ad info

 
CNN.com Allpoliticsallpolitics.comwith TIME
   
 

 

  Search
 
 

 
POLITICS
TOP STORIES

Analysis indicates many Gore votes thrown out in Florida

Clinton's chief of staff calls White House over vandalism reports

Gephardt talks bipartisanship, outlines differences

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

India tends to quake survivors

Two Oklahoma State players among 10 killed in plane crash

Sharon calls peace talks a campaign ploy by Barak

Police arrest 100 Davos protesters

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

LAW

TECHNOLOGY

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

TRAVEL

FOOD

Texas cattle quarantined after violation of mad-cow feed ban
ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image


Carlson Tucker Carlson is a CNN political analyst and contributes to The Weekly Standard and Talk magazines. He is providing exclusive analysis to CNN allpolitics.com during the election season.

Tucker Carlson: Bush performance not great, but good enough to outpace Gore

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- It's a good thing Al Gore has an unappealing demeanor, or George W. Bush would be in real trouble. Bush delivered a mediocre performance at the first presidential debate in Boston. For the first half an hour he appeared nervous. Several times he seemed to lose his train of thought in mid-sentence. Though he relaxed as the night progressed, his remarks often lacked focus. He left Gore's endless attacks on the "wealthiest one percent of Americans" essentially unchallenged. He offered no defense of his own pro-life views, allowing Gore, a genuine extremist on abortion, to sound like the candidate with the mainstream position. He even let Gore interrupt him, repeatedly. Bush was not impressive. Happily for Republicans, Gore was far worse. If George W. Bush is elected president, it will be to a great extent because millions of undecided voters entered the voting booth, considered the phrase "President Gore," and shuddered. Gore's unattractive character tics were on full display at the debate.

Al Gore must have been the sort of kid - supercilious, smug, a tattler -- who you wanted to beat up in high school. There is evidence that Gore's contemporaries felt the same way. (At St. Alban's his nickname was "Gorf." This cannot have been a compliment.) Much has been written about Gore's condescending behavior, his tendency to over-explain and talk down to people. Gore knows he does this. The strange thing is how he keeps doing it. It must be involuntary.

Gore has appeared in close to 40 debates over his 24 years in politics. His essential strategy has never changed: Snarl at the opponent; complain when the opponent snarls back. This method worked beautifully for Gore in his 1993 appearance with Ross Perot on Larry King Live. It worked almost as well during his primary match-ups with Bill Bradley. Both Perot and Bradley were driven to distraction by Gore. They hated him, and it showed.

Gore tried the same approach on Tuesday night. He responded to Bush's tepid attacks not by defending himself, but by whining about Bush's tone. It was a response right out elementary school. ("Mrs. Jones! George is being mean to me!") In other words, it was perfectly Gore.

But Bush was prepared for Gore's needling. He ignored the off-camera sighs and audible huffing. He never got mad. Bush is not a great debater. But he is good enough not to rise to Gore's bait.

When Bush didn't lose control of himself, Gore's strategy collapsed. Instead of an angry George W. Bush, viewers saw an unbearably annoying Al Gore. It is an image that could win the election for Bush.

 
EUROPE'S VIEW
Where do Bush and Gore stand on issues of importance to Europe? Launch our Interactive Guide.

POLLS
View the latest tracking poll or dig into our poll archives.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

VIDEO
Watch selected policy speeches and campaign commercials from the major presidential candidates.

WHERE THEY STAND
See where George W. Bush and Al Gore stand on the major issues.

THE STATES
Who are your elected officials? What is the past presidential vote and number of electoral votes in your state? What are the presidential primary results and exit polls? Find out with these state political and election facts.

ELECTION GUIDE
Get Election 2000 zip code searchable candidate biographies and other material for races for governor, Senate and House in our Election Guide.

FOLLOW THE MONEY
How much money have the candidates raised? Here are their quarterly reports to the Federal Election Commission.

RACES
If you need to know who's up in 2000 and what seats are open, launch this quick guide.

WEB WHITE AND BLUE
Allpolitics.com is a partner in the Web White and Blue rolling cyber-debate, a daily online exchange among the major presidential candidates. Look for twice-daily updates Sunday through Friday until election day.


MORE STORIES:

Wednesday, October 4, 2000


 Search   

Back to the top  © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.