On to the debates: If you have been paying any attention, Cheney has facts, Edwards charming promises built around a few lines ("we'll hunt down and kill terrorists", "Kerry has been consistent", snide implications that Cheney and Halliburton are dirty, etc). If you don't know anything, its probably a close debate. Here's my reasoning: Cheney tells you hard he and GWB have been working and what's been accomplished. Edwards points out that things aren't perfect--they never are--and offers you rosy promises if you'll change. If you buy that sort of argument, you vote for the new guy every four years anyway. I don't think Edwards got any real traction with his smooth, folksy trial lawyer promises against anyone except those who like to be romanced or are already decided.
Humor note: Edwards plan to have lawyers self-police themselves on frivilous suits by committee. HAHAHA!
Cheney definitely held his own--more than his own on facts. Gwenn Iwill's questions were a bit loaded at the beginning, but they got more fair as time went on, and Cheney relaxed. I liked her moderating a lot better than Lehrer's.
So what are any of the bar associations for?
According to the GAO, the REASON Halliburton got the contract was that it was the ONLY company with the ability and resources to fulfill the contract, which was vital to the war effort. . and this was from independent accounting.