Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

September 30, 2004

by V

Debate #1

Trying this liveblogging thing.. comments in reverse order.

Then there was McCain saying Bush showed his 'inner strength', at which point I got annoyed enough to turn it off. Senator, can I have back the donation I gave you in 2000?

After Rove was Ed 'failed comedian' Gillespie, sounding identically programmed but also defensive. Both guys spent all their energy dissing Kerry. Why didn't they talk about how great Bush was, I wonder?

It's weird, no one in the media around Rove is asking anything like "how do you respond to Kerry's contention that..." Everyone's just asking for a quote, listening to Rove spew and jotting it down. People, do you get access to Rove every day or something? Missed opportunities galore.

Whoa, Rove's on C-SPAN 2 in the media spin room. Freakish. In his lexicon, Bush never does anything, he just "understands" this, that and the other. No wonder he can take all those vacations - I can 'understand' twelve things before breakfast. Guy behind Rove is yawning.
Wow, Bush looked like he was going to cry in his closing speech. Is an hour of thinking and talking too taxing for him?

"I'm not talking about leaving. I'm talking about winning." Good summation from Kerry.

Bush sure is certain about his dislike of bilateral talks with North Korea. It's interesting that his primary criteria for what to do is, the opposite of what Jong-Il wants. So all Jong-Il has to do is pretend to want the opposite of what he actually wants, and he wins? How about a smarter approach, bunky...

Lots of sour looks from Bush. Kerry looks pretty neutral when Bush is talking.


Interesting choice by Bush to brag about not joining the International Criminal Court because... people could be prosecuted if they did bad things!

Good Kerry answer on preemptive war. We've always had the right to strike preemptively if you have good evidence, but Powell had to apologize for the argument he made to the UN...beeyotch.

Most annoying thing so far was at the beginning: Bush was asked whether America would be more likely to be attacked if Kerry were elected; Bush successfully slithered out of answering. Lehrer should have made at least a token effort to redirect Bush to the question asked. Bush beat Lehrer there.

Goodness, Georgie is offended by Allawi being called a puppet. Maybe if Bush's writers didn't write Allawi's speech for him... Allawi was all about 'understanding' this and that, just like Bush.

B is a broken record. "You can't lead if you say wrong war, wrong time etc." at least three times now. Kerry finally had a good answer - the troops already know it's not being done well, and even if it was a mistake, now we own it (the misnamed 'Pottery barn rule').

B: "Iraq will set a powerful example." Well, yeah, it is a hell of an example, George... clap louder!

"The only thing consistent about my ........ opponent's position is that he's been inconsistent." That's the best flip-flop zinger he can come up with? Fire the writers!

Hey, Bush said Osama's name! In a completely misleading way, but still. He remembers how to say his name!

I'd really like to see Kerry say something like "His daddy did it better - built a coalition, set an achievable goal, and won." I don't suppose he'd add ("and he can't stand it" though...) He's so close to contrasting Bush to his Dad, but is avoiding it for some reason.

Moved from Air America to C-SPAN now.. hey, they're showing both guys all the time. Isn't that against Bush's wussy wishes?

Gee, Kerry's providing a whole lot more detail in his answers. (Surprise.)

Kerry: "When something's going wrong, you make it right! That's what I did in Vietnam." Pretty good.

Kerry hitting well on how we didn't guard the most important stuff when invading. Bush: Look over there! At that $87 billion bill I threatened to veto!.

Good question from Lehrer: What criteria would you use to decide to bring the troops home? Bush: uh..... [duck duck duck].

Kerry: they're not keeping up with translating the intercepts. Bush: of course we're protecting America! uh...

Bush: "What message does it send the troops when he calls it the wrong war at the wrong time?" Gee, what message does it send when you don't give the troops the armor they need?

Twice Bush has completely ignored the question asked and gotten all "Saddam Saddam Saddam" when the question was Osama. Think anybody'll notice in the media?

Lehrer's asking acceptable questions so far & following up reasonably. No complaints so far about him.
Posted by V at September 30, 2004 09:23 PM

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