Jan Scruggs
Memorial founder

Jan Scruggs

Founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.


Legacy is intact

Q: Senator, vice president, nearly a president, and a Nobel Prize winner -- Al Gore has been successful by any measure. Will the recent allegation that he groped a masseuse -- Portland, Ore. police are reopening the investigation -- significantly change his reputation or legacy? Should it?

Should an investigation into allegations of misconduct impact on the work and legacy of a former vice president of the United States? I argue that this story is unsubstantiated and has received far more attention and credibility than it deserves. Also, it is quite humiliating for one of America's more interesting public figures. Assuming the allegations are not true, I predict that this will all go away and not impact on his legacy.

I feel sorry for Al Gore. He ordered a massage in the privacy of his hotel room. She claims that he groped her and threw her on the bed. He denies the allegation. Now the 54-year-old masseuse has gone to the tabloids calling Vice President Gore a "sick man" and "a crazed sex poodle." Good grief.

Who is telling the truth? I don't know what happened because I wasn't there. But, I cannot give a lot of credibility to anyone who calls Al Gore a sick man. While I don't often agree with his politics, I recognize his dedication, not only to his political beliefs but also to causes such as ending global warming, for which he received the 2007 Nobel Prize. Al Gore has made contributions to this nation that need to be acknowledged, not forgotten in the midst of a scandal.

It strikes me as unfair for a masseuse to make allegations which are now on the cover of the National Enquirer and elsewhere from an event that may or may not have occurred at an Oregon hotel in 2006. She will have her 15 minutes of fame, and maybe then we can move on.

By Jan Scruggs  |  July 8, 2010; 12:00 AM ET  | Category:  Success and controversy Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Addictive behavior | Next: Mr. Clean's smudge


Please report offensive comments below.

Every one of note, from Jesus to Martin Luther King Jr, has been accused of some sex scandal. So what?!

A few loonies think they know more than hundreds of scientists all over the world studying global warming for decades. The rest of the world recognizes the importance of climate change and the excellent work that Gore has done to bring it out of the science journals and into mainstream economics and politics. That is why Gore won the Nobel Peace prize- an international award- because educated people around the world understand that all nations will have to work together to put a stop to climate change.

No one really cares if Gore groped a masseuse- the world just cares if it is too late to reverse the damage we have already done to the atmosphere.

Posted by: eagle2roost | July 13, 2010 12:46 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Al is a phat phony and a scammer way beyond the likes of a mere Madoff, who intends to use the Cap and Trade scam to become richer than Bill Gates...

Posted by: ad4hk2004 | July 12, 2010 8:36 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Why in the world are they asking the founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund this question?

Posted by: ObamasArizonaLawsuitWillBeTheDownfallOfTheDemocratsInNovember2010 | July 12, 2010 7:28 PM
Report Offensive Comment

"I feel sorry for Al Gore."

I read the Masseuse's story and it rings very true.

What ever happened to the Feminist concept that there can't be "sexual consent" if the relationship is one of power

Posted by: jgfox39 | July 12, 2010 3:59 PM
Report Offensive Comment

There is no where near a unanimous majority of scientist that proscribe to the theory that man as being the cause of GW. Or that GW is really happening at all. Not to mention that the GW movement has been compromised by lies and subversion.

It certainly doesn't help your side when your doomsday prophet Gore has bought a multi-million dollar seaside mansion.

Hmmm wonder if he has flood insurance??

Posted by: Straightline | July 12, 2010 2:37 PM
Report Offensive Comment

What I find offensive is that nobody knows anything about the Gore's private relationship and yet the man is always taken to the stocks and ridiculed for sexual misconduct. Nobody thinks that maybe the wife is to blame with her frigidity

Posted by: Vox__Populi | July 12, 2010 12:42 PM
Report Offensive Comment

his legacy is already nil - he hasn't been on tv since the disaster at copenhagen and his utter refusal to defend his climate change theories against the increasingly legitimate questions of skeptics is very telling of the shakiness of his claims that the science is 'settled'. no debates. no interviews. no questions. and now, since the emergence of his personal problems, no journalists at all are allowed at his speeches. what a loser.

Posted by: homer32 | July 12, 2010 11:29 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Legacy Intact?

Yes, Al Gore's legacy of being a doofus is intact.

Posted by: jblast2000 | July 12, 2010 10:51 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Gore got a prize for not being bush. He got a prize for a movie that was factually false.
now he is worth hundreds of millions as a fraud selling snake oil to the fools who want to believe they are ill.
And if you look, you will probably find more of these attempted rapes, which were probably successful.
Keep the pressure on, there will be more and more victims that will appear. Just ask the secret service, as a vp under the former lifetime protection law, he has a detail and they keep pretty good records.

Posted by: infantry11b4faus | July 12, 2010 10:40 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Algore is a pathological lier thank God the Surpreme court stooped him from stealing the election from President Bush.

Posted by: ToddPollard | July 12, 2010 10:05 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Scruggs' out of hand dismissal of these very serious allegations is a mark of unacceptably poor leadership. Furthermore, the allegations are of sexual assault, not of infidelity. Infidelity is unpleasant but forgivable. Sexual assault is extremely serious, and the Roman Catholic Church is now facing the consequences of not properly investigating allegations of such conduct. Mr. Gore should not be considered guilty before a thorough investigation - but it sounds like Mr. Scruggs is almost willing to forego that investigation.

Posted by: weiwentg | July 12, 2010 9:35 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Yes, yes, Al Gore is a dedicated Nobel Prize winner and wants to save the environment, the globe, etc. etc. But did he actually grope "that woman?" Surely those activities are not necessarily incompatible?

I agree that groping someone may be inappropriate, but not "sick." I think "sick" is used here the way high school kids say "ewww, that's sick ..." Even if it should turn out that Gore did grope that woman (I don't know her name,) it's not as if he is a rapist. However, the image of the bulky Gore as a "sex poodle" is slightly unsettling in spite of its entertainment value and fodder for cartoonists.

Of course, the fact that Al and Tipper are divorcing adds accelerant to the accusations. They had presented the very image of the adjusted, happy, upper-middle class couple, plenty of money, well-adjusted kids. Remember the big kiss at the convention? But now Al and Tipper are getting divorced. You gotta be kidding! Another Ozzie-and-Harriet bites the dust. Maybe Tipper was death on nasty song lyrics because she had caught Al listening to them, who knows? Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

When it comes to "legacy" it all depends how much time has intervened and the course of events. If 200 years from now Al Gore turns out to have been prophetic, then nobody will remember the groping. If he turns out to not have been prophetic, then no one will remember him at all, groping or not. So it's a win-win situation.

Posted by: RichardHode | July 12, 2010 1:25 AM
Report Offensive Comment

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company