Aug. 16, 2000 -- Actor Tommy Lee Jones, Al Gore’s college roommate, gave a speech nominating Gore for the presidency at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Read a transcript of his prepared remarks here.
Tommy Lee Jones:
Al Gore has been one of my closest friends since the day we met, on the first day of college, 35 years ago.
There are plenty of people at this convention who can and will speak to the big policy questions.
I have one very real issue to talk about — one I can probably address as well as anyone outside the Gore family — And that’s the quality of this man’s character.
He is a good, caring, loving man.
I know 35 different people who have known Al Gore for 35 years.
And I know all of them will tell you the same thing.
I lived with him for four years.
What did we do?
We shot pool and watched Star Trek, when maybe we should have been studying for exams. He’d challenge me to shooting contests.
We’d see who could hit a tin can from the farthest away.
And it was usually Al.
My parents lived overseas when I was in college … and the Gore home in Carthage was always open to me.
When I visited Al in Middle Tennessee, we did the complicated things you’d expect college students to do — catching a loose cow, going canoeing and hunting, and chasing through the woods with coon dogs in the middle of the night.
One time in college, neither of us could make it home for Thanksgiving.
So we made a fire in the venerable old fireplace in our room, wrapped a big turkey in a couple of rolls of tin foil, and roasted it right there in our dorm.
I know from Tipper that it’s some of the most ambitious cooking Al has done since then.
There were serious times, too.
We were all affected by the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and our country’s tragic involvement in Southeast Asia.
I remember how Al struggled to hold on to his faith, at a time when it seemed like America was losing its way.
I can tell you, he never did lose faith in America.
And I wasn’t sure what Al was going to end up doing with his life.
But I always knew he had the brains — and the heart — to change the whole world.
Then there was Al’s love for Tipper.
They’d only been dating for a short while when we started college. But I knew they’d spend the rest of their lives together.
To this day, when they come to our house, they sit in each other’s laps, hold hands, and even smooch occasionally — like the kids they have always been.
These days, when Al and I get together, we still talk mostly about our families and our lives, our cares and our dreams —t he same things we talked about as college kids, at a time that seems so long ago now, but is really as close as the last minute. And I will tell you this:
I am very proud of what he has done for this country.
And I will tell you that Al’s the closest thing I’ve had to a brother.
And for me, the big issues, therefore, are:
Are they feeding him well? And will the stress of the job hurt him?
And I can tell you with full confidence he has sense enough to eat well — and the stress is no problem.
Al, I know you’re watching tonight.
And I want America to know what I know: you’re going to be one of the best Presidents the country has ever had.
We need a person with your commitment.
We need a person with your heart.
Because the Office of the President represents every child on Earth.
And so, with affection, with admiration, with faith in the future he will lead — I nominate my friend, Al Gore, as the next President of the United States.