Thursday, Oct. 02, 2008

Dole's Hatchet Job

One would think the nation's first-ever vice presidential debate would warrant some preparation, but not for Republican Bob Dole, who sparred with Walter Mondale in 1976. Dole refused to practice until the day of the broadcast — and it showed. His lines, though memorable, were perceived as downright cruel. When talking about Vietnam, Dole notoriously proclaimed: "If we added up the killed and wounded in Democrat wars in this century, it would be ... enough to fill the city of Detroit." Mondale responded coolly, "Senator Dole has richly earned his reputation as a hatchet man." Exactly twenty years later, Dole would make headlines again, only this time for his bland performance as a presidential candidate opposite Bill Clinton.