As the wife of the U.S. vice president, Tipper Gore has focused on the issue of mental health, a project that she hopes will be part of her legacy.
"I'm very proud we were able to organize the first White House conference on mental health," she told Early Show Co-Anchor Jane Clayson, adding, "I think we need to continue to work to eradicate any stigma associated with mental health and urge people to get treatment when they need it. My work with homelessness, I hope, will beÂ…something that I will be remembered for."
She is continuing to bring attention to the plight of the homeless with an exhibit of her photographs at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington. The exhibit (to continue through March) and a companion book are called The Way Home: Ending Homelessness in America.
"It builds on a project depicting people who are homeless in '88 that was done by a lot of people, and we wanted to raise awareness about this problem," Gore told, adding, "And now this year, 13 photographers [including Gore herself] have come together."
Gore was once a photographer for the newspaper The Tennessean, a job she gave up to help her husband in his original run for Congress. Now that he is in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, his wife said she's ready to hit the campaign trail again.
"I love campaigning, and I love the real give and take of the democratic process," she said.
She also is looking forward to the public getting to know her husband a little better.
"I think they'll see a determined personÂ… one who has a long record of achievement in the House and the Senate," said Gore. "A person that served in the military, a father, a grandfather."
As for the public perception that the vice president is very stiff and formal, his wife said, "I think that every person that's been in the vice presidency has had some sort of misperceptions or stereotypes attached to them. I think part of it goes with the role. I mean, you are a team player."
The Gores also have always given first priority to their children, invariably on hand for the games and recitals that are so much a part of their lives. They often would eschew the Washington social scene in favor of neighborhood activities.
And, on July 4, the Gores became grandparents when daughter Karenna gave birth to a son. Since Karenna and her husband live in New York City, one might think that a doting grandmother who lives in Washington might not get to spend much time with the baby. But think again.
"He's a great joy in our lives," said Gore. "We don't let too much time go by without seeing him."