Presidential Debates Essay, Research Paper
Making a decision is a very important part of life that every person, at one time or another, has to make. Options are always available when someone has to make a decision. In choosing a President for our country, we have to look at our candidates and decide which ones beliefs can help the country the most. We get to hear the President’s opinions through the debates. This year, although we had numerous candidates, the only two that were allowed to participate in the debates was Vice President Al Gore and Texas Governor George Bush.
The first debate was held at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. There was no clear and obvious winner in this debate. The debate featured a lot of bickering by both candidates as Gore questioned Bush’s experience and his proposals and Bush focused on the Vice President’s character and his abilities in the past eight years. He attacked Gore for his involvement in the Buddhist temple fundraising event in 1996. He said, “I felt like there needed to be a better sense of responsibility of what was going on in the White House.” It is really a shame that the Republicans have to start condemning little things when they cannot find anything wrong with the policies. They did not see anything wrong with what Bill Clinton has done in the past eight years so they start denouncing him for the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
The Texas Governor also believed that Gore had had his chance for the past eight years but had not done anything he had promised. One of the most important issues for the candidates and the voters is the way the way they control foreign policy. When asked if they would use force to remove Slobodan Milosevic, both said they would not, but Bush said that he would ask Russia to mediate in the talks. This led Gore to point out that Russia has a tendency to support Milosevic at times.
A poll was taken after a debate asking people whom they thought had won the debate. Forty-two percent of the people believed that Gore had won, while thirty-nine percent believed it was Bush. Nineteen percent believed it was a tie.
While the second debate at Wake Forest University was the least exciting and was gone over very politely by both candidates, the third debate at Washington University in St. Louis featured the most arguing between the two. Bush tried to illustrate himself as a leader who would reach across party lines and bring the nation together. Bush also believed that, although, both of them could talk and make promises, he could actually get it done. On the other hand, Gore tried to portray Bush as someone who would lend a helping hand to big, corporate companies. After feeling the pressure from the first two debates, Gore came out very aggressive and put the governor on the defensive. When asked about affirmative action, Bush said he was not in favor of it because he did not like quotas. He said, “Quotas are bad for America. It’s not the way America is all about.” He said that he was in favor of “affirmative access.” To that Gore responded, “I don’t know what affirmative access means — I do know what affirmative action means. I know the governor’s against it and I know that I’m for it.” In a post debate poll taken, both candidates got forty-one percent while fourteen percent of the people called it a tie.
For more then three months, the polls had been showing a dead heat between the candidates and even after the election, it still stands this way. You have to wonder if both these candidates are worthy or not good enough to be president. I would have to choose the latter. Both these candidates came at a time when they have to follow one of the greatest presidents in our history. I believe that it is wrong that other candidates such as Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan do not get a chance to show what they stand for by participating in the debates. I can surely say that whoever eventually wins the election will not be reelected in 2004 becase of the nature of this election.