Kerry slays Bush in first debate

Wow… I have a lot of complaints about how this so-called debate was structured, and I am not a Kerry fan, but he is shredding Bush to bits. Bush looks scowly, defensive, and dim. He sounds like he’s in an argument on a fourth grade playground. He’s repeating himself (read: talking points beaten into him all day) and not answering the questions – he’s using the same answers for several of the questions, in fact. Kerry is answering questions directly and for all his historical vapidity sounds focused, bright, and committed. He sounds clear on the Middle East and on terror. He sounds clear on the fucked-up priorities of the Bush team. Kerry looks positively Presidential; Bush looks like a defensive moron who didn’t do his homework. Bush is stammering through sentences and has delivered several non-sequiturs (but I am aware that most people tend to fall for them). I am truly stunned at the disparity here.

I hate to simplify these things into win-or-lose, because it often depends on your issues, priorities, and inclinations – basically what matters to you. But it’s hard to argue, at this point, that Bush is not getting clobbered.

The “invading Mexico” thing was good, too. Oh, and Kerry washed his face. Bonus.

3 thoughts on “Kerry slays Bush in first debate”

  1. I thought this exchange at the end was particularly stunning:

    Kerry: …Now, I’d like to come back for a quick moment, if I can, to that issue about China and the talks. Because that’s one of the most critical issues here: North Korea.

    Just because the president says it can’t be done, that you’d lose China, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I mean, this is the president who said “There were weapons of mass destruction,” said “Mission accomplished,” said we could fight the war on the cheap — none of which were true.

    We could have bilateral talks with Kim Jong Il. And we can get those weapons at the same time as we get China. Because China has an interest in the outcome, too.

    LEHRER: Thirty seconds, Mr. President.

    BUSH: You know my opinion on North Korea. I can’t say it any more plainly.

    LEHRER: Well, but when he used the word “truth” again…

    BUSH: Pardon me?

    LEHRER: … talking about the truth of the matter. He used the word “truth” again. Did that raise any hackles with you?

    BUSH: Oh, I’m a pretty calm guy. I don’t take it personally.

    LEHRER: OK. All right.

    BUSH: You know, we looked at the same intelligence and came to the same conclusion: that Saddam Hussein was a grave threat.

    And I don’t hold it against him that he said grave threat. I’m not going to go around the country saying he didn’t tell the truth, when he looked at the same intelligence I did.

  2. Absolutely a best-case scenario for the Kerry camp. While I think Kerry did his fair share of skirting, he nailed it. Rose to the occasion and showed that he is indeed Presidential.

    It will be extremely interesting to see how handled Bush will have been during the next debate. There will be a stark contrast in his performances. But I think that will break down before too long because it is achingly apparent that Bush cannot think on his feet and that he really does not have a deep grasp of the complexities of the issues (not that I am claiming to, but I certainly can tell a lack of comprehension).

    If this is to be the tenor of the following debates, then Hello President Kerry.

    And what was the Matthews quote? Here we go, thank you Anna Marie:

    Chris Matthews, post-debate:

    “What do you think about the fact that, you could say, the President elected to receive?”

    Indeed. Ankles grabbed.

  3. I thought this exchange at the end was particularly stunning:

    Kerry: …Now, I’d like to come back for a quick moment, if I can, to that issue about China and the talks. Because that’s one of the most critical issues here: North Korea.

    Just because the president says it can’t be done, that you’d lose China, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I mean, this is the president who said “There were weapons of mass destruction,” said “Mission accomplished,” said we could fight the war on the cheap — none of which were true.

    We could have bilateral talks with Kim Jong Il. And we can get those weapons at the same time as we get China. Because China has an interest in the outcome, too.

    LEHRER: Thirty seconds, Mr. President.

    BUSH: You know my opinion on North Korea. I can’t say it any more plainly.

    LEHRER: Well, but when he used the word “truth” again…

    BUSH: Pardon me?

    LEHRER: … talking about the truth of the matter. He used the word “truth” again. Did that raise any hackles with you?

    BUSH: Oh, I’m a pretty calm guy. I don’t take it personally.

    LEHRER: OK. All right.

    BUSH: You know, we looked at the same intelligence and came to the same conclusion: that Saddam Hussein was a grave threat.

    And I don’t hold it against him that he said grave threat. I’m not going to go around the country saying he didn’t tell the truth, when he looked at the same intelligence I did.

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