Campaign 2000: Debate Mind Games

Bush can stay focused and deflect attacks; Gore knows his stuff and can expose holes in an opponent's plan. Don't underestimate either one

Of all the information that Al Gore's team has collected in preparing for its candidate's first face-to-face confrontation with George W. Bush next week, nothing has been more sobering than the account of the last person who made the mistake of underestimating Bush's talents as a debater. Back when he was running for Texas Governor in 1994, the sharp and salty incumbent, Ann Richards, thought she had scored a knockout in their only debate. Her giddy campaign staff, keeping score in the audience of a Dallas hotel ballroom, figured she had made 10 good points to his every one. "I thought...

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