Listening to the excerpts of the debate on the radio this morning, I realize Kerry won big. The soundbites are (1) Kerry saying he made a mistake speaking about the war, but Bush made a mistake invading, which is worse? and (2) Bush sounding amazingly lost and hesitant, then petulant, after being called on his sly suggestion that the Iraq invasion was retaliation for 9/11. His “I know OBL attacked us” sounds like a five year old in the playground trying unsuccessfully to deflect teacher's ire.
According to the utterly unbiased Kerry-Edwards web page, the instapolls confirm that Kerry won big.
Here are the poll stats copied from the K-E web page
CNN / GALLUP POLL ON WHO WON DEBATE
CBS POLL ON WHO WON DEBATE:
ABC POLL ON WHO WON DEBATE:
What the K-E page doesn't address is whether this win changed any minds.
For the first time in about two years, I agree with NPR's Juan Williams, who said this morning that it takes a few days of seeing the clips repeated on TV and radio before people make up their minds.
But if they keep playing the soundbites I heard this morning, it can only be good for Kerry…
I listened to the debate on the radio, and I didn’t think there was a clear winner (maybe the TV experience was different). I think Kerry was a little stronger on the facts, but he’s not an especially good debater. (Someone like Reagan would have had both these guys for lunch!) And I don’t think either candidate was honest about the likely future in Iraq.
Debate 1 leaves really only one big question:
Will Bush try to duck the next two debates “because he doesn’t feel good”, or because “the dog ate my briefing book”, or for a reason TBD?
I ask, you decide.
Bush looked like a cornered rat; a crouched rodent.
He displayed true ineptness, by petulantly harping on his only sound-bite, regardless of the question.
Bush’s lame and repetitive ‘flip-flop’ accusation showed less an ability to ‘stay on message’ as an inability to address the issues or defend his failed policies.
But Bush’s ineptness was parallelled only by his arrogance. Last night he displayed it prominently, with his visible
impatience and irritation that anyone would even be questioning him .
Last night’s debate should convince any thinking person that Bush is a terrible failure, and a danger to our country. Kerry, in contrast, exuded confidence – not cockiness. Kerry displayed a strong command of the issues and unswaying resolve that will make him the successful commander in chief that Bush was not, is not and can never be. Kerry is presidential.
Bush is a rodent.
I think that Bush has a career in the theatre ahead of him.
It was clear that he had memorized a whole bunch of “mini-speeches” on a whole bunch of topics, and when he had an opening to use them, he rattled them off like nobody’s business. (Whether he could find the Sudan on a map is another question entirely….)
Bush’s problem last night was his seques….he obviously had no idea how to get from the question he was asked, to the appropriate mini-speeches, so he fumbled around until he found his way to the beginning, and THEN took off.
Kerry’s biggest coup was that he brought a pen to the stage. Who knows if he had any paper on the podium….it didn’t matter. All that matter is that most of Kerry’s reaction shots were of him writing stuff down, while Bush’s reaction shots…well….
Bush will bring a pen to the next debate. And Kerry should walk out with a high stool. The next debate will be the “town forum”, and Kerry should just set up a stool in front of the podium, and DARE the moderator to tell him that he can’t get out from behind the podium to talk to the American people.
Bush was also writing in this debate, Paul, both were in fact using felt tips…you should’ve been able to hear the scratching even on the radio.
Both apparently remembered from days of yore that you’re supposed to be diagramming the flow of an opponent’s argument while he speaks so you can respond to his points in turn…well, scratch that, both at least remembered you’re supposed to have a pen there for some reason.