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Force: 1992

A year before his masterful triumph over Ross Perot in the NAFTA debate, Al Gore used force against force instead of agility. In his first run for national office, Gore met Dan Quayle in a vice presidential debate on October 13, 1992, in Atlanta, Georgia. Quayle, who had been burnt four years earlier by the memorable Topspin of Lloyd Bentsen you saw in Chapter 7, “Topspin in Action,” was determined to not to allow history to repeat itself.

Quayle and his team decided to reverse the classic football maxim, the best offense is a good defense, by vigorously taking the offensive to Gore. Quayle prepared for the contest in extensive practice sessions with a formidable stand-in for Gore, then-New Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman, an aggressive gadfly whose subsequent autobiography was appropriately titled, Combat. Practice with Rudman made Quayle highly combative.


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