Vice President Al Gore is not boring, I thought to my surprise the other morning. Mr. Gore is sprightly, lively, a life-of-the-party kind of guy. I nearly cut myself shaving.
I once saw Mr. Gore spontaneously keep a whole ballroom of newspaper editors in stitches for all of, say, 20 minutes. Not much of an accomplishment, you might say. But I say it is. Newspaper editors are pretty grim folk, take it from me. I are one.
Mr. Gore's problem is not that he's dull, but that he's complete. Every word is planned for perfection. Every gesture is just right. In McLuhanesque terms, Mr. Gore is "hot." He leaves nothing to the imagination. That gets people's goat.
In contrast, George W. Bush is "cool." He leaves everything to the imagination. Voters can fill in his blanks, and have just the candidate they want.
Mr. Bush's victim is the electorate. Mr. Gore's victim is Tipper. I don't know what she did to deserve being confronted with perfection over the breakfast table every day.
Arnold Rosenfeld is editor-in-chief of the Cox Newspapers.