Al and Tipper Gore: The Shocking Breakup

al tipper gore
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I feel like my parents are splitting! Former Vice President Al Gore, who seems like the steadiest rock one could hope for, and his wife Tipper Gore announced their split today via email.

"This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together, following a process of long and careful consideration. We ask for respect for our privacy and that of our family, and we do not intend to comment further."

To which I say: If you had to take bets on whether the Clintons or the Gores would split, this is the dark horse -- am I right?


What could have gone wrong?

First of all, I never understand why things go south after 40 years. Maybe I'll understand better when, you know, I've been with someone 40 years. But I can't even imagine splitting up the books, records, and tchotchkes of that long a twosome.

Also, they've been through so much! Al's ascent to VP in 1993 put the entire family under a microscope. Tipper took tons of crap (including from me) for her I-still-think-it's-lame parental-advisory CD labels. Al ran for President (and I still say he won) in 2000, which has to be the hardest thing on a marriage. Their son, Albert III, had a horrible accident in the late '80s, after which, Tipper later revealed, she suffered from severe depression. (He was also arrested on drug charges in 2007.)

Al's been a hero to many, especially given his tireless work on environmental issues, which kept him in the limelight long after he left office. They stuck through all that -- and now they're splitting! It's mind-boggling.

They even wrote not one, but two books together (The Spirit of Family and Joined at the Heart) about how to keep families strong and intact in the face of our changing society. Of course, as a step-mom, I feel strongly that family is still family even when it's fractured, and even though their kids are grown, I look forward to seeing how Al and Tipper remain friendly and supportive for their kids' sake -- because I have faith they'll manage this difficult feat.

The family is actually no stranger to painful split-ups -- daughter Kristin divorced just last year.

I am usually not one to cluck over celebrity breakups, but this isn't Heidi Montag we're talking about. I'm getting positively weepy, re-reading this 2007 interview with both of them in Vanity Fair. It's just … so … sad!

What do you think could have gone wrong? What do you think of this breakup? Forty years! Tell us in the comments!

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