I’m not making excuses for him, but this is the son who got hit by a car after a Baltimore Orioles game when he was a teen, and got to see how his Dad was more wrapped up in politics at the time than hos own son’s well being
The Wikipidia info on this is a crock.
Al Gore held up the hospital release of his son until aides could round up the proper attire for him to wear during the photo session of the boy’s release.
How would you like to be Al Gore’s son?
On April 3, 1989, then-Sen. Albert Gore, Jr. and his son, Albert Gore III, were leaving the Baltimore Orioles opening day baseball game when, according to news reports, Albert III “let go of his father’s hand” and darted into the street near Memorial Stadium. Albert III was hit by a car and injured severely with broken bones, ruptured spleen, bruised lung and concussion.
The driver of the car, Jasper McWilliams reportedly was not speeding and the police did not charge him at that time.
The accident was understandably distressing to Gore, but his behavior in its aftermath was curious. In his son’s hospital room, the elder Gore began writing his well-known book and environmental call-to-arms “Earth in the Balance.”
Gore wrote, “For me something changed in a fundamental way. I don’t think my son’s brush with death was solely responsible, although that was the catalyst. But I had also just lost a presidential campaign; moreover, I had just turned 40 years old. I was, in a sense, vulnerable to the change that sought me out in the middle of my life and gave me a new sense of urgency about those things I value the most.”
Albert III’s accident spurred Gore’s now famous activism on the “rapidly deteriorating global environment,” a battle which Gore wrote includes “completely eliminating the internal combustion engine over, say, a 25-year period” and “embarking on an all-out effort to use every policy and program, every law and institution, every treaty and alliance, every tactic and strategy, every plan and course of action — to use, in short, every means to halt the destruction of the environment and to preserve and nurture our ecological system.”
The fact that a car accident precipitated a call to eliminate the internal combustion engine is bizarre enough, but it’s not the end of the unusual events following the accident.
A week after the accident, blame for the accident somehow got displaced. McWilliams was suddenly charged with speeding and failing to exercise proper precaution upon seeing a child in the road.
He was tried in Baltimore District Court in July 1989. McWilliams was acquitted of all charges, leaving Gore, as the parent holding his child’s hand while crossing the road, with responsibility for the accident.
But why did Gore, a powerful Democrat, allow Baltimore City, a Democratic stronghold, to prosecute McWilliams at all?
But not long after Gore says he had his bedside epiphany, he sent his Senate staff scrambling for a more family-friendly shirt just minutes before a photo-op he arranged the day his 6-year-old son was discharged from the hospital, say sources familiar with the 1989 press conference.
Hospital staffers who witnessed the behind-the-scenes maneuvering were “appalled” at what seemed to be Gore’s calculating behavior in the middle of a heart-rending family crisis — behavior that would show up again later in his political life, fitting into a pattern. It was no secret that Gore, coming off a failed bid for the White House in 1988, was angling for another run and seeking more press exposure.
The staff at the Baltimore hospital where Albert Gore III was treated were shocked, first, that Gore would want to even hold a press conference after Tipper Gore had insisted on maintaining their “privacy,” and then, that he almost held up the televised news event fussing over what style of shirt to wear.
Gore was wearing a dress shirt at the time, but decided it looked too serious and business-like for the occasion, according to sources. He wanted a shirt that conveyed a warmer, family image, so he sent his staff out to find a more casual-looking shirt.
After a trip to a Johns Hopkins Hospital gift shop didn’t turn up what he wanted, a Senate staffer finally brought back from an outside store a Pendelton-style, or flannel-like, long-sleeve sports shirt that Gore liked and changed into.
“He was wearing a button-down Oxford-cloth shirt which said, ‘Office. This is a work shirt.’ And he decided he wanted a much more casual shirt which said, ‘Home, dad,’” a source who wished to remain anonymous said.
“He didn’t like anything in the gift shop,” the source added. “So he sent a staff member out to get another shirt.”
Jo Ann Rogers, director of media relations for Johns Hopkins Hospital, says the press conference took place the day Gore’s son was discharged — on April 26, 1989. The boy was recovering from a broken thighbone, broken collarbone, broken ribs, ruptured spleen (some 60 percent of which was removed), bruised lung, bruised pancreas, bruised kidney and second-degree skin burns from where he was dragged by the car.
While other politicians are image-conscious, critics say Gore is image-obsessed.
“Im not making excuses for him, but this is the son who got hit by a car after a Baltimore Orioles game when he was a teen, and got to see how his Dad was more wrapped up in politics at the time than hos own sons well being.”
This is so true. It must be hard for a seven year old to come to grips with that fact.