"It has been, for Al Gore, a swift and brutal fall from grace," says Lloyd Grove in The Daily Beast. A few weeks ago, "the former vice president was mainly known as the planet’s premiere environmentalist and anti-global-warming crusader," as well as a best-selling author, Oscar-winning filmmaker, and, in the minds of millions, the man who "should have been sworn in as president in January 2001." Then the "unpleasantness" began. First, a masseuse in Portland, OR, went public with her accusation, initially shrugged off by police, that Gore had touched her inappropriately during a 2006 massage at a hotel. Then two other women told similar stories, and suddenly "the 62-year-old Gore is tabloid fodder — notorious as a 'crazed sex poodle.'" Gore has not dignified the allegations with a direct response, which may be why the "seamy" gossip has tarnished his reputation. Here, an excerpt:
Four weeks into his multimedia ordeal, Gore hasn’t managed to formulate an effective PR strategy to counter the toxic fallout polluting his once-gleaming image. And crisis managers say his passive stance is only fueling the problem. What’s more, he has yet to personally confront the allegations in a public forum, and refuses to take questions from the howling media mob during increasingly furtive speaking appearances. Inevitably, the ugly charges and Gore’s apparent evasiveness are harming his reputation.