The Nation: THE BATTLE, BLOW BY BLOW

Starting with the very first question.

Gerald Ford was on the defensive—and Jimmy Carter on the offensive—for most of the debate. The opening question amounted to Ford's best argument for his foreign policy. New York Times Associate Editor Max Frankel asked Carter what fault he could find with the foreign policy of an Administration that had improved U.S. relations with the Soviet Union and China and promoted steps toward peace in the Middle East and southern Africa.

Sidestepping the question. Carter gave what seemed to be a prepared opening statement, much as John F....