He skipped the 2012 Democratic National Convention altogether. And much of his attention these days is clearly on his booming business (though conservatives love to bash him for that too, taunting him for getting rich off going green).