In August 2002, many Democratic eyebrows were raised when Al Gore (passing up the opportunity to hone his desultory speaking skills) failed to attend a major Democratic Leadership Council meeting in midtown Manhattan. Gore's official explanation? He was "away" on business. The location of his business meeting? A hotel five minutes away -- in midtown Manhattan.
["Gore seems to be capable of only two modes of behaviour: the stiff and charmless, and the outright bizarre (remember his decision to paint his face orange during the first presidential debate, or his gorilla-like attempt to crowd Mr Bush off the stage during the third debate?)." (The Economist, Jul 11th 2002)]