Gore slips back into the wings

TECHNICALLY, Al Gore, the vice-president-elect, will beat his senior partner, Bill Clinton, into the White House today. At the inaugural ceremony on the West Side of the Capitol, he will take his oath of office first, to be administered by a retired Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall.

The nation, though, and, via satellite, much of the world, will be saving its fullest attention for the swearing-in, by the Chief Justice, William Rehnquist, of the 42nd President of the United States of America, William Jefferson Clinton. How the relationship between the two halves of the new leadership will operate thereafter remains a matter of speculation.

Doubts have been raised about what kind of role Mr Gore will play. A report in Sunday's New York Times argued that since the election campaign, when Mr Gore was portrayed as a virtual equal to the presidential candidate, the Tennessean has discreetly been shuffled into the wings, with little access to the president-elect's ear.

There is little to suggest that Mr Gore will escape the fate of so many former vice-presidents, relegated to playing second fiddle to the Oval Office. During the euphoria last autumn over the Clinton-Gore ticket, it was suggested that Mr Gore may be given a seat in the cabinet, perhaps even as Secretary of State. Nothing like that has happened. Meanwhile Hillary looks like being Mr Clinton's most important confidante.

In the public run-up to today's ceremonies - the bus ride from Monticello on Sunday and various functions in town - Mr Gore has always shown up beside Mr Clinton. He is rarely allowed to speak, however, and cannot help but look awkward while Mr Clinton dominates. At a joint appearance before students at Georgetown University, Mr Gore was obliged to seek the like-minded by yelling out: 'Are there any environmentalists in this crowd?'

Specifically, the New York Times reports that Mr Gore's advice on cabinet appointments was more or less passed over. He was said to be disappointed that Mr Clinton chose Tom McLarty, a personal friend of his alone, as White House Chief of Staff. He and his wife, Tipper, were allegedly offended when they were missed off an invitation list to a dinner honouring the Clintons given by the publisher of the Washington Post.

As successor to Dan Quayle, however, Mr Gore would seem not to have too hard an act to follow. Mr Quayle is returning to private life in his native Indiana, where he will sit on boards, make public appearances and perhaps write a book. Only a few still believe he may have a shot at the Republican nomination for president next time. But he recently confided: 'If I ever run for public office again, it will be for president.'

(Photographs omitted)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Chemistry Teacher

£100 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Urgently required teacher of Bi...

Geography Teacher, full time role, Gillingham School

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We are urgently seeking an exper...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...

**Primary Teachers Needed Urgently in Southport**

£80 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: **Due to an increase in dema...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London