A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

Bush-Kerry Debate (II)

Watching this debate, I found myself much more interested in the horserace–who was winning? who was losing? It seemed clear to me that the President was on the defensive; he even sounded desparate to me (although he seemed to calm down during the last 20 minutes or so). Kerry seemed, well, presidential and wise. Both candidates wandered off a little too often and a little too far from the questions they were asked–but this is a problem that’s bothered me for 30 years or so. It seemed like President Bush was prepped to answer the question, ‘What has been your greatest mistake?’ but was not ready to answer the question he actually got–name three mistakes. He’s either pathologically unable to admit error, or sociopathologically guided by his poltical handlers to remain ‘steadfast’ at all costs. (He admitted to some bad political appointments–big deal).

I was glad that the audience was able to ask questions that seem less likely to come up if we expect a news reader or reporter: about abortion, about stem cell research. Even answering questions about health care and jobs is a bit different when you’re addressing an everyday citizen than when you’re addressing a reporter. After all, the citizen is likely to actually care about the answer; the reporter is more likely concerned about his or her reportorial role or ‘getting’ the candidate.

In any case, a clear choice. I took the dogs out for a walk today (if you know me, you know that’s very unusual). Around the block, I saw a dozen, maybe twenty Kerry-Edwards signs; only one Bush-Cheney sign. This probably doesn’t portend much (although I think our precinct voted about 50/50 for Bush and Gore in 2000).

(Update: my local precinct actually voted Gore: 434, Bush: 265 in 2000.)


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