The Gores Gush About Their Grandson

Vice President and Tipper Gore phoned The Source yesterday to tell us how it feels to be first-time grandparents. "Ecstatic," the veep said two days after their 25-year-old daughter, second-year law student Karenna Schiff, gave birth in New York City to 6-pound, 3-ounce Wyatt Gore Schiff. "We're very excited."

"It feels very natural, very healthy, very wonderful," Tipper told us, adding that Wyatt's mom and dad, physician Drew Schiff, are doing fine. "I wanna say, Karenna is a remarkable young woman. It was about 10 hours of labor, and she had the baby naturally"--that is, without painkillers. "She's in very good shape, and she did a great job. She is brave--very brave. And I don't think any labor is easy."

The Gores, with Albert III in tow, joined 22-year-old daughter Kristen Gore at New York Presbyterian Hospital within an hour of Wyatt's 10:05 a.m. arrival. Karenna "called us when she was in labor and they were already at the hospital," Al recounted. "As soon as we got the call we started heading toward New York and we were on our way to LaGuardia when he was born. . . . As far as I can tell, he's absolutely perfect."

"He's beautiful, actually," Tipper added. "It was very moving and a tremendous thrill."

Why the name Wyatt? "Karenna and Drew just picked it," Al said. "It's not a family name on either side."

As for the baby's politically auspicious Fourth of July birth, "that was Wyatt's choice," the presidential candidate said. "Clearly, he has a natural gift for timing. It shows his genius, really."

With a bit of planning, the Gores and their retinue managed to slip into the Big Apple all but unnoticed and spend hours of private time at the Sheraton Manhattan Hotel. "If I told you the tricks we used, we might not be able to do it again," Al said.

"It's a lovely hotel and they were very sweet to us," Tipper said. "They sent us a bottle of champagne." And the bubbly's brand? "Who knew? We just opened it up and drank it," Tipper confided.

And how do Al and Tipper cope with being grandparents at the tender ages of 51 and 50, respectively? Tipper answered: "You do feel the telescoping of time when you're putting down more roots and at the same moment heading off into the future."

Vote for Me, Amen

Who would have thought that a small, quiet Mormon church in Fairfax County could be a hotbed of political intrigue? The 400-member church on Hunter Mill Road in Oakton is a virtual Republican presidential primary contest, with a congregation that includes presidential candidate Orrin Hatch, the senior senator from Utah; Bay Buchanan, an adviser to her older brother Pat's campaign; and Reps. John Doolittle and Ron Packard of California, who support George W. Bush. It all makes for a lot of good-natured ribbing during breaks in the Sunday service.

"When there were rumors that Orrin was going to run, I gave him some grief," said Buchanan, who converted from Catholicism more than 20 years ago and is raising her three children as Mormons. She claims Hatch, no doubt joking, tried to lure her to his banner at a recent church meeting. "I said, 'I am taken. Blood is thicker than faith.' " Doolittle also had a close encounter with Hatch. "Orrin approached me the week before last," he said. "I said, 'Orrin, I've already endorsed George W.' "

Hatch, a former church bishop in Utah who announced his candidacy July 1, said he doesn't take the rebuffs seriously. "We're all friends. We really don't talk politics at church, but every once in a while you can't help but jab somebody."


* Recovering right-wing hit man David Brock, author of "The Seduction of Hillary Rodham," reluctantly confirms a Drudge Report scoop that the networks have passed on a TV movie of his sympathetic biography of President Clinton's wife. The book was published before the first lady's Senate adventure "and now it's clear there are more chapters to be written," Brock says.

* Miserable marrieds Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall fight over a $240 million fortune in British divorce court Friday.

* Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Calif.), whom we caught riding in a car that drove over an operating fire hose a few weeks ago, recently had a friendly chat about the incident with D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey.

* Former New Jersey senator and Knicks basketball star Bill Bradley will go on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" Friday to reveal his lighter side--but no, repeat no, hoops, his presidential campaign insists.

CAPTION: Grandmother Tipper Gore and Karenna Gore Schiff, above left, and grandfather Al.

CAPTION: Candidate Buchanan and sister Bay

CAPTION: Candidate Hatch

CAPTION: Mick Jagger, due in divorce court.

CAPTION: Bill Bradley, due on "Tonight."