Thursday, Oct. 02, 2008

Perot's Tongue-Tied Running Mate

Clip starts at 7:15

While Ross Perot amused crowds with his snarky comments, his running mate, Vietnam war hero Admiral James Stockdale, publicly struggled to transform himself into a public figure. The self-deprecating Stockdale famously opened the vice presidential debate in 1992 by asking, "Who am I? Why am I here?" The line, meant to poke fun at his lack of political experience, left viewers simply wondering whether he knew the answer to either question. Years later, Stockdale would recall the "terribly frustrating debate," telling PBS' Jim Lehrer: "There was never an opportunity for me to explain my life to people. It was so different from Quayle and Gore. Four years in solitary confinement in Vietnam, seven-and-a-half years in prisons; dropped the first bomb that started the first American bombing raid into North Vietnam. I don't say it just to brag, but I mean my sensitivities are completely different."