Interview from the archives with Phyllis Barber, award-winning author of seven books of fiction and creative nonfiction. We spoke in 2009 about her then-upcoming memoir, Raw Edges, published in 2010 by University of Nevada Press.
This rerun aired a couple days before the now-infamous first debate between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In 1960, JFK came out on top going up against Nixon, possibly just because Kennedy looked so much better on television. In 1980, Ronald Reagan won points with his tagline "There you go again," which successfully batted down Jimmy Carter's arguments without even having to come up with substantive responses. In 1988, Lloyd Bentson had perhaps the most famous zinger in this exchange with fellow vice presidential candidate Dan Quayle. Then-senator Quayle said "I have far more experience than many others that sought the office of vice president of this country. I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency. I will be prepared to deal with the people in the Bush administration, if that unfortunate event would ever occur." And Lloyd Bentson retorted, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." That may be the best-remembered moment of the Dukakis/Bentson ticket, despite the fact that George Bush and Dan Quayle won the election.
Today's Write The Book Prompt is to imagine and write two exchanges between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. First, write something you'd love to see happen. Probably you have some idea about which person you'd like to see in the White House come January. Write your dream debate moment. And then, write a dream moment for the candidate you do not support. Make each of these scenes realistic, given the candidates' positions. Invent questions that will bring out the candidates' strengths, wit, and resonance with American voters. Who knows? Maybe you'll even change your own mind...
Good luck with this prompt and tune in next week for another. Music credits: 1) “Dreaming 1″ - John Fink; 2) “Filter” - Dorset Greens (a Vermont band that existed briefly in 2008 and 2009, featuring several South Burlington High School students - now grads)