The sigh heard round the world -- the one that may have cost Al Gore the White House in 2000 -- returned to Capitol Hill Friday as an exasperated former vice president dealt with questioning from his home state Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
"Thank you for your patience today," Blackburn began, before asking him if he was familiar with a company that stood to profit in a green economy.
"Well yes, I'm a partner," said Gore, laughing.
Well then, said Blackburn, is it true that you're pushing all this climate change stuff because you're trying to get rich?
That was enough to bring out the first sigh. "If you believe the reason I have been working on this issue for 30 years is because of greed, you don't know me," he said.
Blackburn replied that she was merely looking for "clarification."
"I understand exactly what you're doing, congresswoman. Everyone here does," said Gore.
Blackburn wondered if Gore would donate his profits to charity. Gore told her he already does. "I've been wiling to put my money where my mouth is. Do you think there's something wrong with being active in business in this country?" he asked.
Just asking, Blackburn said, this time eliciting an even more audible sigh, followed by a disbelieving head-shake.
For a flashback, here's a Daily Show clip circa 2000 highlighting Gore's famous debate sighs:
Ryan Grim is the author of the soon-to-be-released book This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America
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