In 2008, he acquired a houseboat, a 100-foot custom-built Fantasy Yacht estimated to cost between $500,000 and $1 million. In 2010, he bought a fourth house, a seaside estate in California, spending almost $9 million for a “gated ocean-view villa . . . with a swimming pool, spa, and fountains . . . wine cellar, terraces, six fireplaces, five bedrooms, and nine baths in more than 6,500 square feet.” In 2007, a study by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research revealed that Gore’s house in Nashville “devoured nearly 221,000 kilowatt hours in 2006—more than 20 times the national average,” that his monthly gas bill averaged $1,080 and his electric bill $1,359. “Why would anyone need a fourth mansion?” asked the Huffington Post, which called “Gore’s commodity addiction” at odds with his professed belief in “simplicity of living, care for other beings,” and concern for the state of the earth.
All this was true, but at four houses, (two of them mansions), along with one boat, he was still a mansion short of John Kerry, the Democrats’ nominee in the 2004 cycle, who, when he married Teresa Heinz, widow of John Heinz, the Republican senator, fell heir to all this in one swoop. And some swoop it was, consisting of spectacular digs in five first class settings: the Heinz family house in Fox Chapel near Pittsburgh; a mansion in Georgetown; a beach house in Nantucket; a ski lodge in Idaho (shipped over stone by stone from Great Britain); and a $6.9 million town house on Boston’s Beacon Hill. The combined square footage of these spreads is unknown, but they had an aggregate value of almost $30 million when he was running for president in 2004.
Al Gore owns four homes, one boat, and gorges on kilowatts while urging the world to make small carbon footprints. John Edwards crusades for the destitute while building a palace. John Kerry promotes higher taxes while dodging those on a $7 million yacht he bought in a recession. Michelle Obama urges young people to reject high-paying jobs in the business world for nonprofits and community service, while indulging a taste for designer couture, expensive vacations, and designer sports sneakers, which she wore while feeding the poor."