Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain

Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain

Jim Lehrer


“In his quiet yet severe means, Jim Lehrer earns the belief of the most important political avid gamers of our time,” notes Barbara Walters. “He explains and exposes their hopes and desires, their strengths and screw ups as they struggle to place their top foot forward.”

From the guy commonly hailed as “the Dean of Moderators” comes a full of life and revealing e-book that attracts again the curtain on greater than 40 years of televised political debate in the USA. A veteran newsman who has presided over 11 presidential and vice-presidential debates, Jim Lehrer provides readers a ringside seat for the various epic political battles of our time, laying off gentle on the entire severe turning issues and rhetorical fake pas that helped ascertain the result of America’s presidential elections—and with them the process heritage. Drawing on his personal reviews as “the guy within the heart seat,” in-depth interviews with the applicants and his fellow moderators, and transcripts of key exchanges, Lehrer isolates and illuminates what he calls the “Major Moments” and “killer questions” that outlined the debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain.

Oftentimes those moments contain the applicants themselves and are seared into our collective political reminiscence. Michael Dukakis stumbles badly over a question in regards to the demise penalty. Dan Quayle compares himself to John F. Kennedy as soon as too usually. Barack Obama and John McCain slightly make eye touch over the process a ninety-minute dialogue. At different instances, the controversy moderators themselves develop into a part of the story—and Lehrer is there to offer us a behind the curtain examine the drama. Peter Jennings indicates incredible the applicants by means of postponing the conscientiously negotiated ideas mins earlier than the 1988 presidential debate—to the consternation of his fellow panelists. Lehrer himself weathers a firestorm of feedback over his functionality as moderator of the 2000 Bush-Gore debate. after which there are the excruciating moments whilst audio traces pass useless and TelePrompTers remain darkish simply seconds prior to happening the air reside in entrance of a global tv viewers of millions.

Asked to sum up his event as a player in high-level televised debates, President George H. W. Bush memorably likened them to a night in “tension city.” In Jim Lehrer’s soaking up insider account, we discover out that more true phrases have been by no means spoken.

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