CARTHAGE, TN—Urging the American people to have "courage, faith, and resolve in this time of trial," Al Gore delivered an emergency presidential address into his bathroom mirror Tuesday.
"My fellow Americans, our enemies have struck at the heart of our great democracy," Gore solemnly intoned into his electric razor during the not nationally televised address. "They have attacked our citizens, our cities, and the most prominent symbols of our pride and prosperity. In so doing, they sought to tear us apart. But they have done just the opposite."
Punctuating his opening statements with a dramatic pause intended to bolster the resolve of a wounded nation, Gore applied shaving cream to the beard he had grown during his time out of the spotlight.
"We have, in recent days, seen tragedy and infamy on a scale equal to any in American history," said a proud, defiant Gore as he shaved. "Yet we have also seen heroism and selflessness on a scale equal to any in human history."
Gore, who last week pretended to pledge an additional $1.5 billion in federal aid to New York City, then switched off his razor and pulled out his toothbrush.
"We must honor our fallen heroes by devoting ourselves fully to the causes of liberty and freedom," said Gore, brushing his teeth with small circular motions. "And we must resolve to ensure, as Lincoln said, that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the Earth."
After a long silence, Gore said, "God bless America," and spat.
Gore, who narrowly lost the controversial 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush, then adjourned to the dining room, where he held a closed-door meeting with his top advisors, Simba and Stripe.
Since not taking office in January, Gore's accomplishments on both the domestic and foreign fronts have earned him high praise among fellow family members. His State Of The Union address of June 19 was hailed by wife Tipper as "very nice," despite being delivered in his sleep. His late-August tax-reform proposal was generally well received by daughter Kristin, who came across it on the back of a pizza-delivery menu. And his handling of the Sept. 11 tragedy and its aftermath has earned him a 100 percent approval rating within the Gore household.
"He's really risen to the occasion, that's for sure," said Gore housekeeper Virginia Evans, who spent nearly half an hour listening to Gore's anti-terrorism plan after being named his "Secretary Of State" last Thursday. "'President Gore' has taken some bold, decisive steps to help the American people in this time of crisis."
"All you have to do is see the man rake leaves into piles representing the various members of the international coalition, and you suddenly feel the nation is in good hands," said Gore son-in-law Andrew Schiff. "Or, you know, would be, if things had gone differently in Florida and with the Supreme Court and all."
Schiff also lauded the emergency federal-law-enforcement table of organization Gore drew in his mashed potatoes during a recent family dinner as "a masterpiece of delegation and efficiency."
"He's unbelievable, the way he's taken charge," Schiff said. "It's truly amazing how much good he's imagined doing for this country."
Gore's bathroom-mirror speech, his 16th such address since Sept. 11, is widely considered to be the almost-president's most emotional and stirring yet.
"I thought it was very moving," Tipper said. "It was exactly what the nation would have needed to hear in the wake of this horrible tragedy, I suppose."