Thought we’d pull together a quick cheat sheet on the debates so that millennials – considered those born in or after 1982 – will have a sense of what we’re all talking about in our “remember when?” moments.
1. “You’re no Jack Kennedy.”
Not all comparisons work. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen schools Sen. Dan Quayle Oct. 5. 1988 VP debate. Quayle, considered a lightweight at the time, proffered that he has the same experience as JFK when he ran for President.
What was scheduled to be a two-person debate between George Bush and Ronald Reagan in Nashua, New Hampshire. But the FEC ruled that newspaper sponsorship of the debate amounted to an illegal campaign contribution and when Bush refused to pay half of the debate’s cost, Reagan agreed to underwrite it himself. Reagan then moved to include the other five contenders the moderator ordered Reagan’s mike turned off. Reagan responded, “I’m paying for this microphone, Mr. Green.” Reagan carried New Hampshire 50% to Bush’s 23%.
3. “Who am I? Why am I here?”
The famous words of Admiral Stockdale, Vice Presidential Candidate for H. Ross Perot at the 1992 Vice Presidential Debate. A Vietnam War hero and former POW, his self-introduction to a country that didn’t know much about him proved to be all downhill from the start.
Walter Mondale quotes a popular Wendy’s slogan to rebut Gary Hart in the March 11, 1984 Democratic debate. Mondale then gaffs and slips up and says that he’ll “stand up and support special interest (groups.)”
5. “The Locked Box”
Al Gore takes his “locked box” and constant interruptions to George Bush and his “fuzzy math.”