I broke away from the office for a few hours Tuesday afternoon to catch an appearance by former Vice President Al Gore at Starbucks headquarters. He was in town to give his Keynote (not PowerPoint; I know, Mac geek) presentation on global warming the night before, and made a book-signing visit to talk to Starbucks.
Like millions of other people, I’d love to see him run for President. The man who spoke today was amusing and inspiring, the closest I’ve seen to a Jeb Bartlett (the fictional president from the West Wing) in real life, with the experience and intelligence to back it up.
What I found surprising, however, wasn’t the man—it was the crowd. After his talk and a rich, but short, Q&A session, he proceeded to sign more than 600 books over the course of the next hour. So, understand that things moved at a brisk clip. However, some people barely reacted to the fact that he was sitting less than a foot away. They shoved cameras in his face to get pictures (my shots were taken from across the room with my camera’s decent zoom); one woman put a fake yellow bird on his shoulder before taking a picture; and several people mugged with cameras, without even acknowledging his presence.
Gore was extremely accommodating and gracious, and I can’t help but marvel that this is what it’s like for him every time he does a public event.