PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

AS THE CANDIDATES PREPARED FOR THE DEBATE AND HUDDLED WITH AIDES, TIME'S PHOTOGRAPHERS WERE GIVEN EXCLUSIVE BEHIND-THE-SCENES ACCESS

A first debate is like a first date--it's the one people remember. That's why the preparation for it is so intense. The White House suggested that Bill Clinton was "cramming" for his first encounter with Bob Dole. The challenger, for his part, spent most of the week at his condo in Bal Harbour, Florida, reading briefing books and scanning the cloudy skies for beneficial rays. (On Friday he gave up and opted for a sun lamp.)

In picture-book Chautauqua, New York, for each of three evenings before the debate, Clinton held a mock session with smooth-talking former Senator George Mitchell, who...

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