Al's Secret Debating Tricks

As he practiced last Monday night for his debate the next day with Ross Perot, the normally restrained Al Gore began to argue aggressively and gesture wildly with his hands. "I hate to say this to you," said the Vice President's old friend Tom Downey, "but you're a little too animated."

Feigning hurt, Gore asked, "So you'd like me to be a little more . . . wooden?"

"Yeah," Downey deadpanned. "Play to your strength."

Bill Clinton had proposed the debate on something of a dare, leaving Gore only four days to prepare for the face-off. The President's aides immediately professed...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!