The former vice-president's daughter tells PEOPLE she feels politics at the top level is too much about money
Credit: Startraks

She grew up in the political eye, but Karenna Gore is not interested in the upcoming election – at least at this point in the game.

“I try not to read anything about the horse race,” Gore said in Dallas on Friday, before presenting a speech at the city’s Earth Day festival. “I really don’t like the way it’s covered. I don’t like reading about how much money somebody has, and I don’t think that’s the way we should be discussing it. I feel like every time I tune in, it’s about that. I think we need a different lens.”

Gore, a former lawyer, now works at the Union Theological Seminary, where she earned a degree.

“I was at a stage in my life after having practiced law for a little bit, having three kids and going through a divorce that I was really transitioning,” she says. “I went to Union and I thought I’d write another book, but I had a very transformative educational experience and was able to connect with this work. It’s been very unexpected and great.”

These days, she’s all about getting back to the roots of nature and community, “and having a more old-fashioned way of living in some ways. I’m finding more happiness in that.”

Her Earth Day speech in Dallas was related to that topic; she focused on the importance of being connected to the natural world “and why we consume so much more than our ancestors did.”

Her father, Al Gore is an outspoken environmentalist and politician who served as vice-president from 1993 to 2001. He now lives in Nashville and “travels a lot,” she says, while her mother, Tipper, splits her time between Virginia and California.

“My mom does a lot of photography,” Gore adds. “It’s a hobby, but it’s almost a vocation that she’s been able to pick back up at this point in her life.”

Does she miss those days as a political family?

“I do not miss that at all, no,” she says emphatically. “I’ve learned a lot since then. There was something a little out of balance for me at that time, and I feel that now I’m really connected to a strong community.”

Gore lives in New York City with her three children, ages 15, 13 and 8. On a typical day, she’ll walk her youngest son to school and then take the subway to work at the seminary, where she’s helping design a Center for Earth Ethics.

So far, her children haven’t shown an interest in going into politics, but at least one of them might have a natural talent for it.

“My daughter was campaign manager for her class president, and she did a lot of great ads for him that were very clever,” she says. “That’s the closest we’ve come to politics, and that’s about right for me at this point.”