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October 13, 2004

Debate Thread

Well, everyone on FoxNews seemed to think Bush won, and they've been very critical of Bush's past two performances.

Other takes...

Captain Ed:

Summary: Bush stomped Kerry, without a doubt. Not only did he project a more interested demeanor, but he also showed a more pleasant speaking style and a superior grasp of detail. He projected an optimism that completely escapes Kerry, especially tonight. Kerry was the one stumbling through answers this time, including inexplicably on the question about his experience with strong women. Kerry could not stay on topic, and like John Edwards, wound up simply regurgitating his stump speeches. Bush offered more thoughtful answers, more extemporaneous, and seemed much more genuine as a result.

This debate will wind up being recognized as a disaster for the Kerry campaign within the next 48 hours, and within 96 hours the polls will demonstrate it.

Digger's Realm doesn't offer an opinion on the whole debate, but he's annoyed by the elite media's (and both parties') refusal to even contemplate the immigration issue:

The sad thing is there was only one single question on immigration. The moderator prefaced the question by saying "I received the most email on this issue and next question", yet the candidates only spent maybe 4 minutes total on it.

Shameful!

Hugh Hewitt seemed overly impressed by Bush's performance in debate one, but he's a hell of a guy anyway, and he says Bush kicked ass:

Kerry on the defensive on many issues tthat matter to voters, and especially Catholic voters and voters with children. The worst fumble by Kerry: Not answering the cost question on health care

Talking heads beaking for Bush in a big way. Bill Kristol, always hard on Bush, acknowledges that Bush crushed Kerry on nearly every exchange. Moron K. outraged at "outing" of Cheney's daughter, which he calls a low, dirty trick.
[Ace here: I agree! It's loathesome. Does anyone doubt the MSM would call them on this if it were Republicans who kept outing a Democrat candidate's child as gay?]

Kerry finsihed the debate sequence as the candidate of global tests, truth tests, France, tax hikes, government health care....

Bush finished the debate ... promising to keep working hard for children and the armies of compassison, resolute in the war, thrilled by Afghanistan, optimistic about Iraq, and comfortable with every voter in his potential pool.

...

Sleep easy, America. W for four more years.

Hewitt has more, including a big chart grading each candidate on each question. Now that's diligence. (Hey, I was watching The Untouchables, which is frankly a better way to spend one's time.)

Instapundit has only a single word:

Heh.

No, really, he says he thinks Bush won "hands down."

Bill from INDC:

I know that this is a boring, repetitive assessment, but ... very close to an effective tie. But with the strength of his closing, Bush actually won. The momentum is to Bush.

Bill also has been posting other blog-reactions.

Michelle Malkin is steamed about the transparent, disgraceful "Your daughter is a dyke" bullshit, and annoyed at the immigration question. Or rather the answers.

Llama Butchers skips all this "what I thought" bullshit and gets right to the heart of the matter: where is the smart money headed? He says Tradesports has Bush up $4.00 and Kerry down $3.90, and he's got all sorts of graphs and whatsits to prove it.

PowerLineBlog, whoever they are, call it a split decision:

On the whole I thought that Kerry did somewhat better than Bush on the ordinary domestic issues. He was almost always on the attack and was better able to back up his arguments with (often misleading) data. On the other hand, Bush did better than Kerry on the "social" issues. As usual, Kerry seemed much less comfortable than Bush in this area, probably with good reason. Moreover, Bush had a significantly better closing statement. He was able to articulate something approaching a vision, while Kerry was on the defensive, trying to reassure voters that he would defend the country and not give foreign powers a veto over our use of force. This isn't a good place to be three weeks before the election. On balance, then, I think the debate was probably a draw on substance. If I had to pick a winner, in pure debate terms, it would be Kerry, since most of the debate was dedicated to discussing non-social issues.

If one analyzes the debate in the context of election politics, however, one could argue that Bush won. He probably came off as more human and likeable. He looked fresher than Kerry. And he certainly came across as more optimistic and visionary. Unless a majority of Americans are pessimistic this year, Bush may have won the debate that matters.

Qu'ran Project:

The President won and by a large margin. He looked calm, happy to be there and in control of his thoughts and emotions. While he made some solid attacks on Sen. Kerry (D-France), he always seemed positive and upbeat. Conversely, Sen. Kerry was whining about the attacks and repeating the same pre-debunked arguments from the last 3 debates. I just about fell out of my chair when he mentioned Tora Bora for the millionth time. ...

When the Gay Marriage issue came up, I was braced for a bloodletting but The President make a compelling case for his amendment. The case against activist judges is sound. I still oppose the amendment, but he made a really good argument. The best Sen. Kerry could do was to hit below the belt at Vice President Cheney's daughter. He may regret that remark in the days ahead.

Fuckin' a-- I love it when a meme begins to come together. Seems like everyone's pretty pissed off at this pussy-coward "Your daughter's a dyke" bullshit.

Fuck you, Kerry. You gonna tell me you never had a cock in that mishapen mouth of yours?

Protein Wisdom is, I think, overly cynical about John Kerry's ability to deliver on his various promises.

Travelling Shoes:

My first impressions are that this debate was a narrow win for Bush.

...

I did think, however, that Kerry scored points with his talk about jobs, and his attacks on the economy. However, I would also say that his non-stop attacking left him looking petulant and more than a little ridiculous. He was in danger of becoming a caricature of a candidate, always attacking but never offering a real alternative.

...

Happily, thanks to the last two debates and Kerry's recent interview in the New York Times, the Democrat in the household has become something of a security mom and has moved tentatively into the Bush column.

So, on those ground alone I can score this a Bush win.

PoliPundit:

However the President really did well tonight. He was focused, informative, and charming while driving home the point that his opponent is a Massachusetts liberal. His opponent, on whom the pressure was on to win the debate, was not as good as he was in the first debate or even the second debate.

Another PoliPundit contributor then offers an optimistic projection for the election.

Hat Tip to Foolsblog for the PoliPundit link.

Garfield Ridge:

The debates were a wash. This election is effectively tied. November 2nd is going to be decided by turnout.

I think that's wrong. The debates weren't a wash-- and that's why the polls are effectively tied. Bush had a 6-8 point lead before he decided to sleepwalk through the first debate.

Da Goddess weighs in:

Great debate! Bush was very effective, warm, and listened to Laura's advice. No slouching and no scowling. Kerry seemed off his game. THK is gonna take the strop to him tonight in the hotel suite. She was none too pleased with his comments about her.

...

Winner: Bush, hands down.

The idea of THK coming at me with a "strop" will give me nightmares for years to come, I'm certain.

Alarming News felt the whole thing was pretty tedious:

It was a deadly boring debate. I wrote in minute 9 that it was going to be hellish. There wasn't one 'zing' moment and there also wasn't anything new at all. I think it was a tie, with an edge to Bush for seeming more human than Kerry. This was a debate to get an impression for 'the person' and if you hate Bush then nothing was going to change that for you tonight. Similarly, if you think Kerry is a pompous ass, that impression was only solidified.

Having snapped off the debate within ten minutes to watch Elliot Ness throw Frank Nitti off a roof, I can't accuse her of not being sufficiently enthralled by the proceedings.

Ace of Spades really thought that Sean Connery deserved that Best Supporting Actor nod for The Untouchables:

MALONE: If Capone pulls a knife, you pull a gun. If he puts one of your boys in the hospital, you put one of his in the morgue. That's the Chicago way.

So, so true. I still cry when Malone dies.

Closing the Round-Up: I think we've covered the big points by now.


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posted by Ace at 09:07 PM

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