I just saw this debate Saturday, because I knew I would probably be blogging about it this week. This was the debate that Walter Mondale was remembered for looking really strong and quick. Able to go toe-to-toe with the President of the United States and actually beat him. While Ronald Reagan, looked old, slow and unsure of himself and how to answer the questions. President Reagan, clearly didn't look good in the first debate, but didn't look as bad as he tends to be remembered. His answers were somewhat slow and so-forth, but he answered the questions and didn't take any shots from Vice President Mondale lying down. He took them on and threw some back as well.
But Fritz Mondale just looked good the whole night, while admitting that the economy had definitely improved from four years earlier. That the economy wasn't as strong as it needed to be and that we paid a heavy price for the recovery that we were going through. Increases in debt and deficit and, "if we continued to allow those things rise, we would pay for it in high interest and inflation rates later on." He was right, because the Stock Market crashed just three years later in 1987. The economy slowed in 1989 and of course we had a recession in 1990-91.
This was Fritz Mondale's opportunity to get back in the race. He was down 10-15 points going into this debate and took advantage of it. He brought President Reagan's lead down a bit and had he had a great debate in the second debate, he could've prevented the landslide that came and could've made it a very tight race. His second debate wasn't bad, but President Reagan just bounced back and had a very good debate as well. With the memorable line when he was asked about his age, suggesting that he might be too old for President, by saying that, "I'm not going to make age an issue in this election and exploit Fritz Mondale's youth an inexperience." Whether voters decided that Fritz Mondale would've been a better President or not, what they did decide, was that they liked Ron Reagan more and liked where the country was going and headed and weren't ready to fire President Reagan.