VP Debate Moments

The year was 2000. Al Gore and George Bush were running for President. I was at Harvard, and I watched the October 3 debate in a Harvard auditorium. The students were laughing at Bush’s answers, as Al Gore sighed whenever Bush spoke.

Gore was acting as if Bush wanted to blow the surplus on a tax cut. And, when Bush suggested that the Russians intervene to put pressure on Milosevic, Al Gore smugly responded that the Russians weren’t willing to do so. We were left with the impression that Bush was a bumbling idiot, whereas Al Gore was an all-knowing sage.

Two nights later, there was the Vice-Presidential debate. Cheney said that the idea that Bush wanted to blow the surplus on a tax cut was not true. He specified other areas for which Bush would use the surplus, calling Bush’s proposal a “responsible plan.” Later, he referred to Bush’s suggestion about Russia and Serbia, which Cheney said the “Vice-President pooh-poohed.” According to Cheney, the Russians were actually exerting constructive pressure on Serbia.

I fell in love with Cheney that night! When Bush said something, it came across as bumbling. But when Cheney spoke, he gave the impression that he knew what he was talking about. Even the liberals in the Harvard Law School lounge remarked that Cheney knew his foreign policy.

Tom Brokaw said at the end of the debate that the Vice-Presidential candidates communicated their tickets’ positions better than their Presidential counterparts. And he was right. The debate wasn’t as entertaining as the one between Gore and Bush, but at least it let me hear an intelligent and respectful conversation about policy differences.

Not that I expect anything like that tonight. I just wanted to reminisce.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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2 Responses to VP Debate Moments

  1. Pascalian Awakenings says:

    I don’t remember those kinds of details of the debate. I do remember the feeling of being blown away by Cheney’s mind.

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  2. James Pate says:

    Neither do I, Yvette. I remembered the tax cut parts, but I had to look up what Bush said on Serbia.

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