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Friday, October 01, 2004

A Debating Draw

Bottom line - the debate between Bush & Kerry was a draw. Neither flubbed or made a grievous mistake. Neither made a solid homerun hit. If anything, I give Kerry the edge on style. Bush needed to at least hold his own, which he did. It would have been nice to have slam-dunked Kerry, but it wasn't required. Kerry needed to appear presidential & be seen as being on the same level, issue-wise, with Bush, which he did, but didn't exceed that. Herewith some comments about each of them:

Kerry: He stood pretty much erect & in one place the whole 90 minutes, which was good as far as debating style. His voice was clear & strong. He wasn't hesitant in answering questions & was aggressive. Didn't see him sweat as he tends to do. Overall it was a good demeanor on his part. What he said sounded good - if you didn't know the issues. That was the problem. No substance to what he said. It was the same old
gobbledygook. Same contradictions, same old fuzzy answers. The part where he said that he would use pre-emptive strikes as long as it passed a "global test" was an internal contradiction & will not play well if the Bush campaign jumps on this. Kerry sounded like he was giving a speech in front of a Kerry rally. But he more than held his own in the debate, especially since this was a foreign policy debate in which Bush was favored.

Bush: As good as Kerry's style was, Bush seemed to be off the mark of his typical style. He slouched too much, made too many facial expressions, his voice was not as dynamic as it should have been & was too hesitant. Definitely lost to Kerry on these points. However, his substance was on the mark. He gave clear answers to questions, he showed the resolve he has always had. He demonstrated again that in no uncertain terms American interests & self-defense comes first. While Kerry came across as speaking to a rally, Bush came across as answering questions at a White House press conference & thus lacking the aggressiveness toward an opponent.

Jim Lehrer, moderator: I had a problem with Lehrer's questions. They all seemed to be directed in a negative context toward Bush's policies. He did not ask a single question of Kerry about his foreign policy votes as Senator or question Kerry about the "I voted for before I voted against", nor ask Kerry about his consistently voting against new weapons systems, nor press him on other issues. I smelled some bias in Lehrer's questions. In fact, in a previous election debate with Lehrer as moderator, a Democrat was quoted as saying that Lehrer was their man. I wonder.

I don't expect to see much change in the national polls as a result of this debate. In fact, in the snap-shot polls immediately after the debate, though Kerry was determined the winner, the same polls showed Bush as being favored as President.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salon.com reports that Bush had a radio receiver taped to his back during the first debate so he could receive messages via a tiny hearing-aid-like device in his ear. They back this up with a photo. I have no way of verifying the story, but the Commission on Presidential Debates has verified that one of the rules of engagement the Bush campaign insisted on was no camera shots of the candidates from behind (which one of the pool cameras did anyway).

And he still did sh...t.

4:34 PM  

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