"The Choice 2000" is a two-hour dual biography of Al Gore and George W. Bush.
Filled with rich personal detail and candid observations from wives, old
friends, mentors, associates and advisors, this report explores the
personality and character of Bush and Gore, while artfully weaving together
their background and careers with touchstone events in the lives of their
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Culled from months of reporting and interviews, "The Choice 2000"--produced by
Michael Kirk (watch a realvideo interview) and co-written with FRONTLINE correspondent and New
Yorker writer Peter J. Boyer--focuses on what is most telling about the
lives both candidates chose for themselves.
Behind Al Gore's urge to know more than the other guy and work so relentlessly
was his parents' expectation from the day he was born that he would be
president. "It was always part of his parents' plan to prepare him for the
presidency." says Gore family confidant Dr. James Fleming. FRONTLINE
looks at Gore's lifelong problem--what his friends call "his wooden Apollo"
image--and also chronicles his malleability on issues and his tendency to
exaggerate his accomplishments. "He did it, I think, honestly, to try to
connect with the person he was dealing with." says campaign aide Mike
In contrast, "Georgie" Bush, as described by cousin John Ellis, was "the rebel in the family." He charted his own
course, free from familial expectations and seemed to get by easily
and successfully with a likeable personality. He was the classic frat boy in
school and college, effectively avoided service in Vietnam by joining the Texas
National Guard, and took much longer than Gore to pursue a political career.
FRONTLINE explores how as both men matured, they faced turning points, misteps
and controversies: their experiences with substance abuse and drugs; their
decisions to enter politics; and how they dealt with the long shadow of their
George W. Bush would draw on his family name, family connections, and own
personality to help bail him out of failed ventures in the oil industry.
Later, he successfully rebuilt the Texas Rangers baseball team, becoming in the
process a millionaire and celebrity. It set him on the road to win the Texas
governorship in 1992. During this same period, family expectations pushed Al
Gore--a newly elected 39-year old Senator--to enter the presidential race in
1988. Soon after that defeat, a devastating injury to his son forced him to
reconsider his life and political ambitions.
"The Choice 2000" concludes with chapters tracing Bush's performance as Texas
governor--his leadership and decision-making style--and Gore's 8-years as Vice
President. Insiders such as Clinton advisor Dick Morris describe how White House backstage maneuverings affected Gore's first few
years in office, and later, how his own political calculations would shape his
relationship with Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal.
In following the personal and political journeys of Bush and Gore, "The Choice
2000" offers a revealing portrait of the candidates, and reminds viewers of the
political times in which they lived, the decisions they made, and the events
that helped shape their character.
"This film is not only the life story of two young men," says producer Kirk.
"It's also about America at this moment and the choice we face--a choice that's
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