Thursday, October 14, 2004

Debate 3 Wrap Up

I meant to do this last night, but got lazy. Forgive me. Or not. I don't care.

As always, I acknowledge my leftist leanings, but is there any doubt that Kerry won, if not overwhelmingly? Coming in, Kerry had to shred the perception that he didn't stick to his issues and he was campaign solely as an anti-Bush with medals from Vietnam. I think he did exactly that, though that's something he should have done at the DNC.
Bush, on the other hand, was left looking aimless, throwing "liberal from Massachusets" ad hominem at Kerry and wedging in No Child Left Behind at every opportunity.

The most telling was his responses to questions about unemployment and the minimum wage. In each case, he dodges the question and spends almost his entire allotted time talking about No Child Left Behind - a program that is widely ridiculed by educators.

But the worst moment for Bush came in the very first question:
Kerry:Six months after he said Osama bin Laden must be caught dead or alive, this president was asked, "Where is Osama bin Laden?"
He said, "I don't know. I don't really think about him very much. I'm not that concerned."

Bush: Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those exaggerations.

But of course, Bush did say "I truly am not that concerned about him", when asked about Osama Bin Laden.

Bush could have simply ignored it, or at worst, said "Well, I misspoke and it came out wrong" and it would have been a non-story. But thanks to some TV magic, the networks are playing that old remark back to back with his denial. Now, he comes out looking like a President who not only doesn't care about fighting the terrorists, but then tries to cover his ass.
And Chris Suellentrop of Slate agrees with me.

Now, we have three weeks to go on the trail. Kerry's made up the post-RNC deficit. We'll see how this plays out.

  • ABC viewer poll calls it a tie at 42-41, but the audience was split 38% Republican, 30% Democrat and 28% independent. More encouraging for Kerry, the independents voted 42-35 in favor of Kerry, beyond the margin of error

  • CNN snap poll went 52-39 in favor of Kerry, well beyond the margin of error.

  • CBS poll of uncommitted voters howed 39% thought Kerry won, while 36% thought it was a tie.

- Transcript Part 1/Part 2
- Memo to Kerry: Attack Already, Geez. (The Village Voice)
- Let Them Eat Education: Is "No Child Left Behind" Bush's answer to everything? (Slate)
- Grand Slam: Kerry crushes Bush in third debate (Slate)
- Gay vs Too Straight!: Tie goes to Bush (Slate)

- To both Bush & Kerry: you are not comedians. Kerry, nice try with "Being lectured by the president on fiscal responsibility is a little bit like Tony Soprano talking to me about law and order in this country" but really, you don't have the delivery. And George, "In all due respect, I'm not so sure it's credible to quote leading news organizations about -- oh, nevermind." was just pathetic.

- What's with Bush's smirking?

- Is anyone else disturbed AND amused when a politician vows "I will hunt them down"?

- Kerry did get something close to a soundbite with "You can't legislate my faith on (american citizens)"

- Did Bush actually say he was going to work with Canada to get a flu vaccine? (Yes he did) Isn't he worried that the vaccine looks like it is from Canada; it might be from a Third World?

- And did Bush actually call the US healthcare system "the envy of the world"? (Yeah)

- And kinda funny to see him taking credit for shutting the flu vaccine factory down.

- "98 times"

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