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1.10.04

Round 1 - Kerry

"The only consistent thing about my opponent's position is that he's been inconsistent. He changes positions. And you cannot change positions in this war on terror if you expect to win."

Ahhh...Bush's sole desperate comment. No matter the question, this was what he tried to revert back to. Unfortunately (for him), Kerry FINALLY responded to the flip flopping charge (one that is actually unfair, if you *actually* look at his positions instead of listening to the political spin) "It's one thing to be certain, but you can be certain and be wrong." That was a great line, and it emphasizes the problem with Bush. He would rather stay on his initial path - since proven to be wrong - than go back on something he said or did. Kerry is right: June, July, August, and now September - each month the number of injuries and casualties in Iraq has INCREASED. Maybe it's time for Bush and co. to admit that what he is doing ISN'T working. Why THIS defeat for Bush was so compelling: because the area where Bush is seen as "strongest" is homeland security and terrorism. (He is going to struggle to say that the economy is good in a debate.) So Bush just took his STONGEST position and completely turned into a pissy, ill-prepared deer in headlights. Sweet.

Oh, wait, that's not completely fair to Bush. He has a second coment. He also kept going back to the "wrong war, wrong time" comment. Unfortunately, the majority of the country ALSO feels that the war was a mistake. I don't think that is going to score any points George.

Bush appeared to constantly lose his train of thought, he fumbled and bumbled and stumbled over words (though DID manage to pronounce "nuclear"). The few times that ABC's camera went to Bush while Kerry was talking he looked extremely angry, filled with dramatic eye rolling (does anyone else remember Gore's mistake of sighing and rolling his eyes? Bad call George). Bush couldn't answer the questions posed to him (and come on, were any of those questions a big shock? I could have written them and had 95% of the same stuff.) Bush's most effective line was "pre-September 10th mentality" but (1) he didn't explain or follow-up on that; and (2) actually, wouldn't it be pre-September 11th mentality?

Bush was repetitive with "mixed messages" and "changed his position" charges - absolutely nothing new. He had no answers for the questions, you often got the sense that he wasn't even answering them, he had no explanation to resolve the problems posed, and most importantly, he came across as completely impersonable.

Kerry - after a first question/answer that made me a bit worried - was focused, on point, answered the questions, outlined his position, and allowed the national audenice to get a sense at to his positions and how he differs from Bush, something that has been sorely lacking for his campaign. He attacked Bush on Iraq, answered the "flip flop" charge, and with his, "It's one thing to be certain, but you can be certain and be wrong" comment, turned Bush's "conviction" into stubbornism.

Bush desperately needs Kerry to be seen as indecisive - it's all that he has to go with. Because the recent Bush support isn't because people suddenly approve of Bush as president. But rather, his negative campaigning against Kerry as indecisive has been effective. But if Kerry can counter - or refute - that charge, then Bush is in trouble. And in a state like Ohio, which is still very much open for grabs - the commercials were effective before debates started b/c it was all there was. But

Immediately after the debate, a Cleveland Ohio poll had advantage to Kerry at 59% (and with Nader off the ballot in Ohio, the Republicans have some concern), the MSNBC poll had Kerry at 74%, the ABC poll had Kerry at 45% (with Bush at 36%), The CBS poll had Kerry at 44% (and Bush at 26%) and the CNN poll initially had Kerry at 79%. (It later moved to Kerry 53%, Bush 37%.)

I guess that Bush's hometown newpaper realized what people are realizing after the debate - Bush doesn't have a single answer to the questions or problems.

4 Comments:

  • At 8:20 AM, Blogger p.p. said…

    It feels good today to be a Kerry supporter.

     
  • At 9:59 AM, Blogger Jason said…

    My favorite thing that Kerry said was "there was a right way to disarm [Saddam Hussein] and a wrong way. And the president chose the wrong way."

    I also loved when Kerry said "we can remember when President Kennedy in the Cuban missile crisis sent his secretary of state to Paris to meet with DeGaulle. And in the middle of the discussion, to tell them about the missiles in Cuba, he said, 'Here, let me show you the photos.' And DeGaulle waved them off and said, 'No, no, no, no. The word of the president of the United States is good enough for me.'

    How many leaders in the world today would respond to us, as a result of what we've done, in that way?"

     
  • At 1:42 PM, Blogger Matthew said…

    I echo Peter's comment.

    The last few weeks I've kept the Kerry/Edwards sign in the yard simply because they're both the Un-Bush/Cheney.

    But after last night, I'm actually quite impressed with John Kerry. I'd heard the rumors that he was a master debater, and I guess the rumors were right. He never lost his cool once.

    Unlike our president...

     
  • At 11:05 PM, Blogger melyssa said…

    i was violenty ill the night of the debate and didn't see it. however a classmate said these words to me today when summarizing her opinion of the debate (and steph i know you would have just cringed if you heard her say this)

    "kerry is such an idiot! i don't see how anyone can vote for him after hearing the mess that came out of his mouth that night!"

    what can i say? she's young, impressionable and her parents are rich republicans. i just smile and nod. she'll learn. i hope!

     

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