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September 30, 2004

It's hard work... but we're getting the job done...

I'm watching the debates. I'm kind of drunk-blogging like Stephen Green, but working with scotch instead of martinis. The wife is out absorbing some culture with her mother.

I'm biased, sure, but John Kerry is turning me off like no one before. Neither is doing all that great, constantly repeating (and repeating and repeating) the same points, but Kerry's raising the hair on the back of my neck. His points seem cheap and petty and I still don't understand what he'd do differently. He's saying over and over that Bush did it wrong and didn't get enough allies for the war on Iraq, but damned if I can figure out how he could have done it all better. Not that that matters anymore, what is he going to do now? Kerry hasn't said -- I guess that's his strategy for the debate.

Bush is looking a little too petulent during his idle moments and I think that's going to hurt him a bit.

Oooh, nice softball question for Bush, "Are there any character issues about John Kerry that suggest he will not be a good president?" You can guess the answer.

Kerry, jutting out his chin: "I have no intention of wilting and I've never wilted in my life!" I'm laughing so hard I'm tearing up.

Kerry's using lots of little factoids, but they just look petty. Bush is dealing with the real world; it's easy to pick out little errors and say these mistakes wouldn't happen with him -- but not believable.

Kerry wants bilateral talks with North Korea. What ever happened to involving America's allies?

Kerry's closing statement: "I have a plan!" But what? What it is? I still don't know.

Bush's closing statement: "We must be steadfast and resolute and strong."

It's over. Now CNN has unleased their spin analysers. My head is lolling on my neck after only two minutes of listening to them. What a bore. My opinion? Draw. No one managed to draw any blood. So Bush won. I'm going to bed.

UPDATE: Roger Simon also liveblogged the debate. He was somewhat repulsed by Kerry too. Damian Penny also covered it at gave the win to Kerry.

UPDATE II: Allah has the mother of all roundups on the debate.

UPDATE III: Make sure you check the comments for this post. Alexa, the Canadian New York City Republican, tears JFK II a new one. It's so good she posted it twice.

Posted by Bruce Gottfred at September 30, 2004 10:16 PM | TrackBack
Comments

I'm dismayed to see this morning that the Post -- the Post! -- is overall giving Kerry the win. Lord knows what the NY Times is making of it. It's easy to criticize and find mistakes, especially in something as uncontainable as the invasion of Iraq. Kerry seemed to by trying to have it both ways, appeasing the anti-war faction by saying Iraq was a mistake and then back-tracking and referring to his war record and telling the troops "help is on the way." His stance was inconsistent. Yes, Kerry was more controlled and he scored points, if scoring points is making jabs at your debating partner. But he continued to do what he has done all along, which is base his bid for the presidency on appealing to anti-Bush sentiment and -- cynically, I believe -- pushing all those half-right or outright wrong Michael Moore buttons. To me, it's at the expense not of Bush, but of a higher-minded level of discourse that would respect the strengths of the American electoral process, and Americans' dignity and intelligence, instead of exploiting it by appealing to -- and feeding -- people's basest emotions. Perhaps that's just politics. But I think that that was what Bush was referring to when he kept sputtering that you can't be the Commander-in-Chief and send troops the message that you don't believe in the war they're fighting. He's right. Kerry is like the know-it-all adolescent picking on the teacher. I don't think he demonstrated the warmth and heart that a true leader needs. Bush often looked like he wanted to leap across the podium and strangle Kerry. That made me chuckle. But to me, it showed not that he's not a good debater but that he's passionate about his policies and has little patience for people who are about tearing down and criticizing with half-baked "facts" or misguided opinions like the U.N. just needed more time to get Hussein out or that the president of Iraq is a puppet. Kerry's tone was not positive and visionary in a way that offered a viable alternative or that persuasively demonstrated that his assertions were correct. He larded his remarks with so many hot-button, half-baked references and assertions that Bush didn't know where to start, and his frustration with the unsubstantiated statements was palpable. Who can blame him?

Kerry's message went like this: weapons of mass destruction... U.N. ... Help Is On The Way... Halliburton... tax cuts... no plan for Iraq... I Know What It's Like to Be A Soldier... troops killed... only protected the oil... no homeland security... what about our airplanes... our alienated allies... I Will End the War in Six Months

Basically, it's excerpts from two scripts colliding: Fahrenheit 9/11 and First Blood. With a sprinkling of magic wishful thinking dust from Disney.

Hail the would-be president's role models: Michael Moore, Rambo and Tinkerbell. Of course he's not really any of these characters. He's a rich, career politician who's more interested in winning power than anything else so he can fulfill his lifelong JFK fantasy. You can't run on that.

Posted by: alexa at October 1, 2004 10:33 AM

I'm dismayed to see this morning that the Post -- the Post! -- is overall giving Kerry the win. Lord knows what the NY Times is making of it. It's easy to criticize and find mistakes, especially in something as uncontainable as the invasion of Iraq. Kerry seemed to by trying to have it both ways, appeasing the anti-war faction by saying Iraq was a mistake and then back-tracking and referring to his war record and telling the troops "help is on the way." His stance was inconsistent. Yes, Kerry was more controlled and he scored points, if scoring points is making jabs at your debating partner. But he continued to do what he has done all along, which is base his bid for the presidency on appealing to anti-Bush sentiment and -- cynically, I believe -- pushing all those half-right or outright wrong Michael Moore buttons. To me, it's at the expense not of Bush, but of a higher-minded level of discourse that would respect the strengths of the American electoral process, and Americans' dignity and intelligence, instead of exploiting it by appealing to -- and feeding -- people's basest emotions. Perhaps that's just politics. But I think that that was what Bush was referring to when he kept sputtering that you can't be the Commander-in-Chief and send troops the message that you don't believe in the war they're fighting. He's right. Kerry is like the know-it-all adolescent picking on the teacher. I don't think he demonstrated the warmth and heart that a true leader needs. Bush often looked like he wanted to leap across the podium and strangle Kerry. That made me chuckle. But to me, it showed not that he's not a good debater but that he's passionate about his policies and has little patience for people who are about tearing down and criticizing with half-baked "facts" or misguided opinions like the U.N. just needed more time to get Hussein out or that the president of Iraq is a puppet. Kerry's tone was not positive and visionary in a way that offered a viable alternative or that persuasively demonstrated that his assertions were correct. He larded his remarks with so many hot-button, half-baked references and assertions that Bush didn't know where to start, and his frustration with the unsubstantiated statements was palpable. Who can blame him?

Kerry's message went like this: weapons of mass destruction... U.N. ... Help Is On The Way... Halliburton... tax cuts... no plan for Iraq... I Know What It's Like to Be A Soldier... troops killed... only protected the oil... no homeland security... what about our airplanes... our alienated allies... I Will End the War in Six Months

Basically, it's excerpts from two scripts colliding: Fahrenheit 9/11 and First Blood. With a sprinkling of magic wishful thinking dust from Disney.

Hail the would-be president's role models: Michael Moore, Rambo and Tinkerbell. Of course he's not really any of these characters. He's a rich, career politician who's more interested in winning power than anything else so he can fulfill his lifelong JFK fantasy. You can't run on that.

Posted by: alexa at October 1, 2004 10:33 AM

I can tell you're holding back Alexa. Just let it out, you'll feel better...

Posted by: Bruce Gottfred at October 1, 2004 11:56 AM
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