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副总裁辩论常常被遗忘 — 但丹·奎尔从未恢复

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丹·奎尔的遗产是他如何让自己被一个辩论错误定义的警告故事。

【原文】

This article is republished here with permission from The Conversation. This content is shared here because the topic may interest Snopes readers; it does not, however, represent the work of Snopes fact-checkers or editors.


If you think that vice presidential debates – like the one on Oct. 7 between Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris – have no political impact, I have two words for you: Dan Quayle.

After George H.W. Bush selected the little-known 41-year-old Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana as his running mate, the youthful-looking Quayle tried to deflect concerns about his age and inexperience by comparing himself to John F. Kennedy, who also had served as a congressman and senator before running for president in 1960.

You say ‘potato,’ he says ‘potatoe’

Quayle himself perpetuated his reputation as a dour lightweight.

In 1992 he attacked television character Murphy Brown, an unmarried news anchor, for having a child out of wedlock.

In response, late-night comic David Letterman looked straight into the camera and told Quayle to pay attention. “I’m only going to say this once. Murphy Brown is a fictional character!”

Then, in June 1992, during a trip to an elementary school, Quayle corrected a 12-year-old boy who had correctly spelled “potato,” adding an “e” to the word.

American comedians had a field day.

“Maybe the vice president should quit watching ‘Murphy Brown’ and start watching ‘Sesame Street,” joked the late-night TV host Jay Leno.

“It was more than a gaffe,” Quayle wrote of the p-o-t-a-t-o-e moment in his 1994 memoir, “Standing Firm.” “It was a ‘defining moment’ of the worst imaginable kind. I can’t overstate how discouraging and exasperating the whole event was.”

Quayle thought the incident got so much play because “it seemed like a perfect illustration of what people thought about me.”

Dan Quayle was a one-term vice president whose greatest contribution to politics came in a VP debate. In the dog-eat-dog world of politics, no politician since has wanted to end up on the Quayle end of the fire hydrant.The Conversation


Chris Lamb, Professor of Journalism, IUPUI

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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