a few very, very
quick thoughts on the debate.
i missed parts because i was listening on the radio at work, and every once in a while had to go do...work. go figure.
anywho, i'm not feelin too good tonite. really, overall i think this is a "win" for kerry, maybe not a huge one, but a w. none the less.
kerry put bush on the defensive right away, and after the first half hour i was seriously worried. bush recovered a bit, but not nearly enough. the result was that the whole way through kerry looked coherent, intelligent, and on point while bush looked even more incoherent than usual, repetetive, and unsure of himself.
on top of the style issue(which, granted, i was on radio and not teevee, so i only got half of it), bush let kerry slide on several major points. the ones that come to mind right away are as follows: kerry said bush "lied about uranium in his SoTU address"... remember that one? joe wilson? bush let it go. the halliburton thing? kerry saying that knowing now he would not have voted to go into iraq, when he just said the opposite a few weeks ago? north frigging korea? to me, as i said over at ace's, it gave the impression of a man getting kicked repeatedly in the crotch and not retaliating in any meaningful way.
on the other hand, i do think that bush eventually got some momentem back. i think the repeated accusations of waffling came across as more repetetive than driving the point, but still should make an impact. and kerry's constant "quagmire, quagmire, quagmire, doom doom doom" dosen't play well. you can't be president if you think our country sucks. sorry. one of the most memorable lines on him from this will be "question: do you think the war in iraq was a mistake? answer: yes. question: so, recalling your (in)famous line from vietnam, 'how do you ask someone to be the last man to die for a mistake', do you feel that american soldiers right now are dying for a mistake? answer: no."
final analysis: among the politically informed, i think it's pretty much a wash. kerry may have strengthened his base a bit, but certainly didnt' pull in any bush votes. among swing voters...i honestly think this will win him a few points. how many? i can't say, i'm not a swing voter, but i don't think it will be a signifigant amount.
also, i think, in retrospect, i may be being a bit harsh on bush. i know what i want him to say, what i think he should say, since i'm such a partisan hack, and he's not saying it. that definatly soured my opinion a bit (hence the yelling at the radio thing).
all said, i think this one is good for kerry, but there's still two debates left, and he has a large deficit to catch up on.
for some excellent live blogging from someone that thinks more positively of bush's performance than i, check out the llamabutchers. the spoons
also seemed to think bush came out on top, although not by a whole lot. and i wish i had finished this earlier (and had more behind it) so i could send him a link, allah
has an excellent post-debate roundup.