Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

September 10, 2003

by J

Fox/CBC Debate

Stream of consciousness quick thoughts on the debate. First, I really don't like that the DNC agreed to let Fox sponsor this thing. I watched a bit of the Fox coverage afterwards and may I just say, "EWWW!" I mean, really, "EWWWW!" Now I remember why I don't watch Fox. And I've been thinking that CNN is bad. It's worse than Conason and Franken said, and I only caught about 45 minutes of it or so... The security in the place was clearly atrocious, given all the LaRouchie protesters. Like Braun, I am slightly skeptical that Fox, et. al. couldn't have done a bit better, especially if it was an invitation-only crowd, as was implied at one point.

Ok, on to the debate itself. Dean did better this time than previously, although his closing statement was weak. I give him a B-, up from a C last time, and the '-' only because of his close. I don't remember anything that Kerry or Edwards said, although Edwards needs to not giggle so hysterically at Sharpton. Gephardt got shut down by Sharpton and Kucinich (rightfully so; I'm still pissed at him for that Rose Garden nonsense -- no Democratic leader should be giving Dubya cover for anything). Carol was articulate. Lieberman still needs to be slapped, and Dean did a bit of smacking him down, which was nice. I can't believe they're harping on this Israel thing. Grasp at straws, much? Rumor over at BFA has it that Pelosi has signed a letter against Dean. Umm, party leadership, much? Pffft! Next time I get another fundraising letter from her, back it goes with a note and another Dean sticker. Sheesh. Anyway, Graham didn't seem really present and I thought it odd that he was the only one to get asked about gay marriage and naturalized citizenship for presidential candidates (which I think, on not much thought, is a bad idea, contrary to Graham).

I know people are talking about thinning the herd, but on a bit of reflection I'm glad that there are still all these candidates. Not one is really a duplicate of another, and I think they do each bring interesting and valuable perspectives (see, I can be magnanimous). Too bad the media is so lazy that they look for easy stories to tell instead of presenting each candidate carefully, accurately, and on their own merits.

One more point about the debate: Is there anyone out there who was not completely offended at the race-baiting gun control question from Juan Williams in which he tried to suggest to Braun that Dean is for gun control in black cities but not in white states? That was truly, truly appalling. I also didn't like whichever of the questioners made the snide remark about Kerry not giving a straightforward answer. Look, either be consistently snide to everyone, or be a neutral questioner, but don't pick and choose who you're going to be snide about. That said, both this debate and the last one overall had more interesting questions than what I recall from the 2000 presidential debates, but it's been a long time and I could be misremembering.
Posted by J at September 10, 2003 10:23 PM

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