Patterico's Pontifications


Open Thread: Debate Reaction

Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 7:45 pm

Post your thoughts on the debate here.

19 Responses to “Open Thread: Debate Reaction”

  1. Bush missed a lot of opportunities. When Kerry hammered him on Bush Sr’s choice not to go to Baghdad, Bush Jr missed a great opportunity to point out Kerry voted against going to war in the original gulf war when Hussein was in Kuwait. This is an example of either Kerry’s bad judgment or opportunistic playing with politics. He also could have merely pointed out the vote against the 87 billion without the lame explanation offered by Kerry which has been raised extensively in ads. There were others but no major gaffes. Bush will survive this debate (in polls) but the others might be problematic.

    Roberta (1425b8)

  2. I generally agree with your take. Kerry wins on style and “debate” tactics, Bush wins on the argument, but that’s because I agree with him. The debate was effective in drawing out the differences between the candidates, and will aid the country in making its decision.

    If you think Bush’s vision of a broader war, employing a more vigorous offensive, with a particularly American vision is the right way to go, you’ll support Bush. If you think that the war should be more narrowly focused on Al Qaeda, that we should rely more on defensive measures than offensive ones, and that we should act within a global consensus, you’ll support Kerry

    Brian O'Connell (4e9c2e)

  3. I am a disappointed Bush supporter. I agree with Roberta. Bush missed several opportunities to effectively counter Kerry. The only concrete steps Kerry advocates in Iraq are ones that Bush has already undertaken. Bush made the point but obliquely. I have to say it was a win for Kerry since many who haven’t closely followed the campaign won’t know how many times tonight Kerry contradicted previous statements on Iraq and the WOT.

    Stu707 (b388ac)

  4. Nice to hear from you, Madsen-basher Brian O’Connell!

    Patterico (f7b3e5)

  5. I don’t feel well. I support Bush and, having watched the debate I am disappointed.

    Yes, Bush hit his points on things I already understood about him. Yet, every opening Kerry gave went unexploited.

    Bush caught the ‘Global test’ comment and mentioned it. But, to win a debate, you have to HAMMER your opponents gaffes. One mention and that was it.

    Bush noted that Kerry has spurned our allies in Iraq. WHY was that an important point? Bush had to say that, on day one of a Kerry presidency, America would, essentially, stand alone. Every ally who stands with us would be looking for the way out because KERRY is looking for the way out, not for a victory and a free Iraq. The first 3 dozen phone calls of a Kerry presidency would be to former allies he had grossly miscast as negligible, coerced, bought, etc.

    And it was painful for me to watch Bush speak. He was more comfortable talking to Oreilly. Tonite he seemed to run out of things to say, often. And his long hesitations were particularly awkward.

    He didn’t answer Kerry’s stab on missing Osama in Afghanistan well. Frankly, I don’t think he can. At that time, I, too, felt a great letdown when Osama got away.

    He let Kerry get away with calling for multilateralism in Iraq and unilateralism in N. Korea. He had a great chance to show Kerry’s opportunistic hypocrisy and muffed it. Where’s the killer instinct?

    Finally, Bush convinced me on one thing. At the very end, as he summed up, he called upon God’s blessing for the country. For some reason it struck me that I hadn’t heard Kerry mention God. So, I checked the transcripts and saw that Kerry HAD said God Bless America. My interpretation? George really meant it and that came through. Kerry was marking the final box on his debate checklist. And that seemed pretty profound to me because, you see, while I respect folks in the religious mold, I’m not one of them. Just another case of George meaning what he says, I think.

    Thomas Hazlewood (8c22f4)

  6. It’ll all depend on whether the Great Undecided want sizzle, or steak.

    I know that we all wish Bush were the kind of speaker that Reagan was, but that’s not going to happen; he’s certainly gotten better over time.

    There’s a part of me that almost suspects him of turning in a “C+” or “B-” performance on purpose, because of his history of getting people to underestimate him. After all, if Kerry gets cocky, he’ll make a lot of mistakes. (As it is, he gave Karl Rove plenty of fodder. Dismantle a weapons program? At a time like this? Are you crazy, Senator?)

    Attila Girl (583aca)

  7. Not that the debates will affect my vote anyway…

    But why cant politicans just shut up. Both ruined good points/counterpoints by filling up the remaining alloted time with inane babble.

    bains (40f418)

  8. Kerry did much better than Bush in the debates. He looked like he knew more about the issues at hand and what to do about them. Bush faltered several times and repeated himself more than a few.

    But average Americans don’t vote from watching the debates. They vote from the gut and what reaction thirty second sound bites gives them.

    Expect a Kerry bounce so the election isn’t boring, followed by Bush soundbites clinching the deal outside of the October suprise scenario.

    IXLNXS (44fe32)

  9. “Kerry did much better than Bush in the debates. He looked like he knew more about the issues at hand and what to do about them.”

    Well, he had something to say about each issue – whether his solution made any sense outside of a fairy tale or Hollyweird movie is definitely not supported by any known history.

    Sharpshooter (6dc959)

  10. Simple—Do you want a frappe’ of a shot & a beer?

    bill j (f5a58c)

  11. Simple—Do you want a frappe’ of a shot & a beer?

    bill j (f5a58c)

  12. Thanks Patterico. Madsen’s not quite Dan Rather, but I take what I can get.

    Brian O'Connell (4e9c2e)

  13. I saw the last one-third and Kerry was clearly better. Bush seemed either tired or bored.

    keypusher (935204)

  14. I think the questions were blatantly biased. Everything was directed toward Bush, and there was nothing aimed at Kerry. Kerry got the opportunity to attack Bush on Bush’s actions and positions all night long, yet Bush was never given the opportunity to do the same for Kerry’s 20 years of non-action in the Senate.

    Of course, Kerry just HAD to mention or refer to his Vietnam experiences multiple times. Gaagh!

    I give Kerry credit for doing a good job visually. But all he did was reinforce my opposition to him as President, especially his focus on getting, nah, REQUIRING, global approval for actions this country takes. Never, no way, not in this lifetime, nuh uh, not gonna happen. Kerry is doomed on this one point alone, at least in my book.

    Claire (dd3e7c)

  15. I’m not only a disapointed Bush supporter, I’m down right angry. Bush had an opportunity to put a real hurtin’ on the Kerry campaign and missed it. It’s not a good sign when the perception after a debate on foreign policy (Bush’s strong suit I might add) is that Kerry won on style and tied on substance. This should have been a grand slam for the prez. It wasn’t even close. I’m just glad the American public have such a short attention span.

    Tony (dedbc0)

  16. Bush seemed tired and Kerry seemed rested. Dick Morris’ article expresses my take on the whole thing quite well.

    Curtis (23d363)

  17. The other day, Drudge said some in Bush’s inner circle say he was tired, having spent the better part of the day meeting with hurricane victims.

    Xrlq (816c74)

  18. Bush did look tired. And maybe he ought to stop saying “Now Kerry say’s it’s the wrong war.” When they show that, and then the news shows the car bombing that killed 34 little kids, people start to think that we aren’t winning.

    jfdean (6d4862)

  19. A late comment. I was in Italy visting, and missed the debate, but the unanimous (and approving) commentary from anglophone family, and Italian-only family, and the Italian press (which I could kinda-read) was that the debate was a triumph for Kerry.

    AMac (3cb088)

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