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THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBTATE

What They Liked, What They Didn't

A Sampling of Viewpoints From Informed Voters

October 18, 2000

THE STUDENT

Daphne Bishop

UCLA law student

Los Angeles/independent

ABOUT BUSH: "He seemed to be very comfortable and made a few jokes. One woman asked him what his tax program would do for her specifically, and he said you'd get relief, but you'd get all these other things. He left her question completely unanswered."

*

ABOUT GORE: "I felt like he stuck more to the issues as opposed to rules of the debate. I liked the fact that he pushed Bush on the specifics and that he broke the rules a little to get Bush to answer them."

ADVANTAGE . . . Gore

THE BUSINESSMAN

Ahmad Chebbani

Chairman, American Arab Chamber of Commerce

Dearborn, Mich./Democrat

ABOUT BUSH: "He was stuttering and not comfortable with his own response on international issues. ... He's got this smart way of dancing around the question. He just says he wants to do some tax cuts, but he obviously has no experience in taxation."

ABOUT GORE: "He was very straightforward and clear. He's got a clear tax program, and on international issues he was very comfortable. I am a tax accountant by profession, and his tax cuts are very meaningful--like the one for college tuition."

ADVANTAGE . . . Gore

THE SCREENWRITER

Rusty Cundieff

Writer and director

Silver Lake/Democrat

ABOUT BUSH: "It was the first night that I felt Gore's tendency to be more specific helped him and Bush's tendency to speak in generalities did not work. For example, when someone asked what you would about the Mideast crisis, that seemed to stump Bush."

ABOUT GORE: "I thought he did very well, for the first time, in establishing what the real differences were between him and Bush. It seemed like the last time, oddly enough, Jim Lehrer had to ask, 'What's the difference between you two?"'

ADVANTAGE . . . Gore

THE IMAGE MAKER

Doug Elmets

Communications and public affairs consultant

Sacramento/Republican

*

ABOUT BUSH: "He was very conciliatory and at times almost subdued. But he seems more natural in the setting, clearly more at ease talking one-on-one with voters. And he was able to articulate his vision much better than Gore."

ABOUT GORE: "For everything he has in intellect, he lacks the ability to relax. But it was clear ... he was out to define their differences, and he did it very aggressively. It was almost as if he was a runner off the blocks trying to make up for lost time."

ADVANTAGE . . . Neither

THE POLITICO

Rodney Leong

GOP central

committee member

San Francisco/Republican

ABOUT BUSH: "He showed what everyone else in his situation would be with an audience. He took a little while to warm up ... but when he got rolling, he did well. ... The governor was speaking to you, not at you."

ABOUT GORE: It just seems like he'll name-drop these bills that ... by repeating it over and over, it's like 'I know what's good for you,' and that's not exactly what we need. ... [But] I think Gore was more polished."

ADVANTAGE . . . Bush

THE COMEDIAN

Sheryl Underwood

Stand-up comic

Los Angeles/Republican

ABOUT BUSH: I thought Bush was funny. ... I thought he was charming. I thought he was a normal guy, a guy who was interviewing for a job. He was nervous, but he wanted you to take him into your heart."

ABOUT GORE: "Gore really hung himself. I think he was too aggressive. He seemed to be pouncing on the governor. ... He seemed to be looking for a way to attack the governor, which is not what he should show people."

ADVANTAGE . . . Bush

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