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Bush and Gore on the Prize Money

October 13, 2007

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore on Friday predictably produced flashbacks to the 2000 election fiasco, complete with the usual conservative venom and liberal wistfulness. But seemingly lost in the tales of the parallel lives of George W. Bush and Al Gore are their sharply contrasting views towards their respective legacies. Just follow the money.
At his press conference yesterday, Gore announced he would donate his $750,000 Nobel Prize award to the Alliance for Climate Protection:

"My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis."

Compared to the former Vice President, the future former President Bush has made it clear he has very different plans for his coming financial windfalls. In a series of interviews with author Robert Draper for his book Dead Certain, Bush confirmed that the banality - and venality - that defined his presidency will characterize his post-presidency as well:

First, Mr. Bush said, "I'll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol' coffers." With assets that have been estimated as high as nearly $21 million, Mr. Bush added, "I don't know what my dad gets - it's more than 50-75" thousand dollars a speech, and "Clinton's making a lot of money."

George W. Bush and Al Gore, of course, are both very wealthy men. But the differences are telling when each is presented with the Jerry McGuire Test to just "show me the money."


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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