"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.

Read the full article at The Daily Beast.