Closet Conservative or Liberal Champion? That depends on the decade.
Al Gore's Abortion Time Line
"It is my deep personal conviction that abortion is wrong. I hope that someday we will see the current outrageously large number of abortions drop sharply. Let me assure you that I share your belief that innocent human life must be protected" Al Gore, letter to a constituent, July 18, 1984.
June 26, 1984:
Gore votes in favor of House Amendment 942, which reads: "An amendment to define ?son? including unborn children from the moment of conception."
March 7, 1988:
"Since there's a record of that [June 26, 1984] vote, we have only one choice. In effect, what we have to do is deny, deny, deny, deny...We've muddled the point, and with luck, attention will turn elsewhere, or at least we'll be lucky enough so the thing doesn't blow into a full-fledged problem." - Unnamed Gore aide in U.S. News and World Report.
"Every time Congress has tried to play politics with a woman's right to choose, imposing gag rules and attatching anit-choice language to any bill they can think of, we have fought to stop them. And if they try again, we'll stop them again." Gore speech, November 19, 1998.
Why the complete reversal of voting policy on this crucial issue? Could it be, as with other issues, Gore sold himself to his home audience as a conservative Democrat, only to show his supposedly true colors years later after using the people of Tennessee as stepping stones to bigger and better political things? Could it be a genuine change of heart? Or did it just take Gore until 1988 to realize that he couldn't bank on the unborn vote ever handing him the White House?