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A Look At Al Through Tipper's Eyes

Tipper Gore from her speech at the Democratic Convention
AP
On the final night of Democratic National Convention Tipper Gore reintroduced her husband to the nation, asking viewers to "see the man I love in a way you may have not seen him before."

Like her daughter Karenna Gore Schiff, who spoke the previous night, Mrs. Gore sought to depict a deeply devoted family man, not a political leader.

"Many of you know Al to be a decisive leader with strong values, deeply held convictions, and an unwavering commitment to making the American dream a reality for all our people, she said. "But, I also want you to know that as a husband, father and grandfather, Al has always been there for our family and he will always be there for yours."

An avid photographer who is often seen with a point-and-shoot camera in hand, Tipper Gore chose to show Americans her husband through her own eyes. Presenting less of a speech than a video, she used her own pictures to give voters a glimpse of her husband's private side.

Starting with photos from high school, when the two first met, the crowd laughed at pictures of a young Al with a scruffy beard and whistled at a beautiful young Tipper sporting mini-skirts.

The mood grew more serious as Gore recounted their lives as young newlyweds. She recounted the struggle her husband faced over whether to enlist in the Vietnam War, as pictures of Al Gore in uniform flashed on the screen.

Like pages in a photo album, Gore poignantly recalled her husband's evolution from a young newspaper reporter to a fresh-faced congressman. She also shared intimate family photos of their four children as infants, and of Gore's mother and father. "I know how proud he'd be," she said.

Another intimate moment stirred the crowd to applause when she recounted the road accident that nearly killed their son, Albert, Jr. Tipper Gore said she sought treatment for mental depression after that tragedy, and said, "Al was there for me every step of the way."

As an illustration of Gore's further dedication to family, she recounted how he asked to have a congressional floor vote delayed so that he could be with his children on Halloween. The crowd was then treated to a photo of a green-faced Al as a very believable Frankenstein.

Though the vice president's trademark stiffness likely served him well in that costume, his wife's goal this evening - and throughout the campaign - was to soften his public persona.

The 51-year old mother of four also showed the nation a bit of her own gregariousness. After daughter Kristin introduced her as "one of the coolest people you'll ever know," the former drummer of an all girls' band made a very un-first-ladylike entry into the convention. She danced on stage for several minutes as delegate members waved signs that read, "Tipper Rocks."