Former Secretary of State James Baker, the Bush campaign's debate negotiator, agreed to three instead of two debates to get what the White House wanted most: the first debate in Coral Gables, Fla., next Thursday discussing foreign affairs, not domestic affairs as originally scheduled.
Bush aides had hinted they would insist on no more than two debates, but in fact they never felt it was important. Based on their belief that the first debate exerts an inordinate influence on public opinion, they wanted it to deal with the war on terror where George W. Bush is presumed to have an advantage over John Kerry.
Saturday, September 25, 2004
Robert Novak confirms what my husband and I had thought - that the major thing that Jim Baker wanted to get for Bush out of the debate negotiations was to get the first debate to be on foreign policy.
Posted by Betsy Newmark at 2:06 PM