Thursday, September 30, 2004

I'm thinking about it 

I thought the debate was the best in years, if not the best in memory. Both candidates did well, and reinforced their best tendencies. Kerry pounded hard at the competence question, focusing particularly on the weakening of our alliances as the consequences of the war and its run-up. Bush was convincing in his argument that resolution is in and of itself essential to winning a war such as this. If I were in a snarky mood, I might say that Bush advocates resolution, and Kerry advocates resolutions. But no matter. Kerry's strength is his weakness, depending on what you think of retrospective argument. He points to the problems in Iraq and the failure to catch Bin Laden, and thinks he can identify bad decisions that Bush made that put us in that position. Perhaps, but by arguing from retrospect Kerry requires you to believe that decisions that he would make without the benefit of hindsight would be in some fashion superior, and I just do not see how he has made that case.


By Blogger Patton, at Fri Oct 01, 12:46:00 AM:

Good summary - indeed, the best debate I can recall. Without regard for the win/lose/draw drama, it was a good use of most of the 90 minutes it took.

Oh, and it was at best a draw, which is just fine. Bush on substance and sincerity, Kerry on style, by perhaps a bit more. That makes at least the next one a must-watch.

Funny thing, though - you can teach style, but as my Dad always says: "Sincerity is the most important thing. Once you learn to fake that, you're golden". Bush appeared, as usual, to mean what he was saying.  

By Blogger c, at Fri Oct 01, 09:41:00 AM:

I was astonished by how similar last night's debate was to the 2000 debates. Kerry/Gore, so polished and forceful. Bush, so fumbling but sincere.

What is the obvious implication?  

By Blogger Charlottesvillain, at Fri Oct 01, 09:52:00 AM:

It was a refreshing surprise in some ways. I thought both candidates did a pretty good job in the rebuttals. Of course it's hard not to cringe when Bush talks. What was he saying about "continuing to love" some war widow? That was weird. Also, the way the lights shined on him he took on an eerie resemblance to Alfred E. Newman, which was very disconcerting.

But Bush did not blow himself up, and was able to articulate his views, once again. (I couldn't see if Cheney and Rumsfeld were pulling any strings).

Kerry was quite good too, although remarks like "global standard" for going to war, his reverance for the discredited UN, and his romantic reminiscences of Charles DeGaulle only reinforce the impression that to him the most important US interest is being liked by the French.

There are clear differences between the candidates. Now lets vote.  

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John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is the junior United States Senator from Massachusetts, in his fourth term of office. As the Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, he was defeated in the 2004 presidential election by the Republican incumbent President George W. Bush. sportsbook, Senator Kerry is currently the Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He is a Vietnam Veteran, and was a spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War when he returned home from service. Before entering Senate, he served as a District Attorney and Lt. Governor of Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis, also a future Democratic Presidential nominee. http://www.enterbet.com  

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