October 08, 2004

Tonight's Dubya/Kerry debate.

This magpie calls the second presidential debate for John Kerry. It was pretty much a slam dunk, in fact.

Dubya performed about as he did in the first debate. Kerry performed far better. (We're being deliberately vague about why we think so in order to encourage more discussion in the comments.)

What do you think? Who won? Did someone win? Why? Did the debate change your mind about who you'll be voting for in November?

The lines are open.

Posted by Magpie at October 8, 2004 07:32 PM | Elections | Technorati links |

First of all, nothing new, but I guess we didn't expect anything. I listened on the radio so no talk here on body language. Certainly closer than the first debate. I thought Bush sounded really defensive the first half but improved the second half. Kerry sounded pretty steady most of the time. Bush started throwing the "Liberal" word around and Kerry told him to stop throwing labels around. By and large the same platitudes from both candidates, including the pure BS line from Bush "we have captured 75% of al-Queda". From this progressives point of view a slight plus for Kerry. Bush didn't repair the damage from the first debate but didn't do any new damage. Summary, same old shit, different day.

Posted by: Ron In Portland at October 8, 2004 08:08 PM

Once again, I was very impressed by Kerry's response to the pressure of these debates. There were frustrating moments when he seemed to lose his train of thought, but on the whole he was clear, calm and collected and managed to raise his game significantly on a day when W finally showed up.

I think Bush's biggest mistakes in this debate were coming down on the wrong side of two wedge issues for swing voters - stem cell research, and a woman's right to choose. The assertation that "our recession was one of the shallowest of modern history" probably won't help him much either, though!

Overall, a good debate where both candidates looked forceful and engaged, but a Kerry win for me.

Posted by: Umeeksk at October 8, 2004 08:28 PM

I think Kerry won this debate, but wouldn't be surprised to see the polls indicate that Bush crushed him. Yes, I have that much faith in the media.

That being said, I think Kerry was infinitely more 'presidential' in staying calm and presenting facts. 'Broken record' Bush just kept saying the same thing over and over and over again. Even stating stuff from the last debate-- and given he did as horribly as he did in the last debate, I'm surprised he wants to bring it up again.

Bush seemed more angry. I believe my boyfriend used the word "pissy" much of the time. And so many negative attacks on Kerry without offering anything insightful about his own plans. Typical.

In my heart, Kerry definitely won this. Each debate improves my image of him. Bush gave us more of Bush. We shall see what the rest of America thinks, eh?

Posted by: Christine at October 8, 2004 08:51 PM


I didn't see first debate--have never seen either main on TV, don't watch it. I was laugghing hard the first half of the debate--to my eyes, Kerry was mopping the floor with Bush, Kerry calm, deliberate, decisive--Bush talking in this high pitched tone full of annoyance and peevishness, scolding....."pissy"--yes that's what it was, what was that all about?

I was amazed that anyone could take Bush seriously.

Kerry also spoke directly to those who asked questions -- nice touch, used their first name, a folksy touch -- he outfolksed Bush tonite folks.

Posted by: degustibus at October 8, 2004 10:17 PM

Here's the headline I want to see (thought borrowed from something seen in a dKos diary):

Timber Temper Tantrum

If any major media outlet uses something like that, Dubya's toast.

Posted by: N in Seattle at October 8, 2004 11:12 PM

I have to say from the start that there is very little GW could possibly say that I would believe much less support.

That being said, at least this time he showed up and gave his best shot at debating. He displayed great emotion and passion for his positions, and gratefully avoided spewing any new Bushisms that only serve to embarrass me as an educated American.

I think that's why I'm so pleased that in my opinion Kerry slammed him on all points. Bush was so poor last time that for Kerry to be declared winner was moot. This time Bush did his best and still failed. How are conservatives going to spin this one when the votes are tallied and Kerry wins even when Bush plays his best cards? Wait... stupid question. I've already watched the follow up discussions and the convervative side of the media is declaring Bush a decisive winner.

The problem I see with their analysis is that they are all saying he won because he was so much better than his showing in the last debate. Well... I have no problem with that... but that only means he beats himself. So what? He still didn't come close to matching wits with Kerry.

Bush continued his whining about false threats of terrorit attacks in the US being averted by deposing Saddam; taking the offensive against the evil-doers (I really hate that term) before they spread their evil-doer cooties to other nations... blah blah blah. Oh, and I can't believe he kept a straight face when he tried to tell us how good for the environment his policies have been. Like anything he could possibly have done in four years has any affect at all on the current quality of our air or water. If our air quality is better now than a few years ago it is as a result of decisions made years and years ago. I do wish that Kerry had/would jump harder on some obvious openings... Bush's environmental policy flaws being just one.

For example, when Bush mentions Kerry's "No" vote on the 87B to supply more body armor and RPG resitant vehicles. Why doesn't Kerry come back with something better than he didn't like the way is was to be funded. Something like, "You were in such a rush to get into Iraq that you allowed our soliers to go to war without the proper gear. Body armor is standard equipment for ground troops going into enemy territory, and as Commander-in-Chief it's your job to make sure they are properly protected." I'm sure Kerry and his writers could make a much more effective quip... but I think you get the point.

Anyway. Missed opportunities aside, Kerry took the debate with a presidential flair while the president looked more than a little like a petulant child late for bedtime. Anyone who really thinks Bush won is no doubt so staunch a republican that they believe Bush won the first debate. Blue democrats will certainly not have been swayed. Light blue democrats will be more likely to move solidly into the Kerry camp. Those who lean republican... maybe a few will go Kerry but I doubt it will be very many. However, I think the 30-45 yo. undecided women out there will be pulled toward the open-minded Kerry stance on abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, supreme court nominee qualifications and his calm collected presentation style. Undecided men, of which there are very few, will remain undecided right up to when they step in the polling booth; if a guy hasn't decided yet then he's the type that can't choose food at McDonalds without lengthy deliberation... and ends up getting the same thing every time.

Overall, the swing states and those "leaning" democrat are looking bluer every day. If we can nab Pennsylvania by Nov. 2 I will be very pleased. If we can get Florida I will be ecstatic


Posted by: Karl at October 8, 2004 11:18 PM

Bush behaved worse than the first debate. He was pleading with the audience. It was imposible to beleive he was a president. He didn't seem to think he was either -- he didn't mention anything about his record of 4 years but instead about what he would do - if he became president.

Is he on drugs?
Is he psychologically incapable of saying he made a mistake - even for the purposes of PR?


Kerry was better than the first debate. Very aggresive, but not wild-eyed lunatic aggresive like Bush.

It wasn't even a match. They should let Bush bring Cheney along for the last debate to make it interesting. Either that or let them go "mano a mano" as Bush would say. The cheerleader vs the vietnam vet..... I bet a lot of people would like to see Bush get his preppy-boy ass kicked.

Posted by: at October 9, 2004 12:27 AM

Well that was quite a debate last night. I got on the "internets" this morning, but I could only find the same one that I've been using, so I thought I'd take my "off-road diesel vehicle" for a spin, but alas the president had cut my emissions by 90%. I guess I'll have a plate of messed missages and a magerita and get ready to watch some baseball.
Regards, J Griffith

Posted by: John Griffith at October 9, 2004 09:44 AM