October 09, 2004

More Debate Commentary

I have almost 4 hours before I have to be back at the Dome, so I'll offer some more thoughts on last night's debate.

First of all, like I said before, I think Bush won. He was animated, he was in control, and he actually said some of the things we've all been waiting months to hear him say. Also, Kerry looked a lot more withdrawn, and he was the one smirking and scowling this time. The botox must have worn off.

Kerry revealed a lot more about the way he looks at the world last night. The main thing I noticed is that he appealed to authority way too often. "Here's a Republican who agrees with me...I know Chris Reeve...These generals support me..." etc. This tells you a lot about how Kerry thinks: It's not as important to be right as it is to be popular.

You could tell that he was using that approach. Instead of explaining why his policies would be the right thing to do, he kept rattling off names of people who agree with him. Well, you know what? NOBODY CARES! I don't want to hear about who supports you; I want to hear why you think you would be a better president. Principle is more important than popularity, as Bush explained. Once again, Kerry has proven that he relies on the opinions of others rather than his own convictions.

Also, as I'm sure you know by now, Kerry had a "plan" for every issue, but he never explained those plans. I even went to his website and looked at the so-called plan for the War on Terror. It's the same thing: Lots of ideas, but no explanation of how he's going to pull it off. He wants to get more allies on our side, end our dependence on foreign oil, strengthen our military, and use all the force we have at our disposal. But he NEVER EXPLAINS WHAT HE'S GOING TO DO. That's not a plan; It's just mindless pandering.

Kerry was also off topic quite a lot. I really think the moderator should've cut him off. He kept answering the previous question, despite the fact that it was specifically against the rules to do that. I understand how frustrating it is when you can't get the last word, but the rules are there for a reason. If he can't follow them, he shouldn't have agreed to them.

Now, as for Bush, he was a lot more impressive. He dominated the foreign policy portion of the debate. I know some people think that he seemed too angry during the first few minutes, but that's a good thing! Kerry kept talking about his "plan" while insulting our allies and calling the war a failure, so I'd expect Bush to have an emotional reaction. If he just robotically recited talking points like Kerry, I'd start to question his sincerity.

After the first hour, I think both candidates just wanted to leave. They were repeating themselves more, and they seemed to suddenly lose their ability to speak. 90 minute debates really don't work. A lot of people say that Bush was better on domestic policy, but I think he started falling apart near the end. He could've ended a lot stronger than he did. People are more likely to remember the second half, so it's important to stay on top of things the whole time. Neither candidate managed to do so, which works in Bush's favor in the long run.

That's about it for me. Plenty of other sites have more detailed posts about this.

Posted by CD on October 9, 2004 01:30 PM
Category: 2004 Election
Semi-Intelligent Comments

I'm just curious.. I could have sworn that I heard Bush say 'Kennedy' instead of Kerry... but, both of my parents started talking and I couldn't hear what he said afterwards, so the reference may have been correct. I feel I must be wrong because the media didn't jump all over it. Anyone know?

Posted by: Katherine at October 9, 2004 10:10 PM

Yeah, he did say "Kennedy." But can you really blame him for making a mistake like that?

Posted by: CD at October 9, 2004 10:52 PM
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