Related topics

Gores Celebrate 30th Anniversary

May 20, 2000

BETHANY BEACH, Del. (AP) _ They weren’t spotted at the salt-water taffy stand. Ditto at the bookstore. The only clue that Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, were here for a romantic getaway was the Secret Service agents huddled on the beach under umbrellas in the chill, spritzing drizzle.

The Gores’ 30th wedding anniversary celebration here may have been their last hurrah _ for now, anyway _ to utter privacy.

Having weekended on the Delaware shore several times before in anonymity, the couple took on this trip their first step toward accommodating the growing pains that come with wrapping up the Democratic presidential nomination and, perhaps, heading to the White House next year.

For the first time, they notified reporters _ albeit reluctantly _ of their vacation travel, brought a press aide along, and invited a small press pool to stand by at the Harborview Motel in the event of an emergency.

``We’re respecting their privacy and certainly available if they need anything,″ White House vice presidential spokeswoman Jodi Sakol said from the Harborview, less than a mile from the cul de sac of oceanfront homes where the Gores were borrowing campaign chairman Tony Coelho’s impressive digs. ``But we have no plans to be in touch with them,″ Sakol added.

Bob Sublett, 73, playing cards at the cash register inside Bayberry Package Store about a mile down the beach from where the Gores’ were staying, said he sympathized with their yearning for privacy. But if the vice president wants the top job, Sublett added, he’s got to face reality.

``This goes with the territory. You’ve got to realize if you want the job, you give up a lot of your personal life. The president of the United States is too important a person for him to go anywhere and not have people know where he is if a crisis does come up,″ Sublett said.

In the past year, Gore climbed Mount Rainier with his son, Albert III, took a secret primary-season weekend in Florida with his wife, and mysteriously scuttled a campaign trip for what was later disclosed to be a visit with a sick friend _ all with steadfast insistence it was nobody’s business. The president, by contrast, does not leave the White House gate without a contingent of aides and a ``pool,″ or group, of reporters.

Mrs. Gore has said in recent interviews that, if her husband wins in November, she would hope to lower the blinds on what has become the White House fishbowl so that the First Family could, say, go out to the movie theater or volunteer in the community _ as the Gores do now _ without everyone knowing it.

Behind the counter at Bethany Beach Books, Lee Grace was one who had no idea the Gores were recreating a stone’s throw away. But given their reluctance to the 24-hour spotlight, Grace had an appropriate book recommendation: ``The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook″ by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht.

It advises how to escape a bear attack, Grace said. ``If you’re at Camp David (the presidential retreat) what if a big black bear comes along?″

The book is even better, Grace added, for women like Mrs. Gore ``because it tells how to hot-wire a car.″

Update hourly