The Corner

Debates Then and Now

From an old pal:

I just caught the last 30 minutes of the 1984 foreign policy debate between Pres. Reagan and Walter Mondale (10/21/84) on C-SPAN . The substance was just as I remembered it but the tone: what a difference from today! It was all so . . . adult. Mondale came across as a solid citizen who disagreed with the president on the issues of the day in an agreeable fashion. The reporters were respectful to all parties; the crowd behaved.

It is evident to me that the legacy of Clinton’s “war room” approach to presidential campaigning — intensely negative and relentlessly personal — remains with us today.

Good point–and Kerry’s catty remarks about Bush over the last week confirm it. Question to ponder between now and Thursday: Will Kerry dare to disappoint his base by comporting himself graciously?

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