As for discussions, there was a wide variety of topics discussed. Some of the things I recall the most are her stressing on the media, the current administration in DC, her family, etc. It was interesting to get her view on the media. She was very impressed about how we understood how slanted the news stations are these days. We discussed the fact that these stations are probably giving other countries some bad perspectives on our country and what it is about. The problem basically lays with the fact that there is 24 hour a day news stations now so they need anything to sensationalize to get people to watch their station. Naturally, most people around the table rely on CNN vs Fox for news;-) Another problem with these news stations is the fact that they will report many things which may not be confirmed.
Another topic was of course about the current state of the administration in DC. I could definitely see she was biting her tongue from launching an all out attack about how things are down there. Of course, the current affair came up…what to do about Iraq. She basically said that she will be very interested to see why Bush sees the need to do this now. Pretty much that was the sediment around the table…the fact that we need to build an alliance with other countries and that we are breaking our own rules of only starting war if attacked. Also, that we may stretch ourselves to thin.
The topic of the environment came up as well. My favorite comment from her was about not believing anything Bush says about the environment. Big whoop, he stood in front of a tree he’ll probably chop it down once the cameras are turned off. A lengthy list came up of things that Bush has done and said during the election he would do. Pulled us out of the Kyoto Treaty (way to cut down emissions), drilling in Alaska, etc. She even talked about at the debates how Al should have stayed away from the big words about the environment and used easy words for the average American to understand (aka Bush style even though he didn’t mean it).
During dinner someone pulled out a picture that was taken when Tipper was standing with her husband right after he made his concession speech. Everyone was smiling and it was asked what she was thinking. She explained that she wanted to be happy due to the fact that the wonders of the American election system was at work and the support of everyone throughout the whole ordeal. Also, that even though they would not be occupants of the white house that they would be public servants anyway. At the end of dinner she went around the table asking about recommendations for books to read good thing you weren’t there dad;-)
After dinner, everyone went out into the hall and we got a group shot with Tipper. One of the last questions asked before we left was if she liked Al’s beard. She said she liked it heh.
The official speech was held at Eisenhower Auditorium which holds around 3000 people. We got VIP seats in the 3rd row. And yeah I am VIP. The speech reiterated a lot of things discussed at dinner. There were a lot of things that I did not know about her. The fact that she has worked with mentally ill and homeless people for many, many years. Also, she was a photographer with a Tennessee newspaper before Al ran for office. She has 4 kids...3 girls and one boy that just entered college. I met Karenna Gore Schiff (one of her daughters) the night before the 2000 election. Karenna just had a second baby she informed us. FYI: Al does not know yet if he will run for President in 2004 but will probably decide before the end of the year. That was the big question of the night;-) She did her speech to a slideshow of pictures she has taken. I never knew that Al’s father was a politician before him either. It was a very interesting speech.
After the speech, we got to go upstairs for the after reception. I was able to get her autograph and picture taken with me . Finally, we got a group shot with the college democrats present at the speech. It was just an awesome night awesome opportunity! I got to eat dinner with the former 2nd lady of the United States of America! Not many people get to say that!
I hope I didn’t leave too much out but that’s all I can think of at this point.