Veep Debate–First Impressions

Cheney would be one of the most effective TV presences — because of, not despite, his lies — were it not for his irrepressible mean streak. Whether people think he won or lost may well turn on their response to the meanness factor. TV does not like mean.

If you insist on substance, Cheney did almost as good a job as could be done to make the administration look good on foreign policy. Edwards as much as said, 'who you gonna believe: this guy or your eyes?' It's a good argument, but there were others he could have used too. If you were not aware of the facts Cheney was distorting, you might well have thought he won the foreign affairs part, although not by much; if you knew the subtext, then Edwards won on foreign affairs, but didn't do so as effectively as he might have. I think Edwards's stock may rise if people fact check the debate thoroughly, as I think Edwards missed openings to nail Cheney mis-statements.

Conversely, Edwards simply crucified Cheney on domestic issues. Wasn't even close.

Update (10/6): A quickie CBS poll “of 178 uncommitted voters found that 41 percent said Edwards won the debate, versus 28 percent who said Cheney won. Thirty-one percent said it was a tie.” One more time and it's over…..

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11 Responses to Veep Debate–First Impressions

  1. You must be a pessimist, professor, I was passed out through this debate, but a check of the instapolling says Edwards won by 77% (CBS), 69% (MSNBC), or 78% (CNN)…of course, not having seen the debate, I didn’t figure on the rapping and the puppet show….http://www.deadbrain.com/politics/article_2004_10_06_2914.php

  2. Mojo says:

    I was only able to listen to one and a half questions before I got so frustrated that I had to turn it off and wait for the transcript. I managed to get through Cheney’s claim that Iraq was the most likely nexus of terrorists getting weapons of mass destruction (although they didn’t have WMDs and didn’t have operational ties to terrorists and so on). But when Cheney said, “The senator has got his facts wrong. I have not suggested there’s a connection between Iraq and 9/11”, I couldn’t take any more. Here’s just one example of how that’s totally false. He has repeatedly claimed that the story of Atta (9/11 mastermind) meeting with an Iraqi agent in Prague before 9/11 was true, even after the Senate Intelligence Committee report showed conclusively that it was false. Beyond the minor factor of being a complete lie, I don’t think it really helped his cause. A majority of his supporters believe that Iraq was behind 9/11. They didn’t get that impression from listening to PBS but from listening to Cheney’s speeches. Hearing him claim that he never said it could hurt his credibility among the base as well as the rest of the country.

  3. thomas says:

    I had to turn it off too, mojo. Cheney sounded a lot more forceful and educated than Edwards.
    I was pretty disappointed with Edwards; I thought he was milktoast where he should have been sharp
    and engaging. The problem for me was that Cheney was lying, lying, lying with many of his statements.
    But he certainly looked like the stronger candidate to me, as much as I wanted Edwards to crush him.

  4. ed says:

    well, here’s another lie, check out the pic by scrolling down a bit.

    http://atrios.blogspot.com

    So you’ve never met him eh?

  5. winatallcost says:

    The cost of just about everything in America – goods and services, health care, education, public services and the like – all come with a lawsuit attached. It has been estimated that American businesses, CONSUMERS, and governments spend upwards of $80 billion annually on litigation and liability insurance premiums. These costs are ultimately passed on down to you and me – the American consumer. We ALL pay – and we all LOSE. Let’s give a big round of applause for trial lawyers like j.e.

  6. Michael says:

    Actually, most litigation is initiated by corporations, not individuals.

  7. I just love the fact that insurance companies screw us and everyone blames the lawyers. Here in Florida they’re trying to put a cap not on recovery, but fees out of recovery, under the same premise, as if how much of a % of your recovery your lawyer gets matters to the insurer…

    Why are you blaming the lawyers, and not the insurance companies?

    Oh, but John Edwards is a litigator, so naturally he’s a terrible person…because the world would certainly be a better place if there had been no available lawyers to bring Brown v. Board. Or Roe v. Wade…and every innocent shmuck locked up without reason should be defending themselves. After all, otherwise it might cost too much money. Ridiculous.

  8. winatallcost says:

    Our current litigious landscape has serious implications for health care, particularly for ob.gyns. For example, a nationwide survey of ob.gyns. and other primary care physicians found that 67% do not provide childbirth services because of sky-rocketing malpractice insurance costs. Even some of our country’s major medical centers are discontinuing or limiting their obstetrical services.

    COPYRIGHT 2003 International Medical News Group:
    DR. ELIZABETH B. CONNELL is professor emeritus of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta

  9. winatallcost says:

    Our current litigious landscape has serious implications for health care, particularly for ob.gyns. For example, a nationwide survey of ob.gyns. and other primary care physicians found that 67% do not provide childbirth services because of sky-rocketing malpractice insurance costs. Even some of our country’s major medical centers are discontinuing or limiting their obstetrical services.

    COPYRIGHT 2003 International Medical News Group:
    DR. ELIZABETH B. CONNELL is professor emeritus of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta

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  11. Again, all I see is a statistic supporting the limiting of medical malpractice insurance premiums. Why does everyone simply assume the raise relates to actual litigation costs? Because the AMA, an organization committed to lobbying for caps on damages, says so? Its very telling the best quote to be found on that side of this issue comes from a doctor.

    And by the way? She’s way off. Even this article http://www.ktul.com/news/stories/0704/157702.html out of Tulsa, clearly on the side of caps on damages, quotes at best 15% of ob/gyns dropping childbirth services. Not 67. 15. Or see the Atlanta Journal COnstitution article from February 24, 04 (you can find it at http://www.makethemaccountable.com/myth/RisingCostOfMedicalMalpracticeInsurance.htm) suggesting that the reason for the skyrocketing costs is that doctors, forced by insurance companies to spend less and less time with each patient and less and less money on testing, are increasingly making mistakes. 44,000 to 98,000 killed each year by medical accidents, according to the Nat’l Academy of Sciences…

    Apply occam’s razor, for god’s sake. What’s more likely. That more accidents are occurring? Or the system’s just so easy to get around, that 99% of all of these lawsuits are frivolous, even when well over half are settled pretrial. Any of us that are attorneys know that frivolous suits happen. They may happen a lot. But they don’t happen 50,000 times a year on a scale big enough to work these kind of miracles. If frivolous lawsuits were the problem, Rule 11 and nearly every state’s antisham pleading statute would solve it. But when insurance companies instruct doctors to value the almighty dollar higher than your health, and they listen, and 50,000 people are killed a year by their mistakes? We blame the lawyers. Yeah, that makes sense.

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