I think the reason Kerry is being praised so much after this debate is because of how Gore did against Bush in 2000, anything is am improvement after that guy. I think it shows a lot in how the 2 reacted to each other's statements and how they attacked each other. Bush kept bringing up flip-flop the whole time giving Kerry a perfect opportunity and plenty of time to come up with a response. While Kerry waited til the last question to bring up the "mission accomplished" statement.
Bush looked really out of it the whole night and I think that bodes real trouble for him since the whole war and millitary topic should be his strong suit. When they get to health care reform and the other stuff in the next two debates I think Kerry will take him to task much worse than he did tonight. Although I am kind of anxious to see what Kerry has to say on this whole stem cell research deal.
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I actually thought Bush came out ahead. He was his usual self _ he stumbled on his words a little and was very plain-spoken _ but to me, he came off as more legit than Kerry. Kerry seemed to have an attitude of "Look at how smart I am. That's why you should vote for me."
Four things Kerry did wrong:
1. He failed miserably in his attempts at humor. He should not try to go for the funny, because it's just not him.
2. Like I said, he seemed to be arrogant and unwilling to adjust on the fly. Bush seemed much more willing to ad-lib.
3. Hey, did you know that John Kerry was in Vietnam? I'm glad he told me so three or four times. It seemed like he was trying to find places where he could brag about his service.
4. He gave a little "thank you" speech at the beginning that came off as very contrived and condescending. I almost got a vibe from him that he was thinking "I'm thanking you, but you should be thanking me for gracing you with my presence."
Both looked terrible. Kerry seemed completely unprepared in some of his statements, allowing Bush to note his factual errors while he came off as having no real set plans at all after he was elected. Only vague promises of a four year disarmorment plan, more government spending and maybe...if everything goes perfectly...getting the troops out of Iraq in six months. He's just riding the "Hey, I'm Not George Bush, So I MUST Be Better, Right?" train the whole way, and it's not doing anything for me anymore. I don't like Bush by any means, but at least he has, you know, positions. That he's actually made known. This isn't a secret football play you've gotta keep hidden until you can unleash it on your opponent. You're running out of time, show us what you've got.
Bush didn't look any better. He stumbled and mumbled through his entire arguement, and basically looked like he'd just showed up with no notes or anything. He made a handful of good points that got lost in the constant muddling he did to himself. I think he had a chance to look a whole lot stronger, and he just blew it.
I suppose I'll have to wait to hear what they have to say on issues I actually CARE about (economy, social security, health care, etc.). I guess if you REALLY wanted to call "winner" in this one, I'd say Kerry looked like less of a loser. But that's not saying much, in fact it's awful.
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I'm amazed that Bush was able to ramble and get lost in his comments so much. I wonder how much of Bush's allotted time was occupied by pauses and silence. I'm also amazed at the number of times Kerry left an opening that he failed to exploit. He seemed to be on the defensive most of the night. With those facial expressions, he seemed to be going for a "There you go again" vibe, but he just came off curmudgeonly. With the disdain with which he spoke regarding some of Kerry's comments, you get the feeling he just doesn't understand how someone can change their mind on an issue or how someone can criticize his policies/actions.
As for Kerry, he did a decent job appearing eloquent and presidential, but that wasn't hard against Bush. (Didn't he answer a question where he said he would speak clearly twice, while stammering through it?) I want to say that I liked how Kerry was able to work his various campaign themes into his answers (he even had Bush repeating one in his criticisms), but as much as that served to unite his theme, it also served as a reminder that he hasn't had a clear message. It felt a bit like a 1999 Rock promo, where he would just come out and run through his catch phrases. I'm also amazed at how many domestic issues Kerry was able to slip in. The use of "outsourcing" to describe the conflict in Afghanistan was interesting.
I'm not a Bush fan, so call it bias but I don't see how anyone could say that Bush honestly won the debate tonight. It wasn't even close. Crimedog made some points about Kerry's mistakes but those were all a matter of personal taste, whereas even a staunch Bush supporter has to admit frequent lengthy pauses and repetitiveness are not a strong indicator of confidence in a debate. The only glaring mistakes Kerry seemed to make were his facts which Bush immediately corrected, but I've seen that in every political debate.
I was actually pretty entertained, and I'm not too up on American politics to be honest.
What it needed was Dalton and Ernie constantly butchering the phrase "the straight goods". A toonie to the person who gets that reference.
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IMO Kerry smoked Bush tonight. Kerry was prepared and articulate and Bush had no real answer other than keep repeating "mixed messages." He tried to attack Kerry with the 87 billion quote and Kerry politely unloaded that weapon for Bush and then Bush had nothing else.
Bush supporters are going to insist there man looked bettwe, just like we Kerry supporters will say we won. But honestly can anyone say that Bush WON any voters over tonight? He didnt lose ground but He definitley didnt gain any. I think Kerry won over some fence-sitters and gained some ground on Bush in Bush's strongest area.
"I could be wrong, but I doubt it"---Charles Barkley
Always beware of the right-after-debate analysis. Bush lost to Ann Richards and even Al Gore by that rationale. Wait a bit.
I thought the more the debate focused on little differences in approached between the candidates (the whole argument over bi-lateral vs. multi-lateral talks with North Korea, for instance), the more it favored Kerry. The more Bush said "my opponent and I agree on, xxx, where we're different is yyy" the more it favored Kerry. Anything that gives the impression "Of course we agree on the big stuff, it's just the tactics and approaches and little stuff like that we disagree on," is good for Kerry. The Bush campaign heavily relies on the idea that Kerry can't quite be trusted to be tough enough on terrorism. Anything that reinforced that impression is good for Bush. When Bush kept on message with his usual soundbytes to try and reinforce this idea, it favored him. What I don't really know is which of these the debate was mostly focused on. Both scenarios came up, but I don't know which impression undecides got out of the debate.
As far as style goes, Kerry was going for a "somber, presidential" kind of wibe, but ruined it every time he smiled. He completely looks like a cartoon character when he smiles with those huge, gleaming choppers of his. Kerry comes off as more of a typical "politician," and Bush has a pretty solid history of winning debates while ewveryone thinks he's lost them because he comes off as more of a regular guy. He's got to be careful though, that "regular guy" doesn't slip into "dumb guy" which he came pretty damn close to tonight.
Man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe. - Euripides
Well, FWIW, my girlfriend, who has never voted, and has never even paid attention (I had to tell her today that she had to register before Wednesday in order to vote) to anything political. She feels Bush seemed like the better guy. I asked why, and she said basically, "he didnt seem like he was trying to convince everybody, he just said whatever he thought the facts were".
I am a Bush supporter, but, for the most part, Kerry impressed me. He TRIED (key word) to distance himself from his flip flopping and didnt seem Clintonesque while doing it. He seemed more normal to me that any speech I had ever seen from him before. But, he still didnt say ANYTHING that would convince me he is better for the job.
He seems very intent on holding "SUMMITS!" but, doesnt say what his goals with them would be, other than making friends. Seems to me he just wants to say he met a lot of Presidents and Prime Ministers.
Bush spoke like he usually does, and that isnt suprising to me. He did correct some things Kerry accused him of. I liked the "he says help is on the way, but voted against the 97 Billion" sent a CLEAR message to anybody who supports the troops and supports thier efforts.
I think as far as who "won" both made good presentations of thier arguments, and Kerry came off better than I had thought he would, so I would give the edge to Kerry.
Its just too bad debates have been meaningless since Kennedy (who Kerry made a nice job of mentioning about 29 times) vs Nixon.
Bush had the advantage going in. He's the President. The world has had 4 years to get to know him and how he works. We've had a few months to get to know John Kerry. And as far as Democratic candidates go, I still think Howard Dean had the best chance. Dean has a dynamite personality. John Kerry barely has a personality. So now, the Kerry Campaign is kicking things into overdrive by showing you President Kerry to convince you he's better than President Bush. The difference? We all know President Bush. We knew him before he became President. As for Kerry? Who knows?
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TO be fair though, those of us on this side of the border have known John Kerry pretty well for at least TEN years of the 19 he's been a Senator. Its not like he's a Bill Clinton who came out of nowhere.
I wouldn't say that either side won, but John Kerry did more for himself than George Bush. The debates put Kerry back on the map and re-energized the core base while also informing the uninformed and lazy of who he is. It's a good start and gives him something to build on in round two. Bush really looked like he didn't want to be there. He looked annoyed a lot of the time and the long pauses with the blank stare really bother me. He did match up leaders names with the correct countries.
I really like Kerry's line when comparing the invasion of Iraq to Roosevelt attacking Mexico after Pearl Harbor. I know the idea has been tossed around some prior to him using it, but it makes for a good line especially for those who aren't happy with where the war is going.
Were there knockouts? No, I'm not even sure if there was a winner, but John Kerry did more for himself than George Bush in this round. They both avoided the major gaffe, but also missed the big knockout punch. Round two should be interesting next week.
As a student of politics, I watch debates looking for a lot of the technical points and how the message plays less than the fact that I have a horse in the race. Neither candidate came with their A game last night.
But that being said, Bush wiped the floor with him. Kerry look like he realized halfway through the debate that he was going to lose the election. I think it was during the North Korea section that he look deflated after Bush made his point. I do not think this made it to wide TV though, because I was watching C-SPAN which ran the entire debate in split screen(which was awesome).
BUSH Positives - Really stayed on message: Kerry's flip-flopping, the war, etc.. - Came across as a decisive leader. - The personal story about the woman who lost her husband, and his chat with them. It was a very touching and moving part when actually it was rather unexepcted. It's a personal touch that nobody would believe coming from Kerry. - Looked at the camera as if he were actually talking to the American people.
Negatives - At times it seemed like you just had to wait for an eternity for Bush to get an answer out. It was very uncomfortable. - He did stumble at some pretty uncomfortable times.
KERRY Positives - He did have a forcefulness to his remarks.
Negatives - He looked like a whiny bitch for most of the debate - He laughed at very uncomfortable times - He started bitching about a rules violation at somepoint which was absolutely absurd. - Bush ran him into knots about Iraq. He tried on more than one occasion to indicate his decisiveness and steadfastness on his decision in Iraq. Bush mentioned his flip-flops, and Kerry immediately contradicted himself. It was almost absurd how many times Kerry contradicted his position during the debate not to say of all of the other times he has contradicted himself. - The North Korea thing was pathetic compared to his message. If Kerry really wants to be a multilateral leader, why have bilateral talks with the PDRK, especially after they broke the last bilateral agreement. - The Plan: Kerry dusted off Nixon's secret plan for Vietnam, whited that out and wrote Iraq over it with a Sharpie and talked about it without even beginning to talk about what it was or what it would do. Then, he criticized Bush for not delving into specifics about his Iraq plan.
Basically, Bush beat the shit out of him last night. But let's face it, does it matter? The media(shockingly!) said that Kerry won the debate. The same media that said Gore won the debate where he sighed. Of course, the voters thought Bush won all three debates with Gore. We'll see what the real polling says on Monday. The overnights are worthless because of their high margins of error.
What's really funny though was CBS's focus group polling with undecideds. They had a poll that said Kerry won the debate "decisively" 51-38 with a seven point margin of error. So Bush could've just as easily according to the date 45-44, but who cares we're CBS!
I respect your analysis Grimis and next time, I'll watch on CSPAN as the total debate split-screen sounds awesome. I don't know that I agre that Bush wiped the floor with Kerry-Bushseemed defensive all night without Kerry seeming too offensively minded (or vicious, if you will). I know you tend to look at political happennings with a more srutinizing eye, so I wonder what some less-politically-tuned folk thought?
That being said, I was amazed at how pouty and dumbfounded Bush seemed at times. He was clearly irriated at some of Kerry's comments and stumbled so much that at times, he did *appear* unprepared. Kerry, I thought did a solid job of "looking and sounding" presidential.
MoeGates has good points--everytime either mentioned that they agreed, it seemed to favor Kerry. Bush sounded a tad bit desperate and repetitive in trying to hammer home Kerry's indecisivness--to me, it came off as, "I can't think of anything to else to add or say or I can't think of a clever way to say the same thing differently, so I'll just repeat myself." Both did the catchphrases to death, but what can you expect?
I also thought the "outsourcing" comments were interesting. The more Kerry can talk domestic issues, the better he looks (MHO, of course).
Originally posted by GrimisWhat's really funny though was CBS's focus group polling with undecideds. They had a poll that said Kerry won the debate "decisively" 51-38 with a seven point margin of error. So Bush could've just as easily according to the date 45-44, but who cares we're CBS!
I'm not an expert on polls but wouldn't they be using the middle part of their data, ie the poll is somewhere from 58-31 to Kerry to 45-44 to Bush, so it's not just as easy that Bush won according to their data, in fact it's highly unlikely.
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Kerry EASILY won last night, but as someone said earlier that's based on initial appearance. Kerry threw out a few things that can bite him in a decent Republican attack ad (the subways shut down? wtf?)
Still want to see Obama/Keyes more than any other debate.
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We have to do this job. And to do the job, you can't cut the money for it. The president actually cut the money for it. You have to put the money into it and the funding and the leadership.
And part of that leadership is sending the right message to places like North Korea.
Right now the president is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to research bunker-busting nuclear weapons. The United States is pursuing a new set of nuclear weapons. It doesn't make sense.
You talk about mixed messages. We're telling other people, "You can't have nuclear weapons," but we're pursuing a new nuclear weapon that we might even contemplate using.
Not this president. I'm going to shut that program down, and we're going to make it clear to the world we're serious about containing nuclear proliferation.....
BUSH: Actually, we've increased funding for dealing with nuclear proliferation about 35 percent since I've been the president. ..... We busted the A.Q. Khan network. This was a proliferator out of Pakistan that was selling secrets to places like North Korea and Libya. We convinced Libya to disarm. ..... I'll tell you another way to help protect America in the long run is to continue with missile defenses. ....
My opponent opposed the missile defenses.
Now, is it ok for me yell THEATRE! in a crowded fire?
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