The Nine Most Memorable Debate Moments

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George H.W. Bush Glances at His Watch


The second debate of the 1992 general election season took place on Richmond, Va., with the candidates seated on stools. To the later chagrin of President George H.W. Bush, this allowed the audience, including the television audience to see what candidates were doing while the others were speaking. By this time in the campaign it seemed that Bill Clinton and third party candidate Ross Perot were running a tag team against Bush. It must have seemed that way to Bush because at one point, he stood up, raised his wrist-watch up to his eyes, and checked the time. It was as if the president thought he had somewhere more important to be—or was impatient with the debate itself. The interpretation didn’t prove far from the truth. After he lost the election to Clinton, Bush was asked what he was thinking he glanced at his watch. His candid reply: “Only 10 more minutes of this crap.”

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