ore gaffes, setbacks

The presidential campaign of Vice President Al Gore has run into several troubles this past week. Three weekend polls now place Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush in a dead heat. Gore has been caught twice in recent days telling audiences stories about his personal life that cannot be confirmed, and indeed, were proven to be fabrications of one form or another. Beyond that, most startling is the newly revealed possibility that there might be a mole in the Bush campaign secretly working for Gore. If this is found to be true, even if the vice president had no knowledge of it, for Gore’s campaign to stoop to such a low level is a disturbing event and should be a matter of serious concern to voters.
Michael Doyne, an assistant to one of Gore’s field directors is presently at the controversy’s center. Doyne apparently told an old fraternity brother, Keith Siskin, that there might be a mole in the Bush campaign. Two weeks later, Doyne warned Siskin through an e-mail to be “hush-hush” about the mole issue. When Doyne was confronted about the mole, he quickly denied he had any knowledge of it. The Gore campaign also denied the claim and drew up a sworn statement for Doyne, which essentially stated that he did not make any claims about a mole and did not receive any confidential information from the Bush campaign. Later that day, Doyne was confronted with the e-mail he had sent Siskin and changed his story, stating that he simply did not remember the e-mail since it “wasn’t significant.”
The e-mail that Doyne sent also came at an interesting time. Three days after it was sent, one of Gore’s staff members who had been helping prepare the vice president for the upcoming debates received a video that showed Bush practicing for the debates. The staff member turned the tape over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is currently investigating the situation. The Bush campaign, strongly tied together by loyalty, find it inconceivable that someone within their ranks could have sent the tape. The FBI disagrees and is closing in on whom they suspect. If it is revealed to be someone from inside the campaign, it could possibly be the mole that Doyne was speaking of.
This is truly a troubling concern for the Gore campaign. Even if Doyne’s e-mail to Siskin was not based on any actual knowledge of a mole — as campaign officials maintain — the incident will cast a dark shadow over efforts to elect Gore president. Some of Gore’s exaggerations — his claim that he helped invent the Internet, his fabricated story about the varying cost of prescription drugs for his mother-in-law and dog, to name two — make him seem deceitful and dishonest.