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September 30, 2004


Hey, for those of us following along with no access to TV or radio, could you maybe specify who's saying what? I can't make heads or tails of what you're writing at the moment.

So, it's hard work and necessary work. Gotchya Mr. President.

The Senator is now using "misled" instead of "lying", as Jim Lehrer said.

Fresh start, gotchya Senator.

YESSSS! Vietnam reference before 30 minutes! Just won five bucks.

Which crazy person took that bet?

The President is now saying that he doesn't think that the Senator misled the American people when he said in 2002, 2003 etc. etc. that Hussein was a threat.

The President is hammering away that the Senator has been inconsistent and that this inconsistency denigrates soldiers' and other nations' commitments and how will the Senator build a coalition with them after denigrating their support.

I'm going to use K and B so I can type faster. Please excuse the "familiarity".

K said that there were few troops from other allies in this war.

I think that B missed a HUGE opportunity to point out that AQ doesn't seem to differentiate between those with 100s of thousands of troops and those with just a few (as Spain discovered) and so why should we.

Switching to comments:

9:30: Vietnam... Halliburton... more red meat . Heh. Bush a little flustered, but got out bribed and coerced.

9:34: Miscalculation: tricky territory for Bush; he's calming down, though. Fiance says to both, broken records. She's got beer, too. Hey, guys: democracy takes hard work! Who knew?

9:45 \Bush and Kerry show that they _care_.

K just said that people should go to the website to see his plan for Iraq and that B's plan is "4 words, more of the same".

B keeps hitting K with changing positions etc.

9:50: Sparring back and forth; I'm seeing red meat but not much in the way of swing voter ... ouch. Knew that the puppet comment would come up.

K said he wants to "change the dynamics on the ground" to make things better and get the troops out.

B said that you can't change the dynamics by calling Alawi a puppet.

B is getting in points about how this is a fight for freedom and that's why more and more terrorists are coming into Iraq.

Fiancee: There are these wonderful, interesting questions, and nobody wants to answer them.

Housemate: How is this different from any debate in the last twenty years?

B: Iraq is hard work, can't send mixed messages. THose are the talking points.

B: taking credit for Libya now.

Bush says that we'll Rue The Day!

You know, W, now would be a great time to pull out Osama's head, just to see if Kerry would have a stroke.

K: Points out that Saddm Hussein didn't attack us and when we had OBL in Tora Bora they "outsourced" the job to Afghan warlords.

I'd guess that outsourcing jobs will be a big talking point in the econ debate.

B pulling OBL's head out of a bag = crionna spitting Anchor Steam all over his laptop

K: President always has the right to make a pre-emptive strike in any way necessary to protect the US. But it must pass the global test.

9:58 Kerry comes out for preemptive war!

As long as it passes a global test. err, right.

crionna spitting Anchor Steam all over his laptop

Now that would be a waste of a good beer. Hey, did you see that article in the Chron about Anchor possibly leaving the City?

K: Brings up DeGaulle's Cuban missle crisis statement.

I'd guess that outsourcing jobs will be a big talking point in the econ debate.

Second time that verb has been trotted out by Kerry. The first time it was cute. Now I'm feeling tired of it already.

Hey, did you see that article in the Chron about Anchor possibly leaving the City?

Yup, and I'm sure that they're still dusting my threatening letter to the zoning commission for prints ;)

Senator, free advice: invoking France? Not too smart.

Kyoto? How did you vote on that, again, Senator?

Bush a little fuzzy on that global test.

And now -Bush- is bringing up the ICC.

Where the hell is Bush going with the ICC stuff? It sounds bizarre -- do I take it this is some weird hot-button thing for the American right?

B: I'm not going to make decisions that are wrong for America. Pretty strong ending.

North Korea and Iran. More tap-dancing from W...

Yeah, but it kinda shows his ability to bring together a coalition together. Stumbling now though.

"Where the hell is Bush going with the ICC stuff? It sounds bizarre -- do I take it this is some weird hot-button thing for the American right?"

Massively, yes.


1). I meant it about invoking France, Mr. President.
2). Moo-lahs. Get used to hearing that Bushism, oh my droogies.
3). Damn, Kerry likes invoking Sec. Powell.

Ah, Darfur. Ouch (bipartisan ouch, there)! Kerry just dodged it to go back to Iran sanctions. Kerry wants to... use African Union troops? Like, warlords?

Backdoor draft reference!

Ooh, "I agree it's genocide" from Bush! Surely that line will cause a few ripples in the following days.

My wife just noticed that the cameras are closing in tight enough on side-by-sides to even the heights of B and K.

The character issue softball

Now -Bush- goes back to Iran. Talking about humanitarian aid. Dance for Moe Lane!

Character issues? Oh, boy...

B, lots of admiration (except for K's record). Concern" changes positions. Lead in to the talking point of, yep , there it was "Mixed Messages" over and over and over again.

Bush sounding much better all of a sudden. Easily his best patch so far.

K: appreciates the personal comments. Oooh, he's "watched" B's daughters and wife. SCANDAL!!!

Awww, we're going to have a personal moment, here. Kerry won't comment on Bush's character; not his job. Truer words never spoken: that's why God invented 527s.

K: Certainty can get you in trouble.

B: We'll shift tactics, but I won't change my core values because of politics or pressure.

K: I've never wilted in my life.

Fiancee: It's like watching a car crash; she doesn't want to look, but she has to.

Kerry: Buy my book! Not the one on eBay.

No 1 danger for the USA according to Kerry: Nuclear proliferation

K: Nuclear proliferation is the most important problem facing US

You know, I don't have the slightest idea what all of this looks like to people who aren't already political fanatics.

Still mispronouncing nuclear, I see.

Bush: Missile defence is the right way to go about securing America [against Nuclear proliferation]

What!?! *sputters helplessly in disbelief*

Wow. Went to use the bathroom and it's like I'm listening to twenty minutes ago.

Last question: Putin and Russia. Good question. /Did/ you misjudge him, George? I don't care how strong an ally he is, btw. Or your good relationship, either. Did you misjudge him?

And will Kerry go for the jugular?

Kerry: "I regret what's happened in these last few months"

After the discussion touched on Beslan. Ouch. Anyone want to bet how that's going to be spun? Obviously not what he was thinking off, but that's what it will sound like after the editting.

No, he won't. Jeebus, you could've hammered him on Putin! And now Bush is being calm and pointing out about how they saw the same intelligence.

Kerry: he was a threat, but we didn't go to war as a last resort.

oops dinner time and then Giants game.

Play nice.

Closing statements:

Kerry: Blah blah blah Bush did this wrong. Vote for me!

Bush: Blah blah blah Kerry says stuff to get elected! Vote for me!

Oops, hit post too quick. :)

Oh, and no draft.

Not bad closing remarks from Kerry, but I can already tell Bush is going to cream him here.

He sounds sooo much better clam with a prepared speech.

Climbing the mighty mountain? Valley of peace? Oh dear...

Hmm. Calm, rather than clam. Interesting visual, though.

Both candidates lost this debate. Bush is supposed to be the resolute, fearless leader - but on the radio at least he sounds nervous and terrified. Kerry can make a case for himself with facts - except when it comes to explaining what he's said previously, and then he no longer seems credible. Meanwhile, they both said the same predictable words, phrases and sentences over and over and over again, making this seem like an infomercial for creepy domestic robots.

Oh man, they have Frum & Blumenthal on the BBC. I hope y'all state-side have more interesting commentators.

BTW, thanks for keeping crionna and me company, Duane. :)


Hey, my pleasure. It is 3:30am here in London. Where else am I gonna go? :)

Well, after that I have a strange urge to buy a creepy domestic robot.

I'm happy to say I didn't have the stomach to listen to Stephanapolous or anyone else, even though I wanted to. They've turned into the same pigeon noises I get from product ads. . not even in my language anymore.

Honestly, typing out some of the comments was the only way I could watch this thing....

Thanks for the play-by-play, guys. Switching back and forth between here, Tacitus, Unfogged, Mark A.R. Kleiman and (occasionally) RedState was instructive.

"It is 3:30am here in London. Where else am I gonna go?"

Fair enough. Hope you were following American custom and drinking heavily throughout the debate. :)

It was tempting, but I resisted. Tomorrow is going to be painful enough :)

How are the analysts doing there? Nothing terribly interesting on the BBC here.

"How are the analysts doing there?"

Beats the heck out of me: by and large they're just either ax-grinders or teleprompter-readers anyway. :)

Both seemed nervous. Bush seemed especially defensive, much like he does in pretty much any press conference these days. Or is it just me?

And Kerry didn't actually flub Saddam/OBL that I noticed, but he appeared to think he might have done so at one point, and unnecessarily corrected himself. Bush's mixup was pretty unfortunate, considering he was essentially responding to the charge that he had Saddam on the brain, if I recall correctly.

"Or is it just me?"

Anecdotally speaking, so far nobody that I've communicated with who saw or heard this speech walked away with a different opinion. Take that as you will.

by and large they're just either ax-grinders or teleprompter-readers anyway

So true.

My quick scuttle around online seems to show everyone thinks their guy won. Who woulda thunk it? I'm feeling tired just thinking of the inevitable endless partisan bickering to come.

Thanks for some relief from that, by the way, folks. And now I think it is good night from London.

The Bush-supporting bloggers I've seen think Kerry won, actually, but not by much -- but then I can't read the nutty ones.

Actually, some of the people at NRO think Kerry won, but not by enough.

I think it is possible that Kerry won, but everyone knows that it is really hard to make precise differentiations at the bottom percentiles. This was easily the worst debate I have ever seen. They were both incredibly awful.

They both missed super-obvious openings. Bush could have easily slammed Kerry on the Kyoto thing. I thought of the resonse within moments--Senator Kerry was one of the 99 senators who voted against the treaty. It wasn't ever going anywhere, and it would be foolish to pretend that it was.

And why didn't Kerry follow up on the Iraq border issue? Sheesh.

And how did Bush fail to attack the stupid 'give nuclear fuel to Iran' idea. It is one of the most craven-looking ideas batting around on Iran, and Bush gave it a pass.

How do two guys get this far without being able to work with openings like those?

I do believe that Kerry presented better than Bush. But he said two very dangerous things. He played up the global test thing for defence, and that isn't going to play well. He also did that whole 'How can we ask other countries to abstain from getting nukes when we are researching them' thing. Sorry pal, but the answer for most of America is "because we are America and they aren't". It may not be fair, but lots of people feel that way.

Anyway, awful debate in general. Tone-wise Kerry didn't look bad. But he said some things that might not play well with the so-called swing voters.

The discussions around here make me wonder if politically active people can really judge how debates effect the general electorate. Is it possible that we are too involved to really understand how debates look to people who don't live and breathe politics?

The discussions around here make me wonder if politically active people can really judge how debates effect the general electorate. Is it possible that we are too involved to really understand how debates look to people who don't live and breathe politics?

Gosh, you think?

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