Thursday, September 30, 2004

W underwhelmed, to be nice

Quick take on the debate: W could've slammed the door tonight. Two softballs set up to him: a) what is the biggest threat in the world? ; and b) what do you want to do about Iran? The set up couldn't have been more perfect for either one of them: Kerry had just answered a) by saying the threat was nuclear proliferation, and in response to b) he had said that he would give the Iranians nuclear materials IN THE SAME ANSWER that he was talking about the evils of nuclear proliferation. All W had to do: the biggest threat is hatred (ties in nicely to the war in Iraq), and the idea of giving Iran nuclear materials is ludicrous. It would have been the end of the game, right there.

Instead, we got an awful lot of stumbling on talking points that even I had grown tired of hearing over and over. Now I know W isn't the smoothest talker in the world, but he's got to do better than that.

Now my President did have some good moments in the debate, but unfortunately they were mostly in the early refrains. For example, from 9:10 EDT to about 9:15 EDT, the President was awesome. So awesome, in fact, I thought that this was going to be a big night. Unfortunately, the rest of the evening's performance didn't live up to that start. Flat, fumbling, and passive on a number of attacks from Kerry, it just wasn't as good as I hoped.

But there were some good points: the difference in dealing with North Korea was stark (funny how Kerry believes that independent U.S. action is the proper course to take), as was the question that Bush raised about Kerry's seeking "global" something-or-other in the face of necessary preemptive action.

But all-in-all, I'm thinking this one goes to Kerry. Darn.

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