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Inside Politics

A viewer's guide to the VP debate

Joe Klein's 'dos and don'ts'

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Dick Cheney
John Edwards
America Votes 2004

(CNN) -- Do stand firm on the issues, don't sigh and absolutely no looking at your watch. What are the key "dos and don'ts" for Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John Edwards in the vice presidential debate?

Joe Klein, Time magazine political columnist and regular political contributor on CNN's "Paula Zahn NOW Prime Time Politics," will offer his tips before each debate. You can use this list as a viewer's guide for Tuesday's vice presidential debate and see how the candidates stack up.

Vice President Dick Cheney


  • Play to your experience
  • Think about your grandchildren
  • Be strong ... but not too strong
  • Don't:

  • Smile -- it just doesn't work
  • Overstate your case
  • Be dismissive
  • Sen. John Edwards


  • Fight back
  • Show your knowledge of foreign policy
  • Be the trial lawyer -- stand up for the "little guy"
  • Don't:

  • Be nervous
  • Try to be Mr. Nice Guy
  • Offer a plea bargain -- stay tough

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