Friday, October 08, 2004

Post-Debate spin

Boy, that was fun. I watched the debate at my parents house with the former chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court and others.

Our impression: there were times Kerry could have hit it out of the park, but decided not to (the Environment question and the Mistakes Question). There were times Bush really messed up, like his pronunciation of facile and calling Kerry Kennedy when talking about the National Journal. On the whole, Bush was even more agressive than last time, standing up during Kerry's points.

Kerry was very solid and as good as last time mostly in terms of clarity and brefity. Since Bush was slightly better than last time (since they didn't talk about Iraq the whole time, where he gets the most defensive) many said the debate was a tie.

ABCNews' snap poll had a narrow Kerry win 44-41 with the rest saying a tie. I haven't seen other polls. I think a narrow Kerry win was about as much as you could hope for in this scenerio. Bush was bound to be better this time, more prepared, less facially ticky (although I caught every smirks), etc.

In fact, Bush had set this all up by being agressive but terrible last time and in a sense, finding a new way to lower the bar for himself. The media of course, ate it up, especially Hardball with its Hannity and Combes style panel (one wussy "liberal" versus 5 conservatives).

On PBS they pointed out why men like him: he is like the man that took the wrong turn when driving some where, and won't admit he's lost or ask for directions. And that's what Iraq, along with his domestic policy is, a wrong turn. A Bush refuses to admit he turned away from Afghanistan, that Iraq was done properly etc. This is also why Women like Kerry: he will ask for directions and he will turn around.

But back to Kerry's missed opportunities. The environmental one is obvious and I don't need to dwell on it. The mistakes one was more crucial because it was the last question. If Kerry had gone up and said the following he would have "won" the debate:

"The President can't think of 3 things he did wrong? I can think of hundreds of things, but the three biggest ones are: 1. Iraq, which I have explained why already 2. 4 years ago in this hall, he pledged to change the tone in Washington. I've been a sentor for 20 years, and I have never seen the tone as bad as it is today. and finally 3. the president's biggest mistake of the last four years is that he can't admit mistakes. He can't see them, can't do anything about them. But I will. I have a plan to fix the mess in Iraq, get our economy on the right track, and bring our country together. He asks you to give him your vote for 4 more years. Who wants to repeat the last 4 years of mistakes and distasters? I know the millions of you without a job don't, or the millions of you without health insurance, or the thousands of soldier stuck in a disasterous war. With your help ladies and gentlemen, I can help get America back to being safer at home and respected abroad."

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