Local News

Bowles, Dole Mind Their Manners In Latest Debate

Posted October 22, 2002 9:46 a.m. EDT

— In the latest debate, U.S. Senate candidates Erskine Bowles and Elizabeth Dole were more aggressive on the issues, and both engaged in what many would call polite southern culture.

In Saturday's debate, Dole called her opponent, Erskine, while Bowles referred to his opponent as Mrs. Dole. N.C. State political science professor Andy Taylor said that is the way you can get your punches in while treating your opponent with respect.

"He (Bowles) can really get his hits in, and at the same time, it sounds like the tone is very friendly and very non-threatening and is very civil," Taylor said.

"I think he's been advised to be a southern gentleman and he has to have kid gloves with Mrs. Dole, or frankly he'll offend women," said Marc Rotterman, who trains political candidates.

In Saturday night's debate, Dole asked Bowles to stop calling her Mrs. Dole.

"Call me Elizabeth as you call me in your ad," Dole said.

"When she said you call me Elizabeth, it was like saying, 'Hey, your fly is open.' She completely threw him off his pace," humorist Dennis Rogers said.

Officials from the Bowles campaign defend the use of "Mrs. Dole" as a professional courtesy to Dole.