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Friday, October 08, 2004

Bush vs Kerry

Early assessment: Bush has picked up his cadence in the speech tonight. More emphatic. He is more convincing then last time.

Kerry is better tonight also.

Just finished viewing the debate on TiVo... (what a technological masterpiece that is!)

Highlights of Bush:

Question 3: Sen. Kerry, would you have a different plan than the president for Iraq?
"He talks about a grand idea: Let's have a summit; we're going to solve the problem in Iraq by holding a summit. And what is he going to say to those people that show up at the summit? Join me in the wrong war at the wrong time at the wrong place. Risk your troops in a war you've called a mistake.
Nobody is going to follow somebody who doesn't believe we can succeed and with somebody who says that war where we are is a mistake."

Question 4: President Bush, what is your plan to repair diplomatic relations with other countries?
I remember when Ronald Reagan was the president; he stood on principle. Somebody called that stubborn. He stood on principle standing up to the Soviet Union, and we won that conflict. Yet at the same time, he was very -- we were very unpopular in Europe because of the decisions he made.

I remember going down to the basement of the White House the day we committed our troops as last resort, looking at Tommy Franks and the generals on the ground, asking them, "Do we have the right plan with the right troop level?"
And they looked me in the eye and said, "Yes, sir, Mr. President." ... A president sets the strategy and relies upon good military people to execute that strategy.

Question 6 : President Bush, how will you maintain our military strength without a draft?... followup

BUSH: Let me just -- I've got to answer this.
GIBSON: Exactly. And with Reservists being held on duty...
BUSH: Let me answer what he just said, about around the world.
GIBSON: Well, I want to get into the issue of the back-door draft...
BUSH: You tell Tony Blair we're going alone. Tell Tony Blair we're going alone. Tell Silvio Berlusconi we're going alone. Tell Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland we're going alone.
There are 30 countries there. It denigrates an alliance to say we're going alone, to discount their sacrifices. You cannot lead an alliance if you say, you know, you're going alone. And people listen. They're sacrificing with us.

I liked this section, not because of what Bush said, but because he refused to let the interviewer to tell him to stand down. If Bush had stopped on the path to immediately take issue with Kerry, and just barge into this passage he would have come across as weak. Instead he looked strong and forceful, resolute and determined. He held his ground. Some might criticise him for lack of respect for the interviewer, but the quality he showed in standing up and not be led, but to lead really impressed me.

Question 9: Senator Kerry, you've stated your concern for the rising cost of health care, yet you chose a vice presidential candidate who has made millions of dollars successfully suing medical professionals. How do you reconcile this with the voters?...followup

...You should have shown up on the floor in the Senate and voted for it then.

And my favourite of the night had to be question 17: Senator Kerry, suppose you are speaking with a voter who believed abortion is murder and the voter asked for reassurance that his or her tax dollars would not go to support abortion, what would you say to that person?

in answer to Kerry's waffle and nothing answer...

I'm trying to decipher that.
My answer is, we're not going to spend taxpayers' money on abortion.

I personally think that Kerry killed himself on the ethical dilemma issues of stem cell research, and abortion. A high number of evangelical Christians have not voted in previous elections. That fact that he was so openly putting himself in an opposing standpoint... by saying

"You know, Elizabeth, I really respect your—the feeling that's in your question. I understand it. I know the morality that's prompting that question, and I respect it enormously.

But ..."
(emphasis added)

That 'but' killed off votes. He essentially said, "I don't have a moral position." I am OK with ethical and moral vacancy. Evangelical Christians, I think will pick up on the undertone of what he said, and link it to other issues not mentioned in the debate like gay marriage, and see that Kerry really does not stand for morality as they see it.

Another moment was Bush calling the Audience member on the Three mistakes. Bush read right through the implication she was making, and named it. Iraq. It was the only way to deal with the question and I think it was an effective fend.

Debate moderation, I think was fair.

Kerry was very effective with delivery. I am getting sick of hearing him trying to make the same point over and over. He has done a better job then the GOP of reasserting the same point. Pity that sometimes they contradict each other!

the king of the Hill

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