From the Huffington Post:
After Al and Tipper Gore announced on Tuesday that they were separating, reaction poured in from friends of the couple, political observers and pundits. Most expressed shock that the Gore's very public marriage was unraveling.
The Daily Beast's Lloyd Grove quotes several Gore sources who could barely believe the news:
"I am dumbfounded," says Gore confidant Marty Peretz, the editor in chief of The New Republic who was Al's mentor and professor at Harvard. Peretz is one of a close circle of friends who received Al and Tipper's puzzling email Tuesday revealing the split.
"I was very shocked," says longtime Gore watcher Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. "One of the first things I tweeted was, 'Can you believe the Clintons' marriage has lasted longer than the Gores'?'"
Chris Downey, a longtime friend of Tipper Gore, said that she broke down when she heard news of the split and still remains "beyond shocked" that the couple is parting ways. The Washington Post reports:
Chris Downey, a friend of Tipper's since they were both young congressional wives, burst into tears when she heard the news. "I'm shocked -- beyond shocked," said Downey, who had talked to her friend just last week. "This is the least likely course of events I could imagine."
People magazine's Sandra Sobieraj Westfall conducted a dozen interviews with Gore family friends after news broke of the couple's decision to separate and appeared on NBC's Today Show Wednesday morning to share her findings.
"They hadn't seen it coming, but [said] if they thought about it more, maybe they should have," Westfall said.
"The two of them have been living incredibly separate lives -- their separate schedules took them in different directions," she added. "They said they had just grown apart. Tipper loved life and wanted to have fun, and Al remained a very driven man with a lot of projects and irons in the fire."
I have to say, I think this is one of those rare instances where the people grew apart but still love each other deeply. I see this as obviously a sad event but nothing tragic. People are always under the assumption that divorce means pain, agony, defeat, and implies that terrible things must have happened. There is the very real possibility that as they pursued their own passions in life after their children were grown, they grew apart.
Just my two cents.