With the general election just around the corner, we’re about to see the very first live TV leadership debates in the history of British politics.
Both Conservative and Labour governments have wriggled out of them in the past, indeed in 2005 Tony Blair agreed to a live debate (providing the opposition weren’t allowed to take part). Luckily the public were on hand to abuse him anyway.
We took a look back at some of the most famous moments from US election debate history to see where this year’s hopefuls might slip-up…
In 1976 the Republican Party was still reeling from the Watergate scandal, so the last thing they needed in that year’s Presidential election was a candidate who promised that “Russians do not and never will dominate Eastern Europe during a Ford government”. This statement was refuted by everyone living in that area – Ford had already been in the White House for two years and the Soviets had been kicking the cr*p out of them since the late forties…
Ronald Reagan may not have liked air traffic controllers but he could certainly turn on the charm when he needed to – unlike the other tasty clips, this is an example of how to win an election despite being older than ancient hills. During the 1984 election stories had been circulated that the oldest President ever was too decrepid to do the job for another four years, so Reagan styled himself a one-liner to win himself another term.
In all the furore surrounding the George W. Bush, we seem to forget that his old man was no Alex Guttenplan. Here he is demonstrating just how far you can distance yourself from voters in the space of 60 seconds (if you’re stupid enough). It’s a simple question George! Keep watching for clip to see him continually checking his watch (also not a good idea prospective leaders of a country). Needless to say Bill Clinton went on to the White House in 1992.
What a man Al Gore is! First he spots global warming and now it seems that he wanted to beat the cr*p out of Bush back before we saw him for the dangerously foolish cowboy that he is. Unfortunately for Mr Gore, this attempt to square up to his Republican opponent in 2000 didn’t really work and he lost the election. Actually he didn’t, but Bush still got to be President….it’s complicated.
With an increasingly unpopular war in the Middle East still in full swing, George W. Bush was batting on a pretty sticky wicket during the election of 2004 – half of America ended up voting for a man they had never heard of rather than Dubya. But in the crucial live debates against Democrat candidate John Kerry, Bush apparently made extra sure that there would be no slip-ups by wearing a wire so that his team could feed him answers during the debate. Unfortunately the crazed hillbilly won again! Unbelievable.