Candidates Clash in First TV Debate

In defense of the "orchestrated, dual campaign conference" with Vice President George Bush and Gov. Michael Dukakis, I would like to say that it was actually a fine piece of theater. Similarly, the journalists did a good job of addressing the questions on issues of relevance.

While both sides scored some points, the real winner was, I believe, Dukakis. He simply was more substantive and had a greater, clearer command of the issues--issues that connect well to the American people. In addition, the governor was more poised, and came through as a caring human being with better understanding of the many problems that millions of us are facing today.

Though I have listened very carefully, I must admit that I, like many others, including Dukakis, still don't understand what Bush's "a thousand points of light" are. I do know, however, that Bush needs some lessons in voice and diction, as well as in logic. Half a dozen times, moreover, he came across as unnerved, impatient, and even whining.



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