Presidential Debate ’96

In the 1996 presidential debate, there were many
controversial points brought up and discussed by the candidates.

There were opportunities to turn the debate into a verbal
cock fight, but the President was a model of restraint and
Senator Dole simply did not choose to aggravate the president to
an extreme. When Senator Dole referred to the ’92 debate and how
the President referred to Bush as Mr. Bush, not Mr. President,
and how he himself would address Clinton as Mr. President, it was
evident that Dole was going to debate to make Clinton mad enough
to make a mistake. Senator Dole was apparently trying to bring
out the beast in Clinton, but he kept cool, while Clinton himself
made no offensive remarks to Dole.

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The questions asked brought about straight answers in the
beginning, but towards the end, the candidates were repeating
themselves because the questions began to lose focus and seemed
to overlap enough to cause an answer similar to if not the same
as an earlier one. I do admit, though, that the questions did
attack key points and some answers that were given did seriously
cause some thought not to where the vote is going, but where it
will lead us. The answers given were fairly definitive, and the
only topic not seriously touched was scandals such as Watergate,

The debate was key in helping me decide a now important part
of my life. I have decided that I am a Democrat. I found most of
what Clinton had said to be closest to what I believe, but there
were a few points where I did agree with Dole. Particularly on
the quality of life discussion. Clinton argued that the United
States was better off, and Dole agreed, but not exactly. Dole
brought up the point that there were around 10,000 bankruptcies
filed last year, and that taxes were higher, and people were
working harder for the same wages. Another Policy of Dole’s that
I agree very much with is the Gun Check system. I think that it
is an idea that is long overdue.

The election this year was not as full of mudslinging as
past years, but I think it added to the sanity and
constructiveness of the debate. Nothing would get done if the
candidates were simply vilifying each other.