THE RUNNING MATES: Slugfest in a Houston Alley

They started with smiles and Senator Robert Dole saying that he hoped it would be a "fun evening. "They ended with bitter exchanges and Senator Walter Mondale calling his opponent a "hatchet man." The debate last week between the two vice-presidential candidates—the first such session in the nation's history—turned out to be a tart and often engrossing display of political theater, a duel between two evenly matched men whose debating skills had been sharply honed during the wars on Capitol Hill. Both Mondale and Dole sometimes articulated the views of their top bananas more concisely and with...

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