Skip to comments.On All Cylinders [Bush does everything you want... in a debate]
Posted on 10/13/2004 11:22:35 PM PDT by Utah Girl
WHAT DO YOU want to achieve in a presidential debate? You want to hammer home your campaign themes. You want to put your opponent on the defensive. You want to sell yourself personally. And you want to avoid a gaffe or a damaging sound bite. Bush did all four in Wednesday night's third and final nationally televised debate with John Kerry. It was his best debate performance ever and that includes his three debates with Al Gore in 2000. As a result, it may have won Bush a second White House term.
Let's examine the four goals the president--or Kerry, for that matter--sought to realize in the debate. Themes? Bush's chief message was that Kerry is a liberal on the fringe of the political mainstream. He argued it with humor, saying Kerry is so liberal he makes Teddy Kennedy "the conservative senator from Massachusetts." And he did it by pointing to issues. He contrasted his tax cutting with Kerry's penchant for raising taxes. He insisted that Kerry's vote against the Gulf War in 1991 meant America could never pass the senator's "global test" for military intervention. In that war, the United States had the United Nations and most of the world were on its side, but not Kerry, Bush noted.
And for the first time, Bush made an effective case for a constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage. Kerry claimed correctly that he and Bush agree marriage should only be between a man and a woman. But they don't agree on how to preserve this arrangement. Bush backs an amendment as the only way to bar judges from imposing same-sex marriage on states and Kerry doesn't. This is a sleeper issue in the campaign, one Bush would be wise to follow up on in his stump speeches.
Defense? Kerry was forced to play defense last night as much as Bush was in the first debate two weeks ago. Kerry repeatedly said his health care plan was not a big government program. He all but admitted he has litmus test for prospective Supreme Court justices on abortion--that is, they must be pro-choice. Responding to Bush's charge he'd sponsored only a handful of bills during his 20 years in the Senate that actually began law, Kerry came up with an inaccurate claim to have "personally written" 56 bills.
Sell yourself? Bush looked comfortable during the debate's 90 minutes and acted as if he would happily have continued for another hour. Maybe this was because the debate didn't go beyond his normal bedtime (9:00 p.m. or so). Of course, his adjustment to Pacific time--the debate was in Arizona--would have had to be a quick one. Anyway, his answers on his Christian faith ("I pray a lot.") and what he's learned from the women in his life ("Listen to them.") were appealing. Also, again unlike in the first debate, his body language was positive.
Finally, there wasn't a gaffe or a major flub. A bad sound bite can be quite embarrassing when broadcast over and over on TV. Just ask Dan Quayle or Michael Dukakis. Bush didn't fall into that kind of trouble, nor did Kerry.
Were there Kerry moments? Not many. Kerry may have beaten Bush in arguing in favor of a higher minimum wage, but not by much. And he may have succeeded in raising doubts about Bush's plan to allow workers to earmark some of their payroll taxes for private investment accounts. Beyond that, it wasn't Kerry's night.
The snap polls, however, showed a tie or even a Kerry win. These should be ignored. A debate is a three or four day event, starting with the 90 minutes on TV, then involving examination of what the candidates said and commentary on it, and winding up with polls that show whether one candidate or the other gained or lost ground. My guess is Bush will gain.
Now here's a strange twist on the debate. Bush was the winner in a focus group of uncommitted voters conducted by pollster Frank Luntz last night. The 23 voters thought Kerry, not Bush, won the debate. But they split 17 to 5 in favor of Bush on whom they now plan to vote for (one will vote Libertarian). "They still don't trust what John Kerry is saying," Luntz said, though they thought he said it well.
Even a broken clock....
I'm sure that's what your pals at DU think, but you're in for a big disappointment in November. So long troll.
Thanks for signing up today and blessing us with your words of wisdom. Only...I don't get what you are saying.
Cry in your milk idiot !
Mmmm, rrright... you must mean all those finely wrought lines like this one:
"I'm tired of politicians who talk about family values and don't value families" (huh?)
But the only problem with Kerry's best is...it loses him votes.
And to think you signed on to FR just to post that woefully unimaginative retort.
Curl up in your bed tonight with the warm self-delusional notion that you made some sort of difference here.
Kerry spoke of a plan he has never explained, and continued to complain, while Monday morning quarterbacking over things we can't change.
This was a huge win for Dubya
Can't we leave these trolls comments up a little longer so we can all have some fun? What a Maroon!
Folks are not going to vote for a man they don't trust
This is the point so many talking-heads fail to grasp. There is such a thing as being too well-prepared. Any polished speaker can win a debate, merely by being better able to recite a list of factoids from memory. I would concede that Bush lost the first debate if only because he did not go after Kerry on his vote on the first Gulf War and because Bush seemed tired. But his answers were more truthful and consistent (perhaps too consistent in that they seemed repetitive).
Folks that I spoke woke with (mostly moms) said that yes, Kerry won that debate on style .. but that he came off looking and sounding like a politician
Their comments about Bush were that he was honest and truthful and that he spoke from the heart
The second debate they said the President was much more relaxed and himself
I can't wait to hear what they have to say about tonights debate
BTW, this is an opinion piece. ;-`
Ahem...if they speak...er...um...personally on how George came across and their response, you might not wish to publish it - ya think?
PRESIDENT BUSH: In all due respect, I'm not so sure it's credible to quote leading news organizations about -- well, never mind. Anyway.
Yep, you can see he won The DNC had to jimmy the poll results to get a "Kerry win" story. Check this
Go to the MSNBC "Debate" poll, Look at the number of responses since last night. Between 10pm CST last night and 8am cst today
1,167,339????? OBVIOUSLY someone jimmied the numbers. That is more people then WATCH MSNBC overnight!
Then check out this curious fact. CNN showed almost exactly the OPPOSITE result at 12 mindnight CST yet this morning that poll is PULLED from the CNN website. However, CNN IS hyping their "SNAP poll" which shows a Kerry win but could of ONLY been conducted ON the WEST Coast since the time frame after the debate would not allow polling anywhere else in the country.
Yep, Journalistic Fraud, all the way around.
won the debate? * 1167339 responses
33% Sen. Kerry
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