So who won?

So who won?

I have to say that neither President Bush nor Kerry lost the debate last night. And I will admit that Kerry did a creditable job. He simplified his message and kept hammering it home at the president. Bush, meanwhile, came across as earnest and passionate. His main message appeared to be, “We’ve done a good job under difficult circumstances, now let us finish it.”

At first, I was annoyed at the repitition. I thought that Bush mocked Kerry’s “wrong war, wrong time, wrong place” mantra too many times, and they both repeated the same statements over and over again. I thought it was a result of asking politicians used to the 10-second soundbite to expound on topics for 90 minutes, but Melanie reminded me that they’re addressing an audience that needs endless repitition to remember anything.

I think Bush could have done a better job of outlining exactly why we went to war in Iraq. He also could have had better responses to some other of Kerry’s accusations that I think he let fly past without challenge.

I would call the debate a tie, with perhaps even a slight edge to Kerry just because he was the underdog and he didn’t screw up. Of course, the mass media will trumpet it as a great victory and predict a massive surge in the polls, hoping to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. But then unless Kerry made a major mistake they were going to credit him with a win anyway.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
19 comments
  • I was on the road last night and only heard the debate – with intermittent AM reception problems – so I could not see how it appeared visually. From the sound of it the President came across as defensive and Kerry sounded confident. Which is not surprising as most questions were directed at the Presidentm notwithstanding, Bush has been there, Kerry hasnwp:comment_author>
    singogoddess@yahoo.com

    70.19.159.231
    2004-10-01 15:46:20
    2004-10-01 19:46:20
    Dom, another point one of my students made: some of the repetition may be to catch surfers, people who only tune in for part of the debate.

  • Yes Dom, I saw others refer to it as ‘Lubyanka’ Square – but I thought the KGB HQ was at 3 Dzerzinski Square…? I know the prison was called The Lubyanka.

    Maybe they changed the name in one of those Soviet purges of the past…?

  • No he was trying to refer to the KGB prison under Dzerzinski Square which was called the Lubyanka, but which Kerry called Treblinka.

    Latest polls I saw said that the debate only decided the election for about 1 percent of undecided voters. So I think that in the end, unless there’s a major gaffe, the debates won’t change much.

  • In watching the first round of debates last night (or what I refer to as “Dumb and Dumber”)  I did learn one valuable thing.

    Presidenting is hard.

    If Kerry mentioned his service 8 times (which I will trust the good deacon on the count) Bush must have mentioned how hard it was to be president at least twice that.  I really wasn’t counting. 

    Seriously who knew?  Oh yeah EVERYBODY!!! Of course its hard.  Otherwise any schmo can do this

  • In watching the first round of debates last night (or what I refer to as “Dumb and Dumber”)  I did learn one valuable thing.

    Presidenting is hard.

    If Kerry mentioned his service 8 times (which I will trust the good deacon on the count) Bush must have mentioned how hard it was to be president at least twice that.  I really wasn’t counting. 

    Seriously who knew?  Oh yeah EVERYBODY!!! Of course its hard.  Otherwise any schmo can do this

  • You know, in all seriousness, I don’t think anybody really knows just how hard it is unless they’ve been there.  I can’t imagine why anybody would WANT to be president.

    My wife mentioned that she thought the President looked tired.  I guess campaigning to keep his job, preparing for a debate and still running the country take a lot out of a person.  The challenger always has an advantage over the incumbant in that he doesn’t have to actually do the job while he’s trying to get the job.

    I just can’t imagine what it must feel like to know that decisions that you made have led to the deaths of so many people on both sides. 

    By the way, this is off-topic, but Archbishop Burke of St. Louis has issued his pastoral letter “On Our Civic Responsitility for the Common Good.”  You can download it at http://www.archstl.org/letters/100104pastoral_letter.pdf

    Peace

  • You know, in all seriousness, I don’t think anybody really knows just how hard it is unless they’ve been there.  I can’t imagine why anybody would WANT to be president.

    My wife mentioned that she thought the President looked tired.  I guess campaigning to keep his job, preparing for a debate and still running the country take a lot out of a person.  The challenger always has an advantage over the incumbant in that he doesn’t have to actually do the job while he’s trying to get the job.

    I just can’t imagine what it must feel like to know that decisions that you made have led to the deaths of so many people on both sides. 

    By the way, this is off-topic, but Archbishop Burke of St. Louis has issued his pastoral letter “On Our Civic Responsitility for the Common Good.”  You can download it at http://www.archstl.org/letters/100104pastoral_letter.pdf

    Peace

  • I agree with Deacon on the toughness of the job of President. Now that I have seen some images from the debate, I think the President came off as a man working hard at a tough job ry much in love with her husband.  She doesn’t appear to have a political agenda of her own, doesn’t want to be president herself, and I doubt that she would ever tell anyone to “shove it.”

    If the two candidates were dead even, which they aren’t, I would vote for W just to keep her as first lady.

  • I agree with Deacon on the toughness of the job of President. Now that I have seen some images from the debate, I think the President came off as a man working hard at a tough job the lives of American civilians.  Even the lives of American babies.

    There were times last night when I thought I caught the President making a quiet prayer.  He came across as full of the Holy Spirit: charity, faith, hope.  He was generous, humble, even perhaps a bit meek.  God bless him.

    Debate Transcript Here.

  • Dom, another point one of my students made: some of the repetition may be to catch surfers, people who only tune in for part of the debate.

  • I also thought the President seemed at times to be either deep in thoght or deep in prayer.  He knows that people are dying on both sides of the war.  He made the decision to go in there.  He must feel some responsibility.  What a burden to carry.

    Now, he’s trying to keep his job.  He’s forced to stand there and listen to this Bozo say that it was all a big mistake.  W knows he’s right, but it still has to drive him crazy, especially since the senator voted to go along with the military action.

    I repeat, I can’t imagine why anybody would want the job, but I guess somebody has to do it.

    Have a lovely weekend

  • I also thought the President seemed at times to be either deep in thoght or deep in prayer.  He knows that people are dying on both sides of the war.  He made the decision to go in there.  He must feel some responsibility.  What a burden to carry.

    Now, he’s trying to keep his job.  He’s forced to stand there and listen to this Bozo say that it was all a big mistake.  W knows he’s right, but it still has to drive him crazy, especially since the senator voted to go along with the military action.

    I repeat, I can’t imagine why anybody would want the job, but I guess somebody has to do it.

    Have a lovely weekend

  • Bush ‘um’ed a little to much for me.  I think it showed on his face when Kerry attacked and Bush couldn’t respond.  In the run-up on the weekend the pundits mentioned this. 

    Kerry was off on many facts.  He sounded like he was ready to turn over US sovereignty to the UN or that he was running for President of Russia. 

    Kerry reminded me of the kids in school running for class office who promise more candy in the lunch line and coke machines in the hall—- All things they have no input on.

  • Bush ‘um’ed a little to much for me.  I think it showed on his face when Kerry attacked and Bush couldn’t respond.  In the run-up on the weekend the pundits mentioned this. 

    Kerry was off on many facts.  He sounded like he was ready to turn over US sovereignty to the UN or that he was running for President of Russia. 

    Kerry reminded me of the kids in school running for class office who promise more candy in the lunch line and coke machines in the hall—- All things they have no input on.

  • Did anyone notice that JK complimented Mrs. Bush on being a fine first lady?ident Bush nor Kerry lost the debate last night. And I will admit that Kerry did a creditable job. He simplified his message and kept hammering it home at the president. Bush, meanwhile, came across as earnest and passionate. His main message appeared to be, “We’ve done a good job under difficult circumstances, now let us finish it.”

    At first, I was annoyed at the repitition. I thought that Bush mocked Kerry’s “wrong war, wrong time, wrong place” mantra too many times, and they both repeated the same statements over and over again. I thought it was a result of asking politicians used to the 10-second soundbite to expound on topics for 90 minutes, but Melanie reminded me that they’re addressing an audience that needs endless repitition to remember anything.

    I think Bush could have done a better job of outlining exactly why we went to war in Iraq. He also could have had better responses to some other of Kerry’s accusations that I think he let fly past without challenge.

    I would call the debate a tie, with perhaps even a slight edge to Kerry just because he was the underdog and he didn’t screw up. Of course, the mass media will trumpet it as a great victory and predict a massive surge in the polls, hoping to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. But then unless Kerry made a major mistake they were going to credit him with a win anyway.

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    oreilg@aol.com

    205.188.116.17
    2004-10-01 08:24:39
    2004-10-01 12:24:39
    I was on the road last night and only heard the debate – with intermittent AM reception problems – so I could not see how it appeared visually. From the sound of it the President came across as defensive and Kerry sounded confident. Which is not surprising as most questions were directed at the Presidentided voters. So I think that in the end, unless there’s a major gaffe, the debates won’t change much.

  • Did anyone notice that JK complimented Mrs. Bush on being a fine first lady?mment on Mrs. K.  If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

    All-in-all, I would have rather seen “CSI”.

  • …Laura Bush…seemed perfectly natural.

    Sorry, a little Dowdism there, Kelly – but to make a point. Mrs. Bush always comes across to me as ‘perfectly natural’. You don’t see any airs or graces with her. Nothing is put on. She just appears as herself – unassuming but always supportive of her husband and family and really concerned about people.

    Kind of like her mother-in-law Barbara – but more retiring. I’m sure she is a tower of strength to the president. God bless her. 

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