Tipper and Al Will Mash Faces No More

Two weeks after their 40th wedding anniversary, Tipper and Al Gore have announced that theyre separating.

Tipper and Al Will Mash Faces No More
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Two weeks after their 40th wedding anniversary, Tipper and Al Gore have announced that they're separating (opens in new tab). As a couple, the former Veep and Mrs. Veep were best known for macking on each other whenever cameras were around—especially their infamous mouth-butt at the 2000 Democratic convention —which was meant to convey the candidate's warmth and humanity to boomer voters, but always felt a little thou-protesteth-too-much for our taste (opens in new tab). Ever since Al didn't exactly lose the presidency in '00, Tipper's faded into a non-entity, while her husband became an environmental guru, preaching inconvenient truths around the globe, collecting a Nobel Prize, and, perhaps more crucially, winning an Oscar. As a carbon-credit millionaire, he just bought a $8.8 million mansion (opens in new tab) in Montecito, California, where Oprah, Ellen, and other hyper-rich folk live. In a word: He's gone L.A.

So the questions are inevitable. Tipper tolerated Al's post-election bearded woodsman moment, but could his Californication be the last straw for his Tennessee-native wife? Or is there another, more VF after party-ready woman involved? Did Tipper's cheery, First Amendment-hating conventionalism finally leave Al cold? Were all of those hard, closed-mouth kisses just what they looked like: theater?

And, most importantly (because in the end it's always all about us): If a stinking rich septuagenarian couple with four kids, three grandkids, solid IQ scores, the world's finest couples' counselors at their disposal, and a new pad in the most beautiful place in America can't keep it together, what chance have the rest of us got?