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Gore: A Two-Sided Speaker

VP to Show One of Two Personalities, Boring or Charismatic

By Jeffrey N. Gill

One of two people will speak at Commencement this afternoon.

Seniors might be treated to the dynamic and charismatic Vice President Al Gore '69, who entertained alumni yesterday afternoon with anecdotes about his stint as a reporter during the early 1970s.

Or students might yawn at the stiff and monotonous Gore, who bored class members yesterday afternoon with obscure details during the question and answer session after his speech.

During his prepared remarks at a panel discussion in Sanders Theater on the relationship between politics and the media, Gore entertained the 1,000 -people crowd with numerous jokes.

"I was just named one of the fifty sexiest men on C-Span, "Gore said.

Gore similarly joked about his voting record in the Senate since he has become vice president.

"I have noticed a pattern that has made me a more optimistic person, but the media ignores it," Gore said. "Every time I vote, we win."

And Gore appeared relaxed when he criticized the media for spending too much time covering issues with "sex appeal"--the House banking scandal or the Congressional pay raise--while almost ignoring issues such as the environment.

But Gore hesistated when answering questions from the crowd and did not offer any of the humorous anecdotes or gesticulation that characterized his speech.

Gore's technical answers to questions posed by alumni seemed to drain much of the audience's interest.

The vice president was silent about the topic for his address, celling a scheduled interview.

A member of Gore's staff here in Boston said late yesterday she did not know what the subject of Gore's speech will be.

Lecturer on Social Studies Martin H. Peretz, a close friend of the vice president who held a dinner party in his honor Tuesday night, said he had no idea about the details of Gore's topic.

In April, President Neil L. Rudenstine said Gore's speech will likely focus on either American or international politics.

'He has lots of thoughts. We generally give people carte blanche," Rudenstine said. "I think it will be both interesting and maybe surprising."

Gore is donning two hats at today's Commencement ceremonies, both as the featured speaker and as a member of the Class of 1969 returning for his 25th reunion.

At yesterday's panel discussion, Gore thanked his classmates for their support of his political pursuits.

But the vice president said he did not leave Harvard expecting to enter politics.

"I was so completely fed up with politics and government ,"Gore said. "It was a time when we didn't see the best government had to offer."

At Harvard, Gore lived in Dunster House and Mower Hall. Oscar-winning actor Tommy Lee Jones '69 was one of his roommates.

Gore, who has admitted to smoking marijuana in college, was president of the freshman council, served in the undergraduate council and played intramural basketball.

A political moderate then and now, Gore said he did not take part in the student demonstrations in the spring of 1969.

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