Thursday, September 30, 2004

Debating the debates

My assesment is pretty obvious: Kerry won. Hands down, he had the best "look" and the better grasp of foreign policy. Bush looked annoyed and flustered, and there was a brief appearance of "The Smirk." Sure there were things I wish Kerry had grabbed onto, but then I'm not champion debater and I wasn't up there. He did pretty damn good in a debate where one of the questions was whether he had any character flaws that would prevent him from being president. He managed to change the question around in his rebuttal to talk about Bush's flaws. And he used his time effectively, making the president use his time to answer questions over ground that had already been covered. Very good strategy. But as we've all known for a while, it is not the debate but the post-debate debate. The spin afterward would determine the real winner in Florida. The post debate coverage I've seen so far is very balanced actually. There are obviously some commentators who are just amazed that Bush said some things and that Kerry was able to answer in under two minutes. My favorite question from the night: Wolf Blitzer was asking about a statement Bush made about the Nuclear Godfather of Pakistan being brought to justice and Karen Hughes replied that his ability to trade on the black market had been diminished. Wolf pointed out that he had been pardoned by Musharraf and was in fact walking around a free man, and asked again is that being brought to justice. To which Karen looked at him angrily and said "He can no longer trade on the black market." The biggest piece of shit I saw tonight came from David Ensore "fact-checking" for CNN, he pointed out that Kerry had forgotten about Poland and his statement about "weapons of mass destruction are pouring over the border everyday and blowing people up" didn't make any sense to him. Kerry, obviously talking about terrorists since he followed up by saying we need to close the borders of Iraq, referred to the horrors of suicide bombers and the thousands of Iraqis who have lost their lives or have been wounded and Ensore didn't get it. He also seems to think that whether or not Kerry actually voted against or for the $87 billion supplemental funding is still up for debate. On my patent-pending sliding scale of assholiness, Ensore now rates about a 7. There is a lot more and I'm going to be on all night getting transcripts of the debate and the spin following it, so stay tuned.

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