allright, nevermind what other people thought, i'll get to them in a minute.
Both candidates have issues when it comes to public speechifying. The reason I called the first debate a Kerry win was because he seemed to get over his, whereas Bush was even worse than usual.
Tonight, Kerry was at his meandering, monotone, bloviating best. I tried very hard to pay attention to what he was saying, but often I couldn't even follow it. He'd start talking, and I'd spot a shiny object sitting on the floor, and all of a sudden he'd be done talking, and twenty minutes had gone by.
Bush also fell into many of his common errors. He was often paralyzed, confused, and doing all the stuff that we all love to make fun of him for.
On top of all this, I didn't feel that either one gave a particularly substantive arguement; however, I don't think that this was entirely their fault. The questions were phrased in such a way that a specific, mechanical point seemed over-done, and the viewer just got lost. Instead, a mushy feel-good answer was pretty consistently more apropriate, and that's what we got.
(Also on the moderator: I'm careful about calling lib-bias, And I thought the last few were pretty fair, but...Wow. I'm sure others will have alot more on this, but that guy couldn't have been much worse had he been on the Kerry payroll)
Finally, I do think that there were a few points where Bush shined. Kerry was pretty consistently boring, but when Bush talks about religion, education, borders, and of course defense, he's passionate. A few times tonight, he mixed that passion with some articulate sentances, and came out pretty good. Also, I think his closing statement was pretty strong, whereas Kerry's was just more of the same.
Final verdict: Bush didn't do great, but, on both style and substance, he did (by varying degrees) better than Kerry.
Not to put too fine a point on it: Bush sucks, Kerry sucks worse.
Which, oddly enough, is the same thing I'm going to be saying when I pull the lever this fall.
Okay, that's probably a bit harsher than I want to be, but it seems to get the point across.
Thanks, of course, to the llamas for the linkage. Head over and check out their roundup of blogger reactions