Al Gore Almost As Rich As Mitt Romney

Apparently, being a former Vice-President and losing Presidential candidate can be very lucrative:

In 1999, Al Gore, then U.S. vice president and a Democratic candidate for president, sold $6,000 worth of cows.

The former senator, who spent most of his working life in Congress, had a net worth of about $1.7 million and assets that included pasture rents from a family farm and royalties from a zinc mine, remnants of his rural roots in Carthage, Tennessee. Funds from the cattle sale went to three of his kids, according to federal disclosure forms filed as part of his presidential run.

Fourteen years later, he made an estimated $100 million in a single month. In January, the Current TV network, which he helped to start in 2004, was sold to Qatari-owned Al Jazeera Satellite Network for about $500 million. After debt, he grossed an estimated $70 million for his 20 percent stake, according to people familiar with the transaction.

Two weeks later, Gore exercised options, at $7.48 a share, on 59,000 shares of Apple Inc. stock that he’d been granted for serving on the Cupertino, California-based company’s board since 2003. On paper, it was about a $30 million payday based on the company’s share price on the day he claimed the options.

That’s a pretty good January for a guy who couldn’t yet call himself a multimillionaire when he briefly slipped from public life after his bitterly contested presidential election loss to George W. Bush in late 2000, based on 1999 and 2000 disclosure forms.

Gore isn’t finished exercising his Apple stock grants. Those 59,000 are part of 101,358 Apple options and shares of restricted stock Gore has amassed, according to company filings, giving his total holdings a gross value of more than $45.6 million today.

(…)

Whatever you think of Gore, one thing is indisputable: leveraging his aura as a technology seer and his political and climate work connections, Gore has remade himself into a wealthy businessman, amassing a fortune that may exceed $200 million.

That’s close to the $250 million net worth of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, whom President Barack Obama and Democrats targeted in ads and speeches as being out of touch with most Americans.

Gore declined to be interviewed for this story. Estimates of his wealth are based on company filings, government records, public pronouncements he or his associates have made about past business dealings and interviews with people in a position to know of and evaluate Gore’s holdings.

How Gore achieved this is as much about timing and luck as it is about business skills. His Apple board tenure has coincided with a 5,900 percent increase in its stock price. Current TV was a moribund “fixer-upper” when Al Jazeera stepped in to buy it at “a huge valuation,” said Derek Baine, an SNL Kagan cable analyst in Monterey, California.

Probably better than he would have done had he actually won in 2000.

 

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. The underlying sneering that somehow Al Gore, climate guy should be wearing hairshirts and vegan sandals instead of getting wealthy is always funny to hear coming from Bloomberg the organ of the uberrich in America. As if there was something inherently hypocritical about earning money and wanting to protect the environment. Good for Al. I imagine $200 million isn’t even close to a consolation prize for being elected president but loosing the selection process to the supreme court, but hey, money never hurts.

  2. Jim Tantillo says:

    It’s good not to be king.

  3. Moosebreath says:

    “Probably better than he would have done had he actually won in 2000.”

    I’d be willing to bet he would trade it in a minute for having the Supreme Court select him as President, and not Bush the Younger.

    I’d also bet that the country would be in better shape if that had happened.

  4. JKB says:

    @Sean Paul Kelley: @Moosebreath:

    These are nice myths you are propagating but the facts remain that every full recount of Florida, both official and by the media, revealed Bush as the actual winner of the vote. All that would have happened had the Supreme Court not followed the laws and Constitution in their decision would have been perhaps a Gore presidency, with a fact based illegitimacy or perhaps just a prolonging of the recount with the same result as actually happened.

  5. JKB says:

    Surely, he’s made enough money? Shouldn’t he redistribute the wealth? Or is that only for the working and middle class, the redistribution of their wealth.

    But it should be noted that Gore made nothing useful for other in his amassing of a fortune. His money derives from his connections, his cache and we can’t forget his snake oil.

    Funny when you look at it, that is the only fortunes that Progressives and Democrats respect, those made on connections, on cache and snake oil sales, such as Hollywood and sport stars, corrupt cronies and payoffs for spouting the party line. Hmm? Not by investing in good ideas that solve real problems by providing useful products and services. Not by taking failing companies and reforming them into ongoing enterprises. Not by innovations for the future. Hmm?

  6. An Interested Party says:

    These are nice myths you are propagating but the facts remain that every full recount of Florida, both official and by the media, revealed Bush as the actual winner of the vote.

    Hardly “myths” as the truth is much more muddled than you would lead anyone to believe…

  7. An Interested Party says:

    Funny when you look at it, that is the only fortunes that Progressives and Democrats respect, those made on connections, on cache and snake oil sales, such as Hollywood and sport stars, corrupt cronies and payoffs for spouting the party line.

    As opposed to the fortunes that Conservatives and Republicans seem to respect, namely, fortunes made from shipping jobs overseas or just cutting jobs in the name of corporate profits…so much more noble, that…

  8. C. Clavin says:

    As per usual…JKB is full crap…in this case on two points.
    First…reporting by both the Orando Sun-Sentinal and Michael Isikoff has shown that had the Supreme Court allowed the recount to happen over-votes would have been counted, not just under-votes…a reult that would have almost certainly awarded the election to Gore.
    Second…SCOTUS had no way of knowing that outcome…but they knew letting the count go forward allowed for the possibility of making Al Gore president…shutting it down gauranteed Bush’s victory. Those are the circumstances in which the five Republican-appointed justices essentially invented a one-time-only ruling.

    “…Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances…”

    A one-time-only ruling that even Sandra Day O’Connor is embarrased by.

  9. C. Clavin says:

    JKB just can’t stop…it’s all BS…all the time.
    Mitt Romney and the Koch Brothers…the right wings 1% poster children…both earned their money the old fashioned way…by inheriting it. Paul Ryan too for that matter.
    And apparently JKB doesn’t recognize the irony (where’s Tsar when you need him/her?)…of claiming the Gore and the Democrats are not at all interested in innovations for the future…on an internet website.

    Buy a dog…name it Clue…then you will have one.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB:

    Surely, he’s made enough money? Shouldn’t he redistribute the wealth? Or is that only for the working and middle class, the redistribution of their wealth.

    Shorter JKB: Only Republicans are allowed to be rich! Too bad Gore couldn’t earn his money the old fashioned way by inheriting it, eh JKB?

    That’s a pretty good January for a guy who couldn’t yet call himself a multimillionaire when he briefly slipped from public life

    All I can say is, “Good luck beats getting up early any day.”

  11. gVOR08 says:

    Odd, last article I saw on this subject said Gore was richer than Romney. In any case, the big argument for Romney was that he was a successful businessman. If you apply that standard, looks like we should have elected Gore…Oh wait, we did…

  12. anjin-san says:

    Fourteen years later, he made an estimated $100 million in a single month. In January, the Current TV network, which he helped to start in 2004,

    Since almost a decade elapsed between Gore’s involvement with founding Current and it’s sale, it ought to be obvious to anyone with more than a dozen functioning brain cells that he did not make “100 million in a single month”

    Is there no level on nonsense that calls out to Doug “don’t repost this”?

    @ JKB

    So now we can add rich Democrats to the list of people you can’t mention without having envy drip off every word you type. College students & grads are in good company.

  13. anjin-san says:

    Funny when you look at it, that is the only fortunes that Progressives and Democrats respect, those made on connections, on cache and snake oil sales, such as Hollywood and sport stars, corrupt cronies and payoffs for spouting the party line.

    You don’t know any actual rich people, do you?

  14. JKB says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Well, I guess Gore should have went for a full recount from the start rather than the partial recount he went to court for and was on his way with until the SCOTUS put an end to the partial recount.

  15. bill says:

    i’m actually glad that al made money vs. be president. how he made it and why is comical, but Americans never cease to amaze me. yes, you folks who can defend his carbon footprint while championing environmental causes….you people just kill me. how many of you signed that petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide?

  16. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    How Gore made his money is “comical” – why, exactly?

    Keep in mind that he was a founder @ Current, and owned a decent chunk of the company. This is hardly an unusual route to wealth, a lot of people have done it. As for Apple, Gore actually did play a reasonably important role in the development of the internet, regardless of what the well endowed blondes in the short skirts on Fox have told you.

    Al Gore was the first political leader to recognize the importance of the
    Internet and to promote and support its development. I would like to acknowledge VP Gore’s contributions as a Congressman, Senator and as Vice President. No other elected official, to my knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of time.
    …Vint Cerf (this assumes you know who Cerf is, if not, hit the Googles and learn something)

    So it is hardly strange that he would be asked to serve on Apple’s board. He earned his seat.

    Since we are talking about accomplishments, maybe you could name a few of yours. You must have quite a list since you feel you are in a position to sneer at Gore.