To use the kind of environmental jabber Al Gore likes, perhaps there's some petrochemical of discontent--whatever the hell that means -- leaking into the family drinking water. No sooner have Al and Tipper called it quits than comes news of another possible Gore divorce: After 13 years, Karenna Gore Schiff, the oldest Gore daughter, has separated from her hubby.
Now the Gore family isn't exactly broke. Al and Tipper have a net worth estimated at more than $100 million (see our piece on that breakup here), and Karenna's no slouch, either: A lawyer with degrees from Harvard and Columbia, she married a doctor who comes from a famous philanthropic family.
So what implications can we draw from this split? What matrimonial express might derail next? As a reporter who has interviewed the former vice president, and WalletPop's answer to Dr. Phil, allow me to answer your most pressing questions.
Q: What's the reason for the separation? Any connection to Al and Tipper's parting?
A: None we can find. But from what we hear, one of the partners sought to reconcile. The case went all the way up to the Supreme Court, which ruled by a 5-4 majority that their vote did not count.
Q: Oh, so this has to do with the 2000 Florida recount, then?
A: Precisely. One of the justices in that case was Clarence Thomas, who apparently has this thing about pubic hairs on Diet Coke cans. As we all know, the subject of pubic hair does come up from time to time in a marriage. And in Thomas' case, it only reinforces his qualifications to disenfranchise entire voting populations from deciding a heated presidential contest.
Q: That's unfair. And it has nothing to do with what we're talking about. You should apologize. Now.
A: I know. Isn't this how most marital fights start?
Q: Speaking of starting fights, any word on what got Karenna in a huff?
A: First her father claimed he invented the Internet, and then...
Q: No really, we're talking about her husband. Who is this guy?
A: Andrew Newman Schiff is a Washington-based doctor, and a descendant of banker-philanthropist Jacob Schiff. Between his income, estate and the assets of Karenna Gore -- who's also an author -- there's probably a large amount of dough at stake.
Q: How much?
A: To quote Daddy Al from the 2000 presidential debates, maybe enough money "to save Social Security, and put it in a lockbox."
Q: Damn. Ten years later and we're still wondering: What the freak is a lockbox?
A: The place where George W. Bush stowed away all of his fuzzy math about "the deficit thing."
Q: Come on, really. We want to know about the separation. This is just too weird a coincidence, don't you think?
A: No. No no no. Because the next thing you know, we'll be hearing about a zillion lame "Inconvenient Truth" puns. Really, I'd rather speculate on the Big Issue: "Does a guy who's leaving his wife and watching his daughter leave her husband have to give his Nobel Peace Prize back?"
Q: So if Karenna and Dr. Andrew Schiff divorce, who gets what? How will they split the assets?
A: Karenna gets to keep all the cases of orange makeup her dad gave her after losing the Bush-Gore debates. Dr. Schiff gets to keep that bad James Bond movie last name. The contents of the "Mr. Ed" shrine in the basement (complete with a loop of the "Mr. Ed" theme song) are going into arbitration. No word yet on who gets the pumpkin chucker, the yoga mats or the year's supply of Yoo-Hoo in the garage.
Q: Oy vey. Will any more Gore kids get separated this week?
A: Not Karenna's. They range in age from 3 to 10. And that's way too young to get married. Unless you live in Yemen.
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