Im Al Gore.
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Im Al Gore

Good afternoon. I'm Al Gore, and I'd like to tell you about myself.
I know a lot about hardship, because I came into this world as a poor black
child in a tiny town in the backwoods of Tennessee. I was born in a log cabin
that I built with my own hands. I taught myself to read by candlelight and
helped support my 16 brothers and sisters by working summers as a deck hand on a
Mississippi River steamboat.
My mother taught me the value of education, so every day; I would walk 5 miles
to a one-room schoolhouse. I was a mischievous, fun-loving scamp, thought I
never dreamed that one-day, my youthful escapades would serve as the inspiration
for Huckleberry Finn.
Back then, black folks in the south were second-class citizens. One day, a
traveling minister came through town, and I asked him if anyone was ever going
to do something to guarantee civil rights for all Americans. Well, I guess I
made an impression. You see, the minister's name was Martin Luther King, Jr.
My father was a United States Senator. He once perched me on his knee and
said, Son, if you work hard and listen to your mama, someday you can live in a
hotel in Washington, D.C., and go to an exclusive prep school.
But life of privilege was not for me. After getting my high school diploma, I
took a job in a hot, dirty textile mill. I was so appalled at the treatment of
the workers there that I organized a union. Later, that experience inspired a
movie - which is why, to this day, my close friends at the AFL-CIO call me
Norma Rae.
When word got out what an 18 year old factory worker had done, Harvard called
and offered me a scholarship. I captained the hockey team to four consecutive
national championships, but I also played football and was good enough to win
the Heisman Trophy.
During my college years, I lived in a housing project and moonlighted playing
lead guitar for a little rock band. You may have heard of it-the Rolling
But there was a war going on, and I felt I had to serve my country. So
I enlisted in the U. S. Army and went to Vietnam. I was deeply opposed to the
war, but I did my duty as a soldier and came back home with the Medal of Honor
and the Croix de Guerre.
When I got back, I took a long journey across this great land of ours. I've
crossed the deserts bare, man, I've breathed the mountain air, man, I've
traveled, I've done my share, man, I've been everywhere. And the people I met at
truck stops and campgrounds and homeless shelters on that journey all said the
same thing: Al, we need you in Washington.
I knew they were right, but first I had to take care of some other
business---building the World Trade Center, founding the Audubon Society, doing
the clinical research that proved smoking caused cancer, and coming up with the
recipe for Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookies.
Finally, I deferred to the demands of the people of Tennessee and allowed them
to elect me to the House of Representatives and the Senate, where I established
the US Strategic Oil Reserve. And then one winter day nearly nine years ago, for
no particular reason, I answered the call of the people once again and took the
oath of office as Vice President of the United States.
Since then, I've been part of the most successful administration in American
history. And, in my spare time, I invented the Internet. Many times Bill Clinton
has been pondering some grave decision and has asked me what to do. And when I
would give him my thoughts, he would invariable say, Of course. That's
brilliant. Why didn't I think of that?
During the darkest days of the impeachment battle, the president told me he
only wished he had listened when I told him to stay away form that dark-haired
intern. So after I decided to run for president, I sat down with him and asked
if he had any suggestions about how to conduct my campaign. And Bill Clinton
gave me a few simple words of advice-words I'll never forget.
He looked me in the eye and he said, Al, just tell the truth, it's always
worked for me.
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