Round deux

Well, it seems the conventional wisdom is a "draw" regarding tonight's debate. Which is right where the Bush people want it. These are smart people, they know that unless Kerry becomes schizophrenic overnight there's no "winning" these debates. The issues Bush has to run on are just too murky/utterly fabricated. They spun the first debate as "Kerry is the defacto winner because Bush lost" and I'm sure they'll spin this one as "Bush is the defacto winner because he did better than last time."

I was actually quite surprised this time around. I thought Kerry held his ground in the first debate, but I sure as hell didn't like watching it. This time, I thought Kerry was performing quite dramatically ahead of Bush. His responses were disticntly more eloquent and coherent than the President's, and he kept the President on the defensive a clear majority of the time. While some will certainly voice complaints about his constant "I have a plan" intro, I thought it distanced him from Bush everytime he said it. In a good way.

The negative on this debate ought to be that Bush was performing at the peak of his capacity and it still didn't hold up. The President was obviously engaged and animated tonight, no one would deny him that. And yet, time and again, he failed to go beyond the tired old soundbytes and make a case for his second term. Interested people of course have known this to be the case for the past year, but its time the regular voted started asking similar questions.


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