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...

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