There is no question that Bush won this one. He was clear lucid, clearly thinking aloud, rather than repeating old lines, which is what Kerry did. Kerry was too forward, a bit too in-your-face mode, lecturing, if not hectoring Bush. It wasnt to Kerrys advantage. The format was perfect for Bush. I am also pleased that Bush called him a Liberal, rather than simply a fli-flopper. I loved his clarity regarding abortion and the (complex) stem cell issue. Kerry, on the other hand, twisted and turned. Advantage Bush, and it should be reflected in the polls next week.
I think Bush won with his blue tie... I just wonder if he had advisors in the crowd ready to give him some signal that the Drudge Report story about ABC News bias is true or not. I hope the MSM is forced to report on that. Go bloggers. He should have hit Carey er Kerry when the 93 WTC attack was mentioned. He should have pointed out that Kerry failed to show for his Senate intelligence Comittee meetings. I guess Bushs statements that Kerry voted for slashing the intelligence budget will suffice for likely voters. Geez now Im going to have to find federal child care funding to go to Elyria tomorrow in order to boo Kerry.
I found it motivating that the Bush I know actually showed up for this debate. He was interesting, and even appeared angry at times. Given Kerry’s statements, he should have been. Rolling over Gibson to make a point was very good.
Kerry offered nothing but the same talking points he uttered in the first debate, almost verbatim. This is not a thinking man, this is a reciting man. Bush was thoughtful, insightful and at times he erred, but he was human. Kerry, actor that he is, simply stuck to the script, the same script from last week it seems. I have no idea what some of his answers actually meant, and neither did the audience. Note to Kerry: You cannot be pro-choice and Catholic.
Classic Bush lines: 1) “I’m trying to decipher that” – in reference to one of Kerry’s answers. 2) “I own a lumber company?.. Any one need some wood?”
Also, nice mention of area businessman Grant Milliron from Bush.
I will award a TKO to Bush, lots of good body blows, and a few jabs, both remain standing at the end of the bout, Bush wins on points.
Yes, Bush was at his best tonight. His answer on the draft was important and utterly unambiguous. "There will not be a draft as long as I am President." That sort of puerile-seeming subject is really important out where those who only half-watch are living, which is why there has been a concerted Democrat effort to circulate the rumor for several months. His answer on abortion was similarly direct. "I will authorize no federal funding for abortion," coming immediately after Kerrys circumlocutions was particularly effective. The loaded final question from Gibson ("What are your three greatest mistakes?") will tend to reinforce the growing perception of liberal media bias, but let us not overlook Bushs very adroit response, either. Do you suppose he was expecting the question? He was much better prepared tonight, managed his facial expressions just fine, and I thought exuded confidence.
It was a must-win situation for the president, and he pulled it off while making it look easy. Excellent response on abortion, while Kerry pulled a Cuomo on the subject. Worse he couldn’t even mention the word "abortion" by the end of his response.
Must say, this was the first time listening to Kerry made me feel not only disgusted about the man but nervous about the prospects for America’s security if he were to become president. He really takes his multilateralism too seriously, and Bush is right to label it "naive and dangerous" to view the world this way.
Speaking of labels, Bush was right to label Kerry a liberal, which Kerry tried to play it off by mumbling something about labels not meaning anything. Yet another example of the difference between the two candidates: one believes that words matter, that meaning is signified by what we call things; the other believes that consistency, whether in speech or one’s own convictions, is the hobgoblin of little minds. Give me the Bard from Texas any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
It was my sense in listening to the debate on the radio (I was driving to Cleveland at the time) that Bush was doing well. I could almost see the fire in his eyes, and he was certainly the only one making the audience laugh (in a good way). Im glad to hear that folks who actually watched it agree; we all know how radio listeners and television viewers can differ in their perceptions of the same debate.
When are the Kerrys going to be pounded by the MSM on release of their tax returns?
The only way Kerry could have known Bush owned a timber company investment was for his minions to have combed the Bush tax returns, line by line.
Again, MSM doesnt mind one of the debaters taking unfair advantage, as long as its their guy. .
Another point on Kerry, this goes to the core (soul?) of the man: The condescending and presumptuous statement that the only three people in the room who would not get a tax cut were Bush, Gibson, and himself. To make that assumption regarding the entire audience bespeaks a mind mired in arrogance and snobbery. It was very nice of the Senator to come to St. Louis and spend time with the poor people. Also, did anyone else notice Kerry’s reticence to shake hands after the debate, while Bush practically threw himself into the audience? Telling.
I have a theory.
Karl Rove and George Bush knew the MSMs "Comeback Kerry" stories were written long before the first debate. Their own polls told them Zogby, AP, Ipso and the other alphabet pollsters had gone deep in the bag for Kerry in September, inflating Bushs numbers and setting up the "comeback".
My theory - they took the expectations game and turned it on its head. They designed a strategy for ALL the debates, not just each debate. My scenerio - Bush deliberately underperforms expectations in the first debate, confirming the agitprop thats already written and the MSM is gleeful; but he eliminates any expectations for the second debate - he cant go anywhere but up. For the second debate, where else can the polls go unless he shows up drunk and babbling? Even a slightly credible performance means the artificial inflation in the polls gets washed out - it cant be fudged any more without everyone noticing. Bush has a guaranteed COMEBACK! The perceived momentum shifts, the story has to become, "How does Kerry catch up?", or the MSM loses even more credibility. Kerry comes into the third debate angry and desperate to score - easy meat.
Bush and Rove turn a guaranteed lose/lose in the first debate into a guaranteed win/win in the second, and give the President the edge going into the third.
What do you think? Am I a genius...or an idiot?
Theres a thin line between idiocy and genius, similar to the line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like a fool.
This idea might give Rove a little too much credit, but then again, a three debate strategy is not a bad one, nor is it unreasonable.
Bush did better and Kerrys "I have a plan" is getting boring, as are his shameless self-contradictions on whether Saddam really was a danger.
Two thing Bush must do next time to actually win one:
1. Have a good answer on judicial activism. Its doubtful that Kerry will appoint pro-Dred Scott judges, although to be fair Bush did pick one of the very best examples of the evils of judicial activism. Bush should say something like this: I will not appoint judges who will make up a right to same-sex marriage not found anywhere in the Constitution. When Kerry
denies the danger, he should reply that the Mass. Court in GOODRIDGE used the LAWRENCE v. TEXAS precedent to come up with such a right. And he should demand the Kerry repudiate the activism of the Court of his own state and assure Americans he would act resolutely against a federal court that followed its example. Kerrys answer, presumably, will be waffling and uncomfortable, like his ridiculous and telling comments on abortion last night. Bush wins if the American people can feel the (real) danger of the same-sex marriage issue being decided for them by the courts.
2. Even though it will be a domestic debate, Bush has to find a reason to ask Kerry why he voted against the first Gulf War,which had lots of allies, the UN, etc. etc. behind it.
Since Jabez was kind enough not to call me an idiot, I will brashly climb even further out on my limb and predict you a prediction.
In the third debate Bush will talk Values and Kerry will talk Programs (Plans?). Kerry supporters will swoon and swear he won the debate - who doesnt want more programs? Everyone else will scratch their heads, wonder what Kerrys beliefs really are, and leave feeling like they know what Bush believes in.
Or you will all have forgotten about my stupid prediction by then and Ill get off scot free!
"David/Californias" theory has to be wrong. It is extremely foolish to deliberately lose a debate. If Rove, et al, dont understand this, Bush is in worse trouble than we know.
My theory is predicated on the first debate being a guaranteed loss for George Bush, no matter what he did. The fix was in; he couldnt win because the MSM was going to score it a loss no matter how he performed. I watched the debate and actually thought Bush had the edge on content, although he lost decisively on style. To hear the MSM, Kerry wiped the floor with him. Thats my point. Knowing he wouldnt be allowed to win, he set them up to guarantee his win in the second debate.
It is foolish to deliberately lose, but if youre going to no matter what, its smart to make the best of it.
Anyway, its just a theory. I dont insist on it.