Former Vice President Al Gore was in Iowa this weekend to deliver his first major political speech since conceding the presidency nine months ago. Gore spoke to 15-hundred Iowa Democrats gathered for the party’s annual fall fundraising banquet, and he used the occasion to salute his former foe, George W. Bush, as his “commander in chief.” Gore says “we’re united behind our president… to seek justice, not revenge.”Gore struggled as he sought to describe his own reaction to the terrorist attacks on September 11th, sighing twice before he came up with the word “tumultuous.” He says, “We all have a feeling that a gate has been opened and things that we knew before have been left behind. And a new world is out there it’s, new challenges, new dangers and opportunities.”Gore said there are no divisions in the U-S when it comes to the response to terrorism.Gore cautioned that victory would be hard to achieve and define, and will be a long time coming. Gore didn’t talk about his own political future. Gore said he and his wife, Tipper, are writing a book together. Gore’s also teaching at two colleges in Tennessee — he reminded the crowd he’s a visiting professor, “V.P. for short.”Armed with a map and a cell phone, former Vice President Al Gore drove a rental car across the eastern half of Iowa this past weekend to visit Iowans who’ve supported him in the past, and may in the future. Gore says he didn’t talk much about the past election because most everyone was talking about the terrorist attacks, but it did come up once. He says one person in Ames asked him if he would’ve done anything differently, he said he would’ve kissed Tipper longer at the convention.Gore passionately kissed his wife after she introduced him to convention delegates, and some link that kiss to Gore’s subsequent rise in the polls. Gore flew into Burlington Friday, then called friends along the way to meet for a meal or some coffee. He spent Friday night in Cedar Rapids after meeting with Muslims who attend a local mosque. On Saturday, Gore delivered donuts to union workers striking at Amana. Gore also stopped at the Blairstown Cafe to chat with locals because the tiny town’s main thoroughfare was decorated with huge flags.
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