Thursday, September 30, 2004

Debate review (like you need another one)

  1. You were in Vietnam. We all know, and appreciate it. Let it go.
  2. Lay off on the "Iraq is wrong" too much - you did make some statements that open you up. You kept it fairly limited, but be careful on going too heavy.
  3. Nice job on the "you can be certain and be wrong". Good sound bite.
  4. You said not long ago that you would have voted to give Bush authority to go to Iraq, even knowing what you know now. You can't really go back and hit Bush for that now -- all it does it lead into the flip-flop label.
  5. You worked on your timing, didn't you? Hit those timing deadline marks, you did.
  6. You seemed to have woken up. Be careful not to give too many nuanced statements in the next few days, as it will just look like you are backing down from a statement.
  7. That being said, don't just repeat yourself, like you did tonight. And don't say "I am too" when Bush talks of being resolute. I lost a high school student council election by doing that (not specifically the "resolute" issue, but same general logic). Your best moments were when you just answered the question.


  1. "Trust me" is not a good platform, especially for you right now. Wouldn't have worked for Clinton in '99, and that was just sex.
  2. It might just be me, but your continual stammering reminded me of Parker Posey saying "I'd like to make a healthy...low-fat or non-fat....healthy....blizzard " in Waiting for Guffman. (rent the movie if you don't get that -- very funny stuff)
  3. You looked mad on the reaction shots, and creepily like Alfred E. Neumann. Remember the "Gore sigh" from 2000? That could be you now. Sorry your negotiators couldn't push the networks harder.
  4. You got some good shots in, especially on the "I agree with him" stuff where Kerry voted for Iraq.
  5. Mixing up Hussein and bin Laden might have been just a misspeak, but it sure looked Freudian from here.
  6. You dodged a lot of questions (I wanted to hear you actually answer the question about if the world would be safer or not if Kerry wins - Cheney cannot shut up about that), which tends to work for you. Pissed me off, but might work for you.

Overall, Bush looked like he was lost a lot, and Kerry didn't make me fall asleep. Kerry wins this one. However, I cannot imagine that Bush's team is not going to whip him into shape before round 2.

I cannot wait to see the VP debate. I just don't think Cheney will keep his cool, and an Iraq-9/11 comment will come out.