Al Gore, Between the Lines

When the online magazine Slate posted Vice President Gore's recent pen-and-ink illustrations, scratched out in ballpoint on notebook paper in an effort to communicate with New Yorker interviewer Nicholas Lemann, we showed them to Berkeley, Calif., psychologist Mardy Ireland, who has practiced drawing analysis for the past quarter-century.

We didn't tell Ireland the artist's identity, and likewise didn't quote any of the odd utterances he was attempting to illustrate, such as one about "scientific and mechanical relationships in the world that came after the Cartesian revolution." We told her only that he is an adult male who was laboring to be understood during an interview. Her comments:

"If you take these drawings as a whole, the pressure in the line is fairly consistent, except in one drawing [A] where there's lighter pressure and sketchier lines, but we also see reinforcement around the circle in the corner. I would say that this is a situation where there's more uncertainty, a little more conflict, than in the other examples. The conflict might be about the content itself of what he's saying or about the interpersonal connection. You know: 'The guy's just not getting the idea.' " (Gore was musing at length to Lemann about the various implications of "animism.")

"The other thing that's striking is that the person makes use of pretty much the full page," Ireland continued. "This is someone who is used to filling out the frame, whatever that may be, especially in the intellectual realm. Because of the amount of complication and detail invested here, I would say that for this person there's a lot of eros in the world of ideas. A lot of passion.

"If I didn't know the gender and was just sort of looking and using Freudian metaphor, I'd say this person was using more rounded--more feminine--forms than more phallic--male--forms. This is someone who is definitely intellectual, with a passionate nature that is very contained, and who is not emotionally overly expressive."

Finally we revealed the artist's ID, and Ireland reacted with high anxiety: "That just makes me nervous--because I care about him winning. I wouldn't want to have said anything damaging."


* Those wild and crazy Cheneys can't get a break. Campaigning for the old folks' vote in Chicago yesterday, Dick and Lynne Cheney made embarrassing goofs before an audience of a hundred, reports The Post's Michael D. Shear. Lynne introduced her husband with warm and fuzzy talk about their family, but misidentified their newest granddaughter as "Claire" (the baby's name is Grace). Claire happens to be the middle name of the Cheneys' youngest daughter, Mary. Speaking of whom, Dick got Mary's age wrong while trying to make a point about Social Security. He said the program would become insolvent when his "30-year-old" daughter turns 67. In fact, she's 31. Do we make ourselves clear?

* Talk about passive-aggressive: The Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown sent a gift-bearing delegation to yesterday's grand opening of the competing Ritz-Carlton. Alighting from the Four Seasons house sedan, a brand-new Mercedes S500, General Manager Christopher Hunsberger presented the Ritz-Carlton's James McBride with a big bouquet and an $800 magnum of 1983 Salon Champagne. "Very gracious. I would expect nothing less from the Four Seasons," McBride told us yesterday. "I will invite Chris Hunsberger to share the champagne with me in our new restaurant, Cobalt."

Wallop Sent Packing

* Former Wyoming Republican senator Malcolm Wallop and his third wife, French, are in the midst of a divorce. Quite a nasty divorce, judging by this change-of-address card for her 67-year-old husband--her second--that the 51-year-old Mrs. Wallop is sending out to tout Washington. The card reads: "French Wallop regrets to inform you that due to a significant indiscretion on the part of her husband of 16 years, he may now be reached at the following address"--a decidedly different one from the Wallops' luxurious town house overlooking the Potomac. When we reached her yesterday, French Wallop told us: "I think it speaks for itself. This is a sad event." The senator's Wyoming divorce lawyer, Ann Rochelle, said only that "we'll let the court render its decisions."