reading. riting. 'rithmetic.

Apr 10, 2008

the ballad of bill and al

It has been interesting to observe two political figures that are as well known to me as Bill Clinton and Al Gore in a new arena. During their respective visits to the Faroe Islands, each man had the opportunity to represent himself in a fresh way, a chance that he will never get in front American audiences whose minds are inescapably flooded by complex preconceptions ranging from talking-heads commentary to moral indignation to environmental apathy. When Clinton visited last October, there is no question that he conquered the Faroe Islands. During his days here he offered interviews, walked the streets of the capital visiting shops and posing with fans, and even bought wool sweaters that he said were for Hillary and Chelsea. He opened his official speech with an anecdote about how he would export the idea of grass-roofed houses back to the United States, and then proceeded to talk fluidly without notes in his warm, folksy way. The Faroese loved him. He was personable, interested, and brought a touch of world glamor to these modest green slopes. Although I could not read the coverage of Al Gore's visit earlier this week, I have heard several renditions of his brusqueness. He arrived in the Faroes late on Sunday night and went immediately by car to his hotel. The next morning he met briefly with the Prime Minister, and then delivered his talk at the TransAtlantic Climate Conference, which is rumored to have been built mostly around slide from his documentary "An Inconvenient Truth". Per orders from his foundation, no digital recordings of the presentation were allowed. He then left by car to go back to the airport to catch his outbound flight. He allowed no interviews, and when a Faroese journalist caught him in a parking lot, Gore told him he got to ask one question. The reporter asked him how he liked the Faroes so far. Gore replied, "It's pretty nice." His only lasting impression in this country is that of a moneygrubbing, personality-less block of a man. So all my sympathies to both the Clinton-haters and the global warming combatants, but the Faroese score currently stands at Clinton: ten gold stars, Gore: zilch. -a

2 Comments:

Blogger Amanda said...

And that is exactly why Clinton could defeat Bush the elder decisively, and Gore could not defeat Bush the younger in a decisive fashion. Say what you will, Bill Clinton is a superb politician, speaker, and communicator. Sometimes being "Slick Willie" is a good thing.

4/11/08, 1:24 AM

 
Blogger Jen Miller said...

Hey Abby - would you let Ben know I sent him a message over on Facebook? I had questions about his photography pricing! (The English websites pricing isn't in dollars)

Thank you!

4/14/08, 6:49 PM

 

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