Star Turn For Gore's Daughter

al gore karenna gore schiff convention
When Karenna Gore Schiff seconded the nomination of her father to top the Democratic presidential ticket Wednesday night, she made convention history. But her speech was more personal testimony than political cheerleading, as she attempted to describe a softer side of Gore that the public rarely sees.

Gore himself provided a personal touch. Delegates reacted with surprise and delight when the vice president walked on stage at the conclusion of his daughter's speech. The two embraced as delegates cheered.

In her remarks, Gore's eldest child said she wanted "to take a few minutes to talk about my father, as a father." What followed were several family anecdotes that painted Gore as an accessible and affectionate parent who always had time for his children - and his constituents.

"When my dad was a congressman, he listed our number in the phone book in Carthage so the people he worked for could always reach him," she said. "I was taught to run, not walk, to get my dad."

The 27-year-old new mother and law school graduate has said that becoming a parent compelled her to become more politically active. She told the convention, "I'm not asking you to support Al Gore because he is my father, or even because he's been a great dad. What really matters is what he will do for all our kids."

Though the convention crowd was larger than most of those she addresses, Schiff showed she has grown comfortable on the campaign stump. She said her father was the candidate that would provide health care for children, protect the environment and preserve a woman's right to an abortion.

Though Schiff shies from calling herself an adviser to the vice president, she does concede to being a sounding board for her father. She also spearheads his campaign's drive to attract young voters.

Schiff often tells reporters she would like voters to get to know her dad in the way she does, and that desire was evident in her speech.

"My grandparents taught my dad that it is right to treat every woman and man with equal respect, to call them 'Sir' or 'Ma'am', to do your own physical labor and clean up your own mess."

Perhaps as a way of explaining her father's trademark public stiffness, she added, "I think this old-fashioned politeness is refreshing in today's world."

The vice president speaks Thursday night, when he formally accepts the party's nomination.