updated 7/26/2004 3:00:31 PM ET 2004-07-26T19:00:31

On Friday's "Deborah Norville Tonight,"  Deborah sat down with children of presidential candidates to talk about their experiences during conventions, and on the campaign trail. Below is an excerpt of what Tucker Quayle, Steven Ford, Skip Humphrey, Chip Carter said:

Tucker Quayle
I vaguely even understood that my father was on the short list of vice-presidential candidates. I was 14 years old at that time. He went off to New Orleans in 1988 and we just figured they were just going off to another convention. 

My brother and I got a phone call on a Sunday morning or some summer morning.  It was my father saying, “Hey, I'm going to be vice president.” And we were like,”Yes, right, whatever.  You're pulling our leg.”  My dad likes to play a lot of practical jokes and we figured this was one of them.  And he is like, he had some convincing to do and finally gave up and said, “Look, if you don't believe me, in 10 minutes, you can look on TV and find out for yourself. “ And we sort of believed him then.  And, boy, do we believe him now. 

I think it wasn't until we stepped off the plane in New Orleans that it really started to settle in that this was the real deal. It's just something different.  It's something that you really can't anticipate or even prepare for.  And we were certainly very unprepared for it. 

I just remember getting off the plane in New Orleans and really wanting to run right back on there.  On the tarmac, and you have about 100 cameras, people yelling at you and telling you to move this way and that way and trying to smile.  And it was pretty overwhelming for me. I was 14.  My brother and sister were 12 and 10.  They were really overwhelmed.

Skip Humphrey
The 1968 convention is in stark contrast to the one that is going to occur in Boston.

The thing that I remember the most was sitting in this box with my mother and watching what was going on and watching my father give a speech to the convention.  And inside the convention, it seemed like there was some sense of unity.  But right below us was a small, little TV monitor showing what was going on outside.  And I can tell you, it was totally different than what was going on inside that convention. 

The streets of Chicago were in mayhem. It just meant that we were going to have to do an awful lot of hard work.  And thank goodness my father had enough optimism to see that we were going to go forward and make things happen.  And it darn near did happen. 

Steven Ford
The convention was very tough in 1976.  I mean, there was a lot of animosity between the delegates—Ford delegates, Reagan delegates.  And even after we won the nomination, it was hard initially to get the Reagan people to come over. 

And so it took about a month to get the Reagan people to come over and help us.  And even Ronald Reagan, it was a while before he would go out and campaign with dad. 

That didn't help us.  And coming out of the convention, we were 31 points down to President Carter.  And over the next two months, we got it to within 1 percent. 

But, you know, I'll be honest with you.  The convention energized me.  I wanted to go out and campaign for dad.  But, to be honest, when the election was over in the fall, personally, on a personal note, I was glad dad had lost. 

I knew he was going to be home more.  I knew he was going to live longer.  He was going to spend more time with mom.  And he had been president 2 ½ years.  And that job takes a lot out of you. 

Chip Carter
I was in Iowa a good bit for Howard Dean earlier this year.  But it was different from 1976.  Our campaign was the last one before the invention of the P.C.  So we didn't have personal computers.  We still had the little cards, 8x10 cards that you put names on and put them in a file Cabinet.  So it was very different. 

I think the local media was a lot more important, because  you didn't have national networks that you could really advertise on, no cable, that kind of thing.  So it was very, very difficult.


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