Raw footage for The 90's election specials. Behind the scenes at the first presidential debate between George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ross Perot at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. This tape gives a brief glimpse of the viewing room, where Clinton's campaign team watches the debate, and the "spin room," where the media awaits the candidates' responses to their debate performances.
00:00Copy video clip URL The tape opens with brief footage of Clinton Campaign Manager David Wilhelm, and then general tape of the viewing room.
0:45Copy video clip URL Texas governor Ann Richards is interviewed about the debate in the Clinton/Gore viewing room. She discusses the election, and claims that George Bush has destroyed Texas’ economy, primarily with a massive loss of jobs.
03:05Copy video clip URL General footage of people taking seats to watch the debate on a series of televisions in the Clinton / Gore holding room at Washington University. A man points out notable people in the room, though videomaker Skip Blumberg remains focused on him. After this, there are general shots of the refreshments available before a campaign official reassures Blumberg about Clinton’s well-being.
07:15Copy video clip URL Interview with Dee Dee Myers, Clinton campaign press secretary, about her expectations for the debate.
08:58Copy video clip URL An aerial shot of the press room while the debate is going on. Tables of journalists watch and take notes. On the floor, Blumberg tapes some of them, as Clinton’s, Bush’s and Perot’s voices can be heard in the background.
19:55Copy video clip URL The debate is apparently over and we watch several Clinton spin doctors comment on the debate. Each focuses on Clinton’s phrase “[Bush] has demeaned the office of the presidency…” Notable interviews are below:
23:55Copy video clip URL George Stephanopoulos says he thinks that Clinton won the debate in the first ten minutes.
36:13Copy video clip URL Interview with Senator Joe Biden, who describes George Bush as “stuck in the past” and as someone whose skills are tailored to the Cold War.
51:00Copy video clip URL After criticizing Clinton for his insistence that he doesn’t remember his trip to Russia in the 1970s, Lynn Martin, Bush’s Secretary of Labor, responds to Blumberg’s question of whether the political spin doctors change the results of the debate. “The debate’s the story, and anything we say, if it doesn’t ring true, is going to be lost in the mix.”
59:14Copy video clip URL End of tape.