Returning to the site of one of his first presidential fundraisers, former Vice President Al Gore attended Friday's Long Island Association luncheon at Crest Hollow Country Club.
"I will say there are a lot more people in this room today than there were on that occasion," Gore joked as he fielded questions on business, politics, and the environment from LIA chief Kevin S. Law.
Hundreds of Long Island businesspeople, politicians, and other influentials listened as Gore, now one of the wealthiest men in America, passed on his most important business lessons.
"Probably my number one learning experience in business is to make sure you pick good partners," he said.
Gore's partnerships extended beyond the business world and into the political realm as he described his most famous collaboration: running the country with former President Bill Clinton.
Reminiscing on his time as the second in command, Gore spoke fondly of his "terrific" relationship with Clinton, who he said was "like a brother."
Law noted that even through tough times and scandals, Gore stayed "completely loyal" to the president.
"A good partnership depends on total trust," Gore said. "If you have a genuine partnership, a genuine relationship with trust, and a big task to perform, it's a joy to have work that's worth pouring all your energy into."
Turning to the tasks of the current administration, Gore praised President Barack Obama for his achievements in the first half of his presidency. Even with controversial resolutions, like healthcare, Gore said Obama has achieved an "incredible amount" in a political climate much different from the Clinton years.
Gore praised several politicians, including Democrats Rep. Steve Israel and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, commending "outstanding bipartisan teamwork" on their parts.
Despite legislative support, Gore acknowledged the challenges ahead for Long Island businesses in an economic climate comparable to the Great Depression. Gore was critical of cutting taxes for top earners, saying it was unwise in such a time.