Debating the Debates

After five 90-min. sessions in Washington, aides to both Walter Mondale and Ronald Reagan shook hands last week. And with that gesture, their debate over the televised debates ended. The presidential candidates will meet in two Sunday-evening encounters. The first, which will deal with domestic issues, will take place on Oct. 7 in Louisville; the second, centering on foreign and defense policy, is scheduled for Oct. 21 in Kansas City. The vice-presidential candidates, George Bush and Geraldine Ferraro, will go head-to-head on Oct. 11 in Philadelphia.

The debates may be the Democrats' last best hope to gain substantial political ground. The power...

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