Gore Cruises at Top Speed

He may be a former presidential candidate and vice president, but Al Gore has a need for speed just like the rest of us.

On Aug. 3, Gore was cruising in a white Lincoln sedan along northwest Oregon's Route 26. Alone in the Hertz rental car, Gore was en route to meet his already vacationing family on the coast.

An Oregon State Police trooper waylaid Gore in the small town of Astoria around 12:30 p.m. for going 75 mph in a 55 mph zone. The trooper described Gore as polite, but didn't recognize the former presidential candidate until taking his license.

"He actually went back up and recontacted Gore, and asked him if he was who he thought he was, and said he was," Sgt. Andrew Merila told KATU-TV in Portland.

Gore, who celebrated wife Tipper's birthday yesterday, was issued a $141 ticket, which his office says he intends to pay.

Jane Pauley's Downs and Ups

There are obvious downsides to being bipolar. But former NBC News anchor Jane Pauley seems to be turning that on its head.

In her autobiography, "Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue" set for release Tuesday, Pauley tells the world she's bipolar. The book and the disclosure, made in a press release NBC issued yesterday, just happen to coincide with the debut of "The Jane Pauley Show" later this month.

Pauley, 53, is scheduled to appear on the "Today" show Aug. 30, and a "Dateline NBC" special Sept. 1 to discuss the book and her upcoming show.

Pauley's bipolar disorder surfaced after she was administered steroids to treat an outbreak of hives in 2001. She spent three weeks in a hospital under an assumed name, and now takes lithium to control the mood swings she describes in her interview with Stone Phillips as "rapid cycling."

Pauley tells Phillips: "Mood swings are normal . . . but when the mood swings are destabilized, they just become more pronounced. The highs are higher and the lows are equivalently lower."

Kind of like good and bad marketing?

Winning by the Skin of Their Teeth?

For voters who don't have time to read every news story about the presidential race, watch every debate or listen to every commentator, there's a quicker, easier way to choose a candidate: teeth.

A new poll sponsored by BriteSmile, a manufacturer of tooth-whitening products, predicted that the Kerry-Edwards ticket would smile all the way to the White House.

A telephone survey of 1,002 adults spanning multiple demographics and political platforms found that 58 percent of Americans deem John Kerry's and John Edwards's teeth most worthy of the Oval Office. Only 33 percent of participants thought George Bush and Dick Cheney sported better grins.

With 45 percent of the votes, Edwards won the title of candidate with the best smile, and Laura Bush won in the candidates' wives category with 56 percent. The biggest loser was Cheney, only garnering 4 percent of the votes. Americans deemed him the most in need of tooth whitening. But they also thought the rest of the running mates need to brighten up a bit.

Noted . . .

Kathie Lee Gifford, known for a hit talk show in better days and a sweatshop scandal in worse ones, will be in Bowie tomorrow to receive a key to the city. A native of the Prince George's County suburb, Kathie Lee will attend the opening of the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, where her sister is scheduled to perform . . . Little Rock will rock when Aretha Franklin performs as part of the week-long celebration for the opening of the Clinton Presidential Library in November. Franklin is slated to sing for 80 minutes, backed up by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and her own band . . . Canine actor Benji still has an inflamed left eye after recent cataract surgery, and doctors still don't know how much of her sight will return. But the 31/2-year-old pooch is on the publicity trail promoting her new film, "Benji: Off the Leash!", which opens today. Benji was discovered at the Humane Society of Southern Mississippi in 2001 after Hollywood put out a casting call to animal shelters nationwide.

. . . And Quoted

"I'm into being naked on high-thread-count sheets. I don't want crumbs interfering with my skin touching the cloth."

-- Heather Graham on why she doesn't like breakfast in bed.

-- Compiled by Laura Thomas

from staff and wire reports

The Gores at the Democratic convention. Al was in a hurry in Oregon and paid the price. Pauley, publicizing her bipolar disorder.