Pavlov's dog could take lessons from Quayle and Vice President George Bush.
At first, it appeared that whatever question was posed to a candidate, the candidate twisted it so that it could be answered by regurgitating a memorized speech. However, at the point when Tom Brokaw asked Quayle what literary works most affected him, and this self-confessed "average student" embarked upon an analysis of "Nicholas and Alexandra" and books by Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and former President Richard Nixon, all of which he claims to have read during the last six months, it became clear why the League of Women Voters blasted the "debate." It was a charade, the questions were planned, and those responsible should be ashamed of themselves.
If the public is as stupid as the campaigners must think we are, then we deserve the repetitious banalities, the phony smiles, the canned speeches, the ridiculed "one-liners" and the made-up faces. It is no wonder that the debates don't change opinions or votes; they are an insult to our intelligence. It is a national disgrace that candidates for national office feel compelled to win votes by hiding behind makeup--so afraid to make a mistake that they look like Pavlov's dog salivating each time a television camera is pointed in their direction. We deserve better.
LOUIS A. LIPOFSKY