On Monday's Rick's List, CNN's Gloria Borger waxed ecstatic over Al and Tipper Gore, even as the two announced their separation: "This is a genuine couple....They have always been a real team." Borger also described them as "two very thoughtful people" and sang individual praises to both, lauding Tipper for being an "accomplished photographer" and labeling Mr. Gore "deliberative" [audio clips available here].
Anchor Rick Sanchez brought on the senior political analyst 16 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour to discuss the announcement by the former "second couple" that they were separating after 40 years of marriage. After showing the famous kiss by the couple at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, Sanchez commented that "you can't be someone like myself or yourself, I would imagine, who's covered the Gores for quite some time, and not really be kind of taken aback, almost feeling a little sad for the end of this relationship, right?"
Borger replied with overwhelming enthusiasm over the Gores:
BORGER: Absolutely. Well, this is a genuine couple. That kiss, that we all thought was probably one of the most memorable moments of Al Gore's presidential campaign during the convention, was something that was very real- heartfelt, as you see, and quite surprising and stunning, because he was not known for being particularly emotive. But they have always been a real team. They've always been a real couple. She spent a lot of her time taking photographs- she's quite an accomplished photographer- of their years when he served as vice president. And I think, so, for lots of their friends with whom I've been communicating today, the words that I'm hearing are sad, but one of their friends also wrote me an e-mail, saying- look, you know, people grow in separate ways, and that may very well be the case here.
The CNN anchor followed up by asking, "Was there any indication- was there any signs that this might possibly be coming? Have there been any other reports prior to this, or is this as surprising to you and most of Washington as it is to the rest of us out here in America?"
The analyst ended up repeating one of her earlier labels in her answer: "It was- you know, it was. And don't forget, Al Gore is not living in Washington anymore. They're not under the klieg lights the way they always were....I have watched a lot of political couples come and go, and Al and Tipper Gore have always seemed to be- particularly, remember in the middle of the Lewinsky affair...they were always a genuine couple."
Borger didn't relent in her praise for the couple even after Sanchez, near the end of the segment, noted the "real irony" that the "Clintons are still together, and the Gores are about to break up:"
BORGER: You know, the thing about this Gore statement, though, Rick, that- is that this is something that they have clearly thought a great deal about. I mean, we have no idea whether they've gone to counseling or whatever, but these are two very thoughtful people with a wonderful family- grown children- and these are people who don't do things without deliberation. We know Al Gore's a politician. We know that he deliberates and that he's deliberative, right? So, I think that- in the way they're- seem to be separating- and, again, we only know that it's a separation- is very much in keeping with their relationship, which has always been a real relationship. You know, sometimes, people do grow in different directions, even though it's after 40 years, and that's what kind of makes a lot of their friends wistful about this, I would say.