I couldn’t decide if it’s postworthy or not — on the one hand, it’s nobody’s business, on the other, it’s all over the news — but I liked Jim Geraghty’s post enough to want to showcase it in a thread. Some people are making the easy jokes (“Perhaps the love faded away through the years, like a slowly melting glacier”); others, like Ace, are finding semi-serious political angles; and pretty much everyone, especially on Twitter, is wondering how Bill and Hillary have lasted when Al and Tipper couldn’t. But my reaction is the same as Geraghty’s: What a shame to see a couple split that’s gone through so much together.
I find myself strangely bummed about the news of the impending separation of Al and Tipper Gore. Oh, I’ve chuckled at the man’s ability to embody the walking antidote to charisma and sworn at his unprecedented and divisive refusal to accept defeat during the 2000 recount, but nobody deserves the pain that comes with the ordeal of the end of a marriage, even under reasonably amiable circumstances. And it’s a bit surprising to watch a couple split after they’ve experienced everything the Gores have – raising children, a rise to prominence in the Senate, the national spotlight during the 1992 campaign, eight years a heartbeat away from the presidency, the bitter defeat of the 2000 campaign, the cavalcade of awards for a documentary – Oscar, Nobel – and then… with their lives actually rather quiet, then they find they can’t live with each other anymore? They could handle everything except circumstances that almost resembled normal life?
Follow the link for his conclusion. Late-in-life divorces are especially depressing to me because none of the easy explanations work. You can’t say “they weren’t right for each other” or “they got married too young” or “they rushed into it,” all of which one might have an inkling about before saying “I do.” It sounds like they simply … grew apart, something to which we’re all susceptible despite our best efforts. It’s the marriage equivalent of a terminal illness that you don’t know you have until it’s too late. I’m truly sorry for them. Wouldn’t wish it on my worst political enemy.
Update (Ed): Ditto for me. I do some volunteer work for an organization dedicated to strengthening marriages, and it’s very sad to see a 40-year marriage come to an end. I have tremendous political differences with former VP Gore, but as Allahpundit says, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst political enemy — and especially not their family. They’ll be in my prayers tonight.