Thursday, October 14, 2004

Debate 2004.3 I saw this as a clear Bush win. Who was it on Kerry's team who pushed for more debates than one? -- this person should be looking for a job. Dubya clearly got better with each debate, while Kerry slowly unwinds (or maybe becomes extremely tiring, I can't be sure). (transcript) Some notes:
  • Bob Schieffer comes in a close second to Jim Lehrer as the worst debate anchor.
  • I thought the Pres handled the flu vaccine question well -- I think he should've made a more obvious link to the problems with importation of pharmaceuticals regarding one of Kerry's contentions, but not a big deal. Kerry, however, failed to answer the question; but it did lead to the best line of the night...
  • ...which was " a plan is not a litany of complaints, and a plan is not to lay out programs that you can't pay for."
  • On the other hand, Bush ducked the jobs question and turned it into an education standards question.
  • Which lead Kerry to one of his many errors, claiming Pell grants were cut. As even the pro-Kerry AP noted, Kerry "later altered the accusation when the president pointed out accurately that about 1 million more students are getting the aid than when he took office. Kerry then said Bush has not raised the maximum Pell grant as much as promised."
  • On the nature v. nurture v. "choice" issue of homosexuality, Bush acknowledged he didn't know, whereas Kerry came down firmly on the "nature" side -- it's the way "God had made them." More on this later, I'm sure.
  • But first, what's with the repeated emphasis on Cheney's gay daughter -- is this something their polling tells them will keep people from voting for Bush? And the way Kerry paused and uttered "lesbian" -- I thought that was pretty contemptuous (and weird -- I don't doubt that he's the more gay-friendly candidate)
  • This was an important statement from the President: "I do know that we have a choice to make in America and that is to treat people with tolerance and respect and dignity. It's important that we do that."
  • Kerry once again equates abortion with a sacrament -- that's a longer subject.
  • Kerry correctly pointed out that Bush did not answer the question as to whether he would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned; Kerry is firmly behind it and will only appoint judges who agree with it. This, however, led to something akin to Kerry's "global test" revelation in the first debate, which is the claim that...
  • Full quote: "I'm not going to appoint a judge to the Court who's going to undo a constitutional right, whether it's the First Amendment, or the Fifth Amendment, or some other right that's given under our courts today — under the Constitution. And I believe that the right of choice is a constitutional right."
  • The above is a true revelation and is worthy of much more ink (or pixels)
  • Kerry got off the third best line of the debate: "You don't measure it by a percentage increase. Mr. President, you measure it by whether you're getting the job done." This probably would be the second best line, if he had defined "it." (But little words like "it" and "is" are problems for Democratic lawyers).
  • So the second best line goes to Bush: "The best way to take the pressure off our troops is to succeed in Iraq."
  • Speaking of best lines, if you could distill this, it would be in the running: "In 1990, there was a vast coalition put together to run Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. The international community, the international world said this is the right thing to do, but when it came time to authorize the use of force on the Senate floor, my opponent voted against the use of force. Apparently you can't pass any test under his vision of the world."
  • When Kerry said: "I served on the Small Business Committee for a long time..." I couldn't help but think "Yeah, but did you attend any meetings? Did you actually do anything?" I bet many others, not all Bush partisans, had that reaction.
  • Nevertheless, I think Bush missed a big opportunity by failing to note the disparity of education between poor urban minority children and other non-minority children and that Kerry and his Klan stand in the way of vouchers and related assistance for minority children.
  • I loved Bush's answer to the "strong women" question. Heck, I even like Kerry's answer -- it was the first time I actually saw any humanity in the guy with respect to his opening notes about having " married up." Nevertheless, when he got to the warning his mother gave him from her hospital bed, I had to wonder if he should be admitting on national television that his mother was warning him that he needed to have integrity.

In any event, it was the last debate for us this election year, and the last debate for Dubya forever.

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