Quayle vs. Gore

It may be the dullest job in Washington, but two young men with similar backgrounds and sharply opposed politics are fighting desperately to win it. Will their struggle affect the outcome?

THE PARALLELS ARE STRIKING. Both men are in their mid-40s, telegenic, churchgoing Protestants and dedicated family men. Both were elected to Congress in 1976 and later moved to the Senate, where they served together on the Armed Services Committee. They are married to independent, tough-minded women. They come from prominent, wealthy families. But the main thing that James Danforth Quayle, 45, and Albert Gore Jr., 44, have in common this year is that they are fighting each other for the least exciting job in national politics: the vice presidency of the United States.

Although conventional wisdom holds that voters base their...

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