|When Al Gore was nominated for the
presidency at the Democratic National Convention in Tinseltown, Ushers
great, great grandson, Ryan Karben, was among the invited celebrants.
Then a Rockland County legislator, Ryan was re-elected to his second term in
On the job
with a whopping 97% of the vote.
He attended the convention, however, not as a
delegate but as a family friend of the Gores. [Ryan served for a
time as Majority Leader in the Rockland County Legislature; he has been
in private practice since 2006.]
Just say 'Hi'
His friendship with Karenna Gore Schiff dated back to the summer of 1998, when
they were summer associates at the prestigious Manhattan
law firm, Simpson Bartlett Thatcher. That autumn, they ran into each other at school
(Columbia Law), "and it was natural to say, Hi," Ryan said. He
was an associate at that law firm when Karenna hit the campaign trail
with her father.
Warm and genuine
And so it came to pass that Ryan appeared on the guest list of the Gore family. "The
vice president is a warm and genuine man, and a pleasure to talk to," Ryan said.
"My wife [Lauren Bekritsky Karben] and I visited with him on a few occasions at
events over the years, and in the course of campaigning."
'Goes on all the time'
The convention was nonstop "hobnobbing, eating and socializing," Ryan
said, "a whirl of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, receptions, events, fund-raising
efforts and parties." The photo was taken at Karennas party after her
speech at the convention, the speech she gave two days before the famous kiss of August
19, 2000. ("That kind of kissing goes on around the house all the time," Karenna
told an MSNBC reporter.)
Gore: Simply a dad
In her speech, Karenna revealed her father to be the kind of man who, while tired
after his own long, hard day at work, would rise to the occasion for one of his children.
Such was the challenge of getting materials for Karennas elementary school dinosaur
diorama assignment. "My dad was the one who took me down to the store to get
the emergency [supplies] because he was simply being a dad."