Here's some juicy bits from belatedly-permalined Avedon Carol's marvelous post on the real Al Gore:
Gore is supposed to be "stiff", so if he isn't stiff, he must be departing from his real personality. Or something. These guys have drawn up a map of Al Gore that looks nothing like Al Gore, but when the map doesn't match the territory they figure it's the territory that's wrong.
Of course, there is something new going on with Al Gore, which is that he no longer tries to hide his playful side. ...But during his political career, he's always tried to comport himself with the dignity he thought political office should have in public. He did tell the obligatory warm-up jokes, but he always considered it inappropriate to yuk it up during occasions of state. That didn't work in 2000, when he was painted as "too stiff" compared with a guy who gave people noogies. (And let's be honest about this: George Bush does not behave like a "regular guy", he behaves like someone for whom the technical term back when we were in highschool and college was "asshole". Not the class clown, who was at least sharp and funny. Not the "regular" guys, who were usually safe to hang out with. Not the captain of the football team, who was - well, he was Al Gore, actually. George Bush is the guy who everyone hoped wouldn't show up at the party.)
The myth of Gore's stiffness was so overwhelming that people mistakenly attribute Gore's playful activities to the supposedly press-charming George Bush. Bush, we all remember, was the guy the press seemed to like because he was fun to hang out with. But Al Gore famously asked reporters not to mention it when he was fooling around on the plane, because it wasn't, y'know, presidential behavior. George Bush, a man who you're always afraid is going to come up and snap your bra (or wipe his glasses on your skirt), was running around claiming he was going to "restore honor and dignity to the White House" - and Al Gore was running around showing people what honor and dignity actually looked like.
(continued in the next post)