ELIZABETH BRACKETT: It was a mixed group that gathered in this living room on the North Side of Chicago to watch last night's debate between George Bush and Geraldine Ferraro. Some Republicans, some Democrats, and some still on the fence. When it was over there were no new converts to either side, but there was agreement that both candidates had done what they had to do.
JOANNE CICCHELLI: He is certainly a known person.We expected him to be well-informed on affairs. And he spoke, I think, everyone though, well. But she really -- she had to make a show, and I think -- show is the wrong word. She had to be impressive and she was.
ELIZABETH BRACKETT: Did you think that Geraldine Ferraro's understanding of foreign affairs, of nuclear disarmament, was in enough depth to have her become a vice president or a president?
GEORGE THRUSH: She came across, I should say to me at least, as being somewhat naive on some issues, specifically the disarmament issue, where she suggested that all you needed was a strong-willed administration. And I certainly don't agree.
KAREN HOWELL: I was very impressed with the amount of effort she's taken to educate herself on it, and I was impressed with her sincerity.
TOM HOWELL: I think she appeared relatively naive, but I wouldn't say that in a way that indicts her or says she's not qualified to be vice president. She appeared to me to be a very qualified candidate. It seemed to me that on that particular issue I liked George Bush's answer to the question better than hers.
ELIZABETH BRACKETT: It was foreign affairs that brought the hottest exchange between the candidates.
Vice Pres. BUSH: But let me help you with the difference, Ms. Ferraro, between Iran and the embassy in Lebanon. Iran, we were held by a foreign government.
Rep. FERRARO: Let me just say, first of all, that I almost resent, Vice President Bush, your patronizing attitude that you have to teach me about foreign policy.
ELIZABETH BRACKETT: You almost got the feeling that she had been waiting for that opportunity.
MARY THRUSH: She was going to raise the "are you condescending to me because I'm a woman or treating me that way" whether it came up or not.
Ms. CICCHELLI: I thought that his remark was outrageous and I was extremely pleased that she came back like that. I don't see how anyone could not have.
ELIZABETH BRACKETT: On the issue of abortion and on the issue of separation of church and state, who do you think made their case the best?
Ms. THRUSH: On those general principles -- and I'm not getting into abortion; I say that I'm talking about just, just the church -- I don't think the stands are really appreciably different.
MARY DISSER: I think their stands are very different. I think George Bush did a good job tonight of playing down the administration's ideas, and I think that was his role tonight. But I think maybe in that way he did a better job because he sort of neutralized that issue.
Mr. HOWELL: I am, I think, not too uncommon in tending to like the Republicans' economic platform and the Democrats' social platform. I believe strongly that a woman should have the right to have an abortion if she wants to. I had harbored a hope that that's the way George Bush felt in his heart, too, and he said tonight in front of the world that he doesn't.
ELIZABETH BRACKETT: There was the perception that George Bush would have a very difficult time with this debate with "how do you handle a woman"? How do you think he did on that score?
Ms. THRUSH: I think he treated her as an equal --.
Ms. CICCHELLI: -- and I wasn't sure he would be able to do that, not because of his attitude towards women, just because of his basic personality.
MIKE GUERRIERI: Tonight he was wound up. He was well-coached, I thought. But I thought that was probably in response to what happened Sunday night when Reagan obviously wasn't, or else something was happening to him while he was speaking.
ELIZABETH BRACKETT: Did anyone change their ideas significantly tonight about either candidate?
Mr. GUERRIERI: I thought both were more qualified to be president than I had previously thought.
Ms. THRUSH: We're not just electing a vice president. We're electing a potential president -- "heartbeat away" is the coined phrase. I don't think to assume the position of president of the United States, she does have an adequate depth.
Ms. DISSER: I think she showed herself to be really in command of the issues and articulate, cool, strong. I was very, very impressed and real pleased to see how she did.
ELIZABETH BRACKETT: But you were a supporter anyway?
Ms. DISSER: But I was a supporter, but I think there are a lot of people here who aren't her supporters have said the same thing tonight.
Mr. HOWELL: Well, I agree with that, but in response to your question I don't think either party won. I'd have to rate it a draw.
JIM LEHRER: That report by Elizabeth Brackett. Now to some other reaction from two persons who played most unusual and unique rules in last night's debate. Judy Woodruff has that. Judy?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Jim, two people who played a critical role in the preparations for last night's debate were the stand-ins the candidates rehearsed for the debate with. We are fortunate to have both of them with us tonight. First, Republican Congresswoman Lynn Martin of Illinois, who stood in the role of Ms. Ferraro during Vice President Bush's debate preparation.She joins us tonight from Chicago. And Robert Barnett, a Washington attorney, a Democrat, who stood in the role of Mr. Bush during Ms. Ferraro's rehearsals for the debate. Let's just start out, both of you. The polls are saying that Mr. Bush won, and yet we're hearing a lot of comments that leads us to believe, from this report we just saw from Chicago, that both candidates really came out doing well. What do you two think? Mr. Barnett?
ROBERT BARNETT: It's fascinating, because I've obviously heard about the polls. I talked to a lot of people today -- admittedly not a scientific sample, but overwhelmingly --
JUDY WOODRUFF: I won't expect either one of you to be non-partisan in this anyway.
Mr. BARNETT: Oh, of course, and I'm sure neither of us will be. Overwhelmingly people felt, I thought, that Gerry Ferraro won. And I think the greatest evidence was the event today in Madison, Wisconsin, where Fritz Mondale and Gerry Ferraro appeared on the State Capitol. I spoke to someone who was there, and apparently you could not see beyond the people. There were anywhere from 30- to 40,000 people there. There is a new enthusiasm in the campaign. The Mondale-Ferraro ticket is generating enthusiasm --
JUDY WOODRUFF: Building on what the vice-presidential --
Mr. BARNETT: Absolutely. The momentum that started last Sunday has continued, and last night really helped it, in our view.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Miss Martin, who do you think won?
Rep. LYNN MARTIN: Well, I am going to try to be fairly objective, ex-government teacher here. Both of them won. Gerry Ferraro, because she had to prove that she could stand coolly under pressure, and she did; and Vice President Bush, because he had to prove not only was he the vice president but a superb candidate. Now, I'm going to argue that the polls are correct, and I don't think you can judge a rally -- a Reagan-Bush rally can pull out a lot of people too, but most of them, frankly, are going to be Reagan-Bush people. Same thing in a Ferraro-Mondale rally.
I think what happened is that, foreign affairs overall, that George Bush, his experience showed. That doesn't denigrate Representative Ferraro, by the way, and I think she did herself proud. She had to hit -- and we're using too many sports -- I'm starting to feel like the -- you know, like the Coliseum and the gladiators, and they're two very good, competent people. She had to do even better to dominate the polls because Vice President Bush is so ahead. And that she did not do. But she did well. Neither side has to be ashamed: frankly, I was quite pleased, and I think the happiness of the Reagan-Bush people is exemplified in the polls. But even if you said George Bush did well, you didn't say Gerry Ferraro blew it. She did not; she did fine, too.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me ask you both about style. Lots have been today about how unusually subdued Ms. Ferraro seemed, that she looked down a lot. Did you expect that from the rehearsal?
Mr. BARNETT: I heard that too, today. Let me see how I can explain it. I think I can. Most people prior to three, four months ago didn't know much about Gerry Ferraro -- may have heard her name but hadn't seen her. Over the past four months they've seen on the evening news shows little snippets -- five seconds, 10 seconds, generally the punch line or the applause line or the criticism of President Reagan. And through this mosaic they've gotten this impression that she somehow is that person.The Gerry Ferraro -- the real Gerry Ferraro that you saw last night -- thoughtful, intelligent, competent, measured --
JUDY WOODRUFF: That's the real Gerry Ferraro.
Mr. BARNETT: That's the real Gerry Ferraro --
JUDY WOODRUFF: Not the more fired up --
Mr. BARNETT: There's also a sense of humor and there's also an ability to say what she thinks and to fight back when it's required and be tough, but I think people were so surprised because what they saw last night was different than those little snippets, but, as I think all of us know, those little snippets are not representative.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Ms. Martin --
Rep. MARTIN: Well, I just would comment, I've worked with Gerry, and I think they slowed her down a little too much. As a Republican I'm pleased. I think she does have a nice sense of humor, and I think there's a liveliness to what had been an incredibly bland, dull Mondale campaign.I think it was slowed down. But I also was told, and I don't know if this is true, that she debated once yesterday in the morning. Boy, that's an awful lot to ask of a person to, you know, get the emotions up twice.
JUDY WOODRUFF: How much were you all, as stand-ins --
Mr. BARNETT: I don't know who told her that, but it's wrong.
JUDY WOODRUFF: That's not true.
Rep. MARTIN: Oh, good.
JUDY WOODRUFF: How much were you all as stand-ins able to really anticipate what the other guy was going to say last night?
Mr. BARNETT: From my point of view it was very easy. We were amazed -- I put together a George Bush briefing book based on his statements, his speeches, the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee materials and all, and I was --
JUDY WOODRUFF: Did you watch tapes of him?
Mr. BARNETT: I watched tapes of him, put together transcripts of that. And I would say 90% of what he did last night came right out of the Republican National Committee road. Not many surprises from our point of view. He basically took the Reagan line.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you do when you're a stand-in? Do you -- I mean, do you actually use some of his phrases? Do you try to sound like him? I mean --
Mr. BARNETT: I tried to resist becoming the Rich Little of American politics. I wasn't doing an impersonation. I was simply saying what I thought he would say. George Bush really has a style, and that style, I think you saw in the debate last night, sometimes it was a little overwhelming, for my taste anyway. But we tried to duplicate it. We tried to let Congresswoman Ferraro see what she was going to see. And I think we succeeded.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Miss Martin, how did you get ready? How did Mr. Bush get in the right frame of mind? I guess so many people were looking at him to see how he was going to deal with a woman. How conscious were you all going into the debate of that, and what advice did you give him in that?
Rep. MARTIN: I really didn't give him advice. We had debated a number of times, and so if there had been that problem -- and, frankly, I never noticed it -- it certainly would have been over. I don't think -- you know, I didn't try to put on a Queens accent, and I don't know if my counterpoint had this, but once in awhile last night I even found that I was expecting Gerry to say something, and not in the sense of rooting, but okay, here's -- you know, here's the way to go through it. And I -- so I think it's an interesting thing to do because you identify with both candidates. I think what Vice President Bush did was debate an opponent and being; a man or woman didn't enter.
Mr. BARNETT: Congressowman Martin, you'll be interested to know I had the same experience.
Rep. MARTIN: Really. Isn't it just amazing?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Did she rehearse -- one last question. Did she rehearse the line when he started to tell her about the Middle East and she said, "I don't want you to --
Mr. BARNETT: Judy, we talked about a lot of things in those rehearsals. We went over -- I can stand here and tell you honestly and truthfully that was not rehearsed. That was truthful. It came right out of her. She felt that he was being patronizing and she said so. That was not rehearsed.
Rep. MARTIN: I believe that, but I have to tell you that I used the same line on the Vice President because I thought it would come up during the debate.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All right. That's wonderful. Thank you, Lynn Martin, Congresswoman Martin and Robert Barnett for being with us.
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