T Nation

The Gloves Are Off: Debate 2 Roundup

[quote]jackzepplin wrote:
rsu, nice how you leave out the FACT that kerry fudged several FACTS ~ read factcheck.org

[/quote]

I do believe both sides have fudged statistics - to the point that it is difficult to determine what is in fact FACT and what has been interpreted to meet the needs of the argument. For example, I know Kerry’s been throwing around the 1.6 million jobs figure around when it’s actually 900,000.

In my view, the Bush camp is more guilty of this than Kerry’s.

Zeb,

Moriarty did a good job of getting to the real issue, but also, check the times of my posts. How could I regurgitate the polls when my comments are before the polls have happened yet?

Bzzzt! Thanks for playing.

It is more than a little ridiculous that all these extreme right ronservatives are saying “Bush won without a doubt.” Was the infamous “wood” comment funny? Yes. Did Bush do a much better job than last time? Hell yes.

The absolute worst thing about politics is how far a substantial amount of people take the personality thing. The whole “Which candidate would you most like to have a beer with” thing is downright ludicrous. Just when do people expect to have this illusory beer with the president? How funny you are, winsome,vivacious, congenial, none of that matters.

What matters are the issues, and these two men have markedly different ideas for how to govern. When I hear something like “Kerry was stiff and unapproachable” or “Bush showed his toughness with his scowls” I kind of just lose respect for that person.

Kerry’s positions are nuanced, thus, for people who only see issues in simplistic and childish black and white, he is easy to paint as a flip flopper. On abortion, he stated that despite his personal Catholic beliefs, he did not feel it was right to impose that on the law of the land. It’s called disestablishmentarianism, maybe some of you have heard of it?

Bush’s “Wrong war at the wrong time” argument is good, but how do people actually but into that? If Kerry is elected will morale somehow reduce to the point of combat inneffectiveness? Will there be mutiny in the ranks? Or could people care less, knowing they have to fight on to clean up the complete clusterbomb that Bush set off in Iraq?

Does anyone have a problem with Bush running up the deficit more than any other president in history? More so than even Reagan? With him calling himself a “good steward of the land” when he ahs the worst environmental record of any president in history? A problem perhaps with Bush being the only president in history to cut taxes during war time? A problem with Bush’s inability to admit that it was wrong to invade Iraq? He can’t even bring himself to say that he made the best decision he could with the available intelligence but in hindsight it was wrong. In hindsight it was most definitely wrong, has anyone read the report on the lack of WMD in Iraq or terrorist connections?

I could go on and on.

RSU:

A few points:

  1. While we are not voting for “Prom King” the typical voter will always vote for the person whom they like better. If you think Kerry’s style and demeanor is more likeable than President Bush’s to the typical American voter then I disagree! Don’t think so? Look at past Presidential elections: Carter over Ford, Carter more likeable. Reagen over Carter, Reagen more likeable. Clinton over Bush Sr., Clinton more likeable. Bush over Gore (deep sigh), Bush more likeable.

We would like this to be more about substantive policy issues, and it is to a degree with many. However, it will come down to President Bush over John Kerry because Bush is more likeable! This I know.

From a body language perspective I think Kerry looked a bit awkward. Lumbering around the stage (at 6’ 3" or better and only 180lbs. some may think he looks a bit goofy). As Jeff put it a bit like “Lerch” Also, I think he smiled only twice. I understand that these points may not be important to you (or I) but to the typical voter I’m afraid they do count. You will see how much in November!

  1. The question asked to President Bush regarding the mistakes he made was a trick question. It was handled well by the President who stated that the mistakes took place making various appointments.

If the President had stated three specific things where he made a mistake that would simply give his opponent and critics ammunition to use against him. This race is for the Presidency of the United States, all comments are fair game. Policitally you need to be guarded with such comments.

I think Kerry also had a chance to comment on his mistakes. Instead he wanted to comment on the Presidents. Can’t blame him there, smart move.

  1. Yes Kerry can criticize Bush’s “Approach” to the war. However, that is not what he did! In reality he stated “it is the wrong war at the wrong time in the wrong place.” He further insulted the Iraqi leader. You don’t do those things and then in the next breath state that he could do a better job in Iraq. Only the die hard liberals and some who are confused will buy that.

Finally, trust me on this one no one is getting “excited about Kerry.” Let’s face it, the guy is not exciting. He is the “dour” candidate. Most who vote for him will do so because they really don’t like Bush.

If someone was strictly scoring debating points I might agree with your final assesment. However, the reality of the situation is that since the first Presidential television debate, Kennedy vs. Nixon. These things have been more about likeability, body language etc. than debating points (which were close anyway).

(By the way I want to congratulate you on your three most recent posts. They were well written, to the point and certainly did not attack anyone personally! You have raised the bar and I commend you for it)

vroom:

Time for a reality check my friend:
The debate was held on the 8th between 9:00 and 10:30. Your post was on the 9th at 2:24.

You also stated that “the polls are calling it even.” You are then in fact echoing the most recent polling data after the debate!

I don’t care if you want to do this. However, those of us who like to make up our own mind don’t wish to rely as heavily on polling data.

Oh…and thank you for playing…:slight_smile:

Since it’s come up, here is the main poll I’ve found on the debate results:

ABC

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Vote2004/story?id=150617&page=1

In that poll, essentially no Bush supporters thought Kerry won, and no Kerry supporters thought Bush won – approximately 15% or so thought it was a tie. The sample was registered voters, and was slightly weighted toward Kerry supporters – Bush picked up some support after the debate, but definitely within the margin of error.

The real measure, I suppose, will be in the next set of polls of likely voters that will come out early this week.

Personally, I thought Bush was very strong, and far more engaging with the crowd. Kerry didn’t have any major flubs, but wasn’t as strong as before. No knockout, but I’d say Bush won on points – and did an excellent job of fixing the image problem he had created for himself with the last debate.

What did everyone think of the format? I like getting the questions from the real people better than from the moderators – both in terms of the actual origination of the questions and the asking of them to the candidates.

Oh yeah, one small point of Monday morning quarterbacking – Bush really missed an opportunity to hammer Kerry for obstructionism with appellate court appointees, as well as to hammer home the importance of who will be President next term, given that there are 3 likely appointments to me made to the Supreme Court (Rehnquist, O’Connor and Stevens).

BTW, as an FYI, Kerry voted to confirm Scalia, whom he tried to demonize in the debate.

Zeb,

Are blind on purpose. My first post, in which I stated my position on the outcome of the debate was at:

[quote]10/09/04
12:23 AM
Ontario, CAN[/quote]

I hardly think the next day polls came out within a couple hours of the debate itself. Get a grip!

Christ, the only reason my post wasn’t earlier was because this site was having difficulty and it was hard to get a message in.

Bzzzz! Wrong again Zebby. Please try again.

[quote]ZEB wrote:
RSU:

A few points:

  1. While we are not voting for “Prom King” the typical voter will always vote for the person whom they like better. If you think Kerry’s style and demeanor is more likeable than President Bush’s to the typical American voter then I disagree! Don’t think so? Look at past Presidential elections: Carter over Ford, Carter more likeable. Reagen over Carter, Reagen more likeable. Clinton over Bush Sr., Clinton more likeable. Bush over Gore (deep sigh), Bush more likeable.
    [/quote]
    I think some find Bush more “likable,” but I think many find him more on the goofy side. His smiles and jokes seem more in a nervous, uncertain vain, rather than confidence.

I agree many vote on style – and I think many will find Kerry’s style more presidential.

I think it would have been commendable for Bush to answer this mistakes question the first time it was posed to him by a reporter some months back. Instead he claimed he couldn’t think of anything on the spot. I agree that politically one wants to be strong, but at the same time honest. Bush’s world is in a terrible state, and some of that has to be attributed to his decisions. To say he hasn’t made mistakes is unbelievable and it troubles me. That said, I think he answered the question wisely, in a political sense.

Maybe so. But, I am admittedly from the ABB camp and was certainly down on him prior to the first debate. But I was pleased to see what he had to say and how he said it, and that invigorated me a bit – to the point that I think he’ll win in November, if he can overcome whatever “back up plans” the Bush camp has in their back pocket in terms of fixing a close race (yes, I anticipate more shady business).

[quote]
(By the way I want to congratulate you on your three most recent posts. They were well written, to the point and certainly did not attack anyone personally! You have raised the bar and I commend you for it)[/quote]

Please spare me.

Interesting –

The Euro press, which generally despises Bush but isn’t trying to affect the election via spin, generally reached the same conclusion I did: Bush won, but realtively close:

http://www.nationalreview.com/thecorner/04_10_03_corner-archive.asp#042140

BUSH WINS, ALL OVER EUROPE [KJL]
Joshua Livestro in the Netherlands sends this sum-up of the EuroPress on the debate:

[Note, if you follow the link above, links are provided to the European newspapers – however, you will need to be able to translate from Dutch, German, etc.]

The Netherlands: Centre-left Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad says ?Bush looked relaxed and energized.? Headline: ?President on a roll in heated debate.?

Centre-right newspaper De Telegraaf says Bush restored his credibility with last night?s performance, noting he looked ?cheerful and confident.?

Belgium: ?Bush fires live rounds at Kerry in second debate,? according to De Morgen. The article says Bush was defensive in the first debate, but very much on the offensive second time round.

France: ?Bush plays an offence game,? says Le Figaro.

Even the left-wing Le Monde admitted Bush looked ?less hesitant and more aggressive than in the first debate.?

Germany: The left-wing FAZ states that ?Bush posted a much improved performance,? noting that Bush was much more aggressive than in the first debate.?

German newspaper Bild uses as a headline Bush?s remark that he just couldn?t see how Kerry could lead the US at a time of war and uncertainty. It also quotes vox pops of American voters saying they were impressed with the aggressive way in which Bush responded to the attacks of his challenger.

England ?Bush bounces back,? says The Times.


?Mr Bush gave a stronger performance than his tense and stumbling effort in the first encounter.?

I always like to read Mickey Kaus’ takes, because he thinks Kerry is an awful candidate but is voting for him anyway – basically an ABB guy, but not one who feels the need to abstain from criticisms of Kerry – I don’t agree with his overall assessment for Kerry, but then again I thought it was close:

My line on Debate #2: 1) Kerry won the first half, then Bush relaxed and won the second half after Kerry’s dreary default personality–i.e. what he’s like when he hasn’t taken that special Shrum Drug–began to make itself felt. But the first half of a debate like this is more important than the second half, so Kerry wins on points. Early on, he found the right distance from which to tower over Bush without seeming to be a stalker. Bush at first looked like he was being chased around the ring, and got that shrill tone he and his father get when they worry they’re not connecting;

  1. Bush may do better in the post-debate sound bite war where his higher energy level pays off.

  2. The GOP line–coming in now to kf HQ through all the “Internets” and my just-installed molar phone!–is that Kerry lost the white male vote, presumably by being insufficiently tough;

4)The significant long term political development was Kerry’s “look into the camera” pledge of no tax increases for those making less than $200,000. How is he going to weasel out of that?

  1. Biggest whiff: Bush once again failed to pick apart Kerry’s annoyingly opportunistic Iraq/Osama/Tora Bora attack. He could have argued a) Yes we made some mistakes but Kerry is letting a few of Zarqawi’s bombs panic him–and trying to get them to panic the electorate. What kind of leader does that?; b) Kerry voted against the 1991 Gulf War, which began the inspection regime he says he wanted to continue! If we hadn’t prosecuted that war, Saddam almost certainly would have developed a nuclear bomb, no? c) Bush did note that Kerry’s plan for Iraq is basically the same as Bush’s plan (plus a summit), but didn’t flesh out the point in way that would be clear to the average viewer.

  2. Honorable mention whiff: Bush’s answer to the question about his mistakes was adequate, but Kerry could still have pounced and noted that Bush hadn’t admitted to a single specific mistake (and would do well to remember the need for humility and flexibility, etc.). I watched the debate with six people of varying politics, and each of them had a better answer than Kerry’s;

  3. I worried I was being demagogic last week when I speculated that Kerry would sound like an interest-group liberal on domestic policy. Then he started talking about “special needs education” …

  4. The questioners were supposedly undecideds, but before the debate the Inter-Netz was awash with rumors of partisan “plants” who snuck past the screeners. I’d say that in the end about half the questioners sounded like they were plants–although there were plants from both sides.

  5. This must be the first debate in a long time where one candidate talked about his desire for a “Palestinian state” and neither played to the pro-Israel vote (as far as I heard). [Idea from Maguire.]

  6. Bush aced the closing statement, but how many people were still around to watch it?

  7. Kerry’s tortured, intellectually bogus answer on abortion–‘I think it’s murder but I would never base legislation on morality!’–suggests that one of my co-watchers was right to think the way to trip him up is on “smaller,” discrete values questions like abortion and capital punishment. Update: Saletan has more detail on why Kerry’s abortion answer was “awful” politicking.

  8. Kerry:

    [T]hey try to say I’ve changed position on are the Patriot Act; I haven’t. I support it. I just don’t like the way John Ashcroft has applied it, and we’re going to change a few things … [snip] …They’ve got sneak-and-peek searches that are allowed. They’ve got people allowed to go into churches now and political meetings without any showing of potential criminal activity or otherwise.

Huh? Weren’t “sneak and peek” searches explicitly and famously authorized by the Act itself? So Kerry’s example is a clear case where the problem (if there is one) isn’t the application of the Patriot Act, it’s the Act. Kerry knew about it when he voted for it (before he campaigned against it). The application of the Act, meanwhile, has been relatively modest–the Department of Justice used the “sneak” provision 47 times as of last May, according to Slate. (Note:This was also the part of the debate in which Kerry most seemed to forget that he’s no longer running in the Iowa caucuses.)

  1. Did this one set off your Condescendometer the way it did mine?

    “You know, Elizabeth, I really respect your – the feeling that’s in your question.”–Kerry to a woman who asked if it would “be wise to use stem cells obtained without the destruction of an embryo?”

Kerry did this “respect” move at least twice. I know it’s the official, Dick-Morris-approved Clintonian-empathy approach to town-hall questions. But when Kerry does it it sets my teeth on edge. (As Wonkette notes, it also set Kerry off on an embarrassing celebrity name-dropping binge. ‘I respect the feelings of little people like you but Chris Reeve is a friend of mine,’ he argued.) … P.S.: And how did Kerry know “looking around here, at this group here” that nobody except the three people on stage made more than $200,000? Nobody else wearing imported wool? … This is America! Lots of people make more than $200,000 and dress like schlubs. [Thanks to alert reader D.D.]

  1. Worst-polling line of the night: “I’m a lawyer too”–Kerry. 9:28 P.M.

The only way to consider this a Bush win is by using “the soft bigotry of low expectations” (to quote Shrub himself.) Bush didn’t drool on himself this time, so his toadies are declaring a victory. High fives! He didn’t come off like a dolt this time!

As far as likability, Bush charging around the stage and raising his voice to the point of browbeating the audience may be likeable to you, but not to me. Bush looked like he was on the verge of becoming unhinged. I’d prefer a more calm and collected person with their finger on the Doomsday Button, thank you.

[quote]JeffR said
His record of achievement on homeland security speaks for itself.[/quote]

Yes it does. It’s called “9-11”.

Somehow, Bush’s utter failure of leadership resulting in the catastrophic 9-11 attacks is considered a triumph by the Kool-Aide drinkers.

It’s a laugh how Bush criticizes Kerry for supposedly demeaning the grand ‘coalition’ or the puppet Allawi, and then tries to claim he isn’t concerned with being popular in other countries.

Bush spent most of the debate on the defensive. That’s the bottom line. Bush’s record as president stinks and it’s basically indefensible unless you’re a whiner who enjoys bending over backwards to make excuses (as a few of you guys seem to enjoy doing).

Reward Failure: Vote for Bush

RSU:

“Shady business” I have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t think there is any “shady business” going on on either side at this point. Nor, do I think there was “shady business” four years ago. Perhaps you are buying into the liberal propaganda of a “fixed” election. Which would probably make you an ABB person automatically.

The “please spare me” comment was uncalled for. I was simply complimenting you on your recent demeanor.

Lumpy:

I suspect that there would be nothing President Bush could do to please you, in speech or in style. You are a partisan and that’s that!

Some people consider a candidate who speaks in more than one tone, smiles on occasion and actually shows some emotion as likeable. (Note: real people are sometimes happy, sad ect.)

Kerry “the dour” does none of this and it will cost him the election!

vroom:

That is not, nor was it ever the post to which I was referring!

If you would like to reread the post that I mentioned then we will be on the same page. Up to you (yawn).

Perhaps your hate for Bush (and others)is blinding you…I’m not sure.

Now go back and try again…:slight_smile:

[quote]ZEB wrote:
RSU:

“Shady business” I have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t think there is any “shady business” going on on either side at this point. Nor, do I think there was “shady business” four years ago. Perhaps you are buying into the liberal propaganda of a “fixed” election. Which would probably make you an ABB person automatically.[/quote]

Do you live in Florida?

I do.

(BTW, when have I ever tried to hide my ABB status? lol)

Your judgment means little to me – so again, spare me.

Zeb,

You are being a dolt.

I made two posts in this thread concerning the debate being a draw. The first time was when I said I felt it was a draw – this post contained my comments concerning the debate. The second time is when I stated that the polls turned out to reflect my prediction.

The time you quoted was when I realized I had made the right call and was chastising you for not being able to get past your own polarized viewpoint to see how the general public might view the debate.

I think you’ve flipped out man…

Vroom
ZEB’s in his own little world.

[quote]ZEB wrote:
Lumpy:
I suspect that there would be nothing President Bush could do to please you, in speech or in style. You are a partisan and that’s that![/quote]

Maybe you haven’t noticed, but pretty much everyone in America who isn’t working for George Bush is able to recognize that Bush has trouble sounding intelligent.

“nothing he could do” my ass, give me a candidate who can speak in complete sentences, who doesn’t say “umm” every 3 seconds, who can answer a question without taking long pauses to collect his thoughts.

Give me a guy who doesn’t smirk, grimace, scowl, roll his eyes, or have a hard time standing up straight.

Apparently when it comes to the American presidency, this may be too much to ask for.

Anyway, Bush spent Friday night playing defense, as he well deserved to. His record stinks, and he doesn’t deserve a second term.

Whoops, looks like FactCheck has had to correct themselves about the timber company as of Oct. 9th.

Guess you can’t always believe what you read on the web.

Kerry’s statement that Bush is a small business is lame anyway. Why not just talk about how many real small businesses are out there that fit into the catagory.

It was interesting also that K denied the 2.2 trillion figure for his plan, yet didn’t offer his own number. I guess he hasn’t gotten that far with it yet.

RSU:

I see you are once again attacking the person rather than the issues. And this is after I gave you a compliment. (shaking head and smiling) kids…

By the way, my judgement (meaning opinions, or capacity to decide) must mean something to you, you continue to respond to me. Is that the child in you crying out for attention?