Debate Predictions and Preparations

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Tonight's confrontation is being hyped as the most important since Nixon and Kennedy squared off in 1960. Once again, a grizzled Washington veteran and a national neophyte are neck and neck in public opinion polls just five weeks before the election. Al Gore is said to be so tough a debater he'll have to tone down his act to look like the regular guy swing voters are looking for. Expectations for George W. Bush are so low that mere survival may look like victory. What are they likely to talk about and who are they talking to? We'll get a preview today.
  • Newsmaker: A shaky cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians broke down today. Gunfire was exchanged and the Israelis broke out heavy weapons, including helicopter gun-ships. In the midst of it all, Madeline Albright, the US Secretary of State, summoned Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat to Paris for talks tomorrow. Marius Deeb was born in Lebanon. He's been a consultant to both private and governmental organizations. He now is Professor of Middle East History and Politics at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.



Warren Olney