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View Diary: Top Romney adviser shocked to learn it sucks to be a loser (170 comments)

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  •  Dole was quite good in '96 (2+ / 0-)
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    Matt Z, Miggles

    I watched those debates a few months back, and when he wasn't coming off like a hatchet man who wouldn't give Clinton credit for anything, Dole was generally likable and funny. He dropped a handful of zingers over the two debates, most of which didn't come off as rehearsed and cheesy.

    Unfortunately for Dole, Clinton was super-prepared (watch the full C-Span video of the first debate, before the networks cut in), effortless, and even more likable. Clinton was so on top pf his game, he barely had to engage Dole on his attacks. Clinton of course knew he was gonna win months before, based on the polls and the rebounding economy.

    I watched the first two debates from 2000 debates as well. We all know happened in the first: Gore allowed Bush to get under his skin, and the optics killed him. He improved in the second debate, but still came off way too stiff, unlikable (not someone the idiot swing voter "would want to have a beer with") and a bit of a phony, whereas Bush was again more likable, but also somehow more prepared, and was able to build on his better than expected first debate performance.

    One thing I noticed, is that you could tell Bush thought he'd won the election after that second debate. It's actually amazing Gore managed to claw back by election night. But it's also frustrating. If he'd performed better during the debates (he did better in the third, Lieberman was dismal against Cheney), it wouldn't have been close enough for Rove to steal the election.

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