If it's not polite to talk about one's money, then Al Gore had quite the rude Monday. His riches (which, at an estimated $200 million, definitely qualify as riches) were the subject of both a Bloomberg piece (for which he declined to be interviewed) and a New York magazine profile (for which he sat). Both compare his wealth to that of Mitt Romney (the former says Gore's net worth nears Romney's $250 million; New York says Gore is actually wealthier). The Bloomberg piece delves into the nitty-gritty of that money, tracking Gore from having a net worth of roughly $1.7 million in 1999 (a year in which, it notes, he sold $6,000 worth of cows) to making $100 million in January 2013 alone.
The New York piece takes us inside his "modest" 10,000-square-foot Nashville mansion, in which Steve Fishman sits down to a lunch of vegetable soup and fruit salad (Gore explains he's on a health kick). Highlights:
- Though Fishman acknowledges much of Gore's wealth hails from Internet investments like Apple and Google, he writes that "just as important have been his ventures as a kind of moral entrepreneur." Chief among those, of course, is Current TV. Gore's partner Joel Hyatt admits the two first dismissed eventual buyer Al Jazeera (they "associated it with Islamic propaganda," writes Fishman), but after "three seconds" at the network's Doha HQ, "I saw what you can do if you have the resources," says Hyatt. (Fishman didn't manage to get Gore to comment on criticism of the deal.)
- Still, Gore says his own wealth doesn't matter much to him. "I've never cared that much about making money. I don’t own a plane. I own a houseboat—solar panels all over the top—my redneck yacht."
- On girlfriend Elizabeth Keadle, Gore says, "She has really been wonderful for me. We have a great relationship, for which I thank my lucky stars."
- In his heart, politics still trumps business: "I've never deluded myself. I miss most of all being able to grab the levers and push the buttons and have an impact on policy and lives."
- On Gore's horizon: "Gore tells me of his ambition to have another meeting with Rupert Murdoch," writes Fishman, "to convert him to the [global warming] cause. 'There is still hope that he will awaken to the reality of this,' Gore says. 'It would make a huge difference if he would.'"