When they debated in a TV studio in 1993 they were both political youngsters. The resulting "don't speak to me like that!" outburst from Royal can now be watched on the Internet. She compared him to a "steamroller" and said, "All the television viewers can see that what you are saying is completely off-base!"
But both are formidable talkers, equally combative and prone to override television interviewers who try to butt in. But it would likely require a complete loss of cool, major mistakes or a blatantly misogynistic attack by Sarkozy — which all seem very unlikely from a now seasoned, media-savvy campaigner — for Wednesday's debate to significantly boost Royal's chances of being elected the first woman president of France. (...)
Aides of Royal and Sarkozy organized Wednesday's debate down to the smallest detail. The candidates will face off for two hours, seated at a wooden table and filmed by at least eight cameras. They drew lots to see who will sit where. Fittingly, chance put Royal on the left of the TV screen, and Sarkozy on the right
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