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Deep Thoughts On The Debate Format

Senator John Kerry - Kerry's advisers must be peeing their pants happy about this format, even with its strict time limits. The 2 minute/90 second response format helped keep Kerry from wandering into one of his most deadly defects - the tendency to drag on and on while getting lost in minutia. For Kerry the shorter the answer the more effective - he tends to shine when he stays tight and focused. Anyone who has seen one of his campaign stump speeches knows how quickly he can drain the energy from a crowd when allowed to speak long form.

President Bush - Contrary to the conventional wisdom I think that the more free-form the debate the better Bush does. For the President the time to quality ratio is more of a positive correlation - the more time he has to answer a question the better he does. Bush occasionally miscues under time restrictions, and does not get as many points as his opponent. In most cases that doesn't matter, but if you've seen a Bush campaign speech you've seen him build momentum as the speech goes. That kind of momentum is harder to capture in a 90 second response.


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Comments (34)

What happened to the tan? ... (Below threshold)
Bruce:

What happened to the tan? It faded as fast as it appeared. Somewhere there's a trash can full of Brillo pads.

This is hilarious. The Bush... (Below threshold)
stilwell:

This is hilarious. The Bush camp insisted on the little lights being used to prevent Kerry from pontificating. I'm going to post this on dailykos as the example of "most pathetic GOP spin," so expect some unsusual traffic. Your boy is toast.

Stilwell

HALLIBURTON! VIETNAM! HALLI... (Below threshold)

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Who won the debate polls:</... (Below threshold) i thought the bush team wer... (Below threshold)
sefd:

i thought the bush team weren't happy with the free form debate format of debate No. 2 and wanted to back out?

informed voter: the treatment given halliburton doesn't make you mad? and if not, why's that?

Itís a shame none of the te... (Below threshold)
Rocketman:

Itís a shame none of the terrorists are available for a debate. John Kerry could win that one also. Oh wait a minute... they just want to kill us!

Good thing Clinton never aw... (Below threshold)

Good thing Clinton never awarded any no-bid contracts to Halliburton in Kosovo, or the left would explode.

My only concern within the ... (Below threshold)
Russ:

My only concern within the war on terror, is that we need another firehouse in my town!

One of the first times I ag... (Below threshold)
Dave:

One of the first times I agree with one of your comments on the format really helped JFK and hurt GWB.

The irony is this is one of the Republican negotiating points that they "won" in order to control JFK from saying too much stuff about GWB and stealing the airways. It really backfired big time!

Dave (the other one)

One of the first times I ag... (Below threshold)
Dave:

One of the first times I agree with one of your comments on the format really helped JFK and hurt GWB.

The irony is this is one of the Republican negotiating points that they "won" in order to control JFK from saying too much stuff about GWB and stealing the airways. It really backfired big time!

Dave (the other one)

To Informed Voter - that's ... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

To Informed Voter - that's hilarious. I couldn't believe he was stupid enough to bring up either subject never mind that among the fact that weapons of mass destruction are crosssing the borders every day and blowing people up! HUH?? Watch out for this "draft" people - it's his people spreading the rumors and Bush quickly said an army of (damn it forgot the word)those who want to be in it. I agree with you Kevin, for his personality is different but to be honest, I thought he did a better job tonight than even I expected. Bush did his comebacks and straightened out and only mis-stepped once or twice on his tongue. He's slower in getting started but he makes his point and makes it good. Overall, I love Bush myself and I thought he did a great, very civil, job and I was exceedingly proud of him. I know he didn't have much time to prep but he did exceptionally well in this debate. I love his manner, his calmness, his softness, quiet quality and because he is that way when he talks, it seems like he would not be as good as a debater as you seem to note here: I think you're wrong, my friend. It's that quality that makes him stand out. Kerry goes around saying I, I, I, I while President Bush says WE, WE, WE for the Presidential office just does not include the President but his cabinet and all those who report to that Cabinet and Administration. Kerry on the other hand, said nothing but IIIIIIIII as if no one else matters. I'm not going to go into here the things each said, I pretty much have them down word for word and I will ache for days just from typing as fast as possible - transcription days are still with me. But all in all, and even though I hate Kerry and his name dropping constantly, with a passion and I would love to tear his remarks apart and could do just that, I still have to say for the type of speaker that President Bush is, he did a better job tonight than John Kerry. I think he will continue to do a better job in all the debates. The same kind of manner is also reflective in Cheney: will you say the same thing when he and Edwards face off?

Before I go, I do want to say one more thing. When Kerry said "I defended this nation as a young man and I will defend it as your President" we all know just how he defended this nation as a young man, and we all know his record in the Senate as an adult, making money off of US, I am really afraid for the United States of America if that man becomes President.

And kudo's to Jay for a great job! He's excellent at what he does best. Thanks for having him, I really enjoy his work.

Night Kev, know that it's okay to disagree but I think Bush did better than you are giving him credit for doing.

Hugs to family and baby,
~Cindy

To Informed Voter - that's ... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

To Informed Voter - that's hilarious. I couldn't believe he was stupid enough to bring up either subject never mind that among the fact that weapons of mass destruction are crosssing the borders every day and blowing people up! HUH?? Watch out for this "draft" people - it's his people spreading the rumors and Bush quickly said an army of (damn it forgot the word)those who want to be in it. I agree with you Kevin, for his personality is different but to be honest, I thought he did a better job tonight than even I expected. Bush did his comebacks and straightened out and only mis-stepped once or twice on his tongue. He's slower in getting started but he makes his point and makes it good. Overall, I love Bush myself and I thought he did a great, very civil, job and I was exceedingly proud of him. I know he didn't have much time to prep but he did exceptionally well in this debate. I love his manner, his calmness, his softness, quiet quality and because he is that way when he talks, it seems like he would not be as good as a debater as you seem to note here: I think you're wrong, my friend. It's that quality that makes him stand out. Kerry goes around saying I, I, I, I while President Bush says WE, WE, WE for the Presidential office just does not include the President but his cabinet and all those who report to that Cabinet and Administration. Kerry on the other hand, said nothing but IIIIIIIII as if no one else matters. I'm not going to go into here the things each said, I pretty much have them down word for word and I will ache for days just from typing as fast as possible - transcription days are still with me. But all in all, and even though I hate Kerry and his name dropping constantly, with a passion and I would love to tear his remarks apart and could do just that, I still have to say for the type of speaker that President Bush is, he did a better job tonight than John Kerry. I think he will continue to do a better job in all the debates. The same kind of manner is also reflective in Cheney: will you say the same thing when he and Edwards face off?

Before I go, I do want to say one more thing. When Kerry said "I defended this nation as a young man and I will defend it as your President" we all know just how he defended this nation as a young man, and we all know his record in the Senate as an adult, making money off of US, I am really afraid for the United States of America if that man becomes President.

And kudo's to Jay for a great job! He's excellent at what he does best. Thanks for having him, I really enjoy his work.

Night Kev, know that it's okay to disagree but I think Bush did better than you are giving him credit for doing.

Hugs to family and baby,
~Cindy

To Informed Voter - that's ... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

To Informed Voter - that's hilarious. I couldn't believe he was stupid enough to bring up either subject never mind that among the fact that weapons of mass destruction are crosssing the borders every day and blowing people up! HUH?? Watch out for this "draft" people - it's his people spreading the rumors and Bush quickly said an army of (damn it forgot the word)those who want to be in it. I agree with you Kevin, for his personality is different but to be honest, I thought he did a better job tonight than even I expected. Bush did his comebacks and straightened out and only mis-stepped once or twice on his tongue. He's slower in getting started but he makes his point and makes it good. Overall, I love Bush myself and I thought he did a great, very civil, job and I was exceedingly proud of him. I know he didn't have much time to prep but he did exceptionally well in this debate. I love his manner, his calmness, his softness, quiet quality and because he is that way when he talks, it seems like he would not be as good as a debater as you seem to note here: I think you're wrong, my friend. It's that quality that makes him stand out. Kerry goes around saying I, I, I, I while President Bush says WE, WE, WE for the Presidential office just does not include the President but his cabinet and all those who report to that Cabinet and Administration. Kerry on the other hand, said nothing but IIIIIIIII as if no one else matters. I'm not going to go into here the things each said, I pretty much have them down word for word and I will ache for days just from typing as fast as possible - transcription days are still with me. But all in all, and even though I hate Kerry and his name dropping constantly, with a passion and I would love to tear his remarks apart and could do just that, I still have to say for the type of speaker that President Bush is, he did a better job tonight than John Kerry. I think he will continue to do a better job in all the debates. The same kind of manner is also reflective in Cheney: will you say the same thing when he and Edwards face off?

Before I go, I do want to say one more thing. When Kerry said "I defended this nation as a young man and I will defend it as your President" we all know just how he defended this nation as a young man, and we all know his record in the Senate as an adult, making money off of US, I am really afraid for the United States of America if that man becomes President.

And kudo's to Jay for a great job! He's excellent at what he does best. Thanks for having him, I really enjoy his work.

Night Kev, know that it's okay to disagree but I think Bush did better than you are giving him credit for doing.

Hugs to family and baby,
~Cindy

You REALLY have to fix that... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

You REALLY have to fix that thing you are using that says to correct malicious posting. SEFD, I do not think that Informed Voter was mad about Halliburton or Vietnam - it was just absolutely stupid of Kerry to bring up either one. Now we know from all the hostage taking and beheadings that Halliburton is NOT the only construction company over in Iraq. Actually in all my daily and nightly searches for info, I have yet to see the name Halliburton come up as a company over there awarded contracts and they sure have not lost people to hostage taking or beheadings or we surely would have heard about it by now. Megad, man, where is your brain tonight? Halliburton was an insulting reference to Cheney and Vietnam was an insulting reference to the unfact that Kerry served and defended his country in war and will do the same as President. I think that was the point he was trying to make. If not, my apologies but I don't think so - I think he was trying to be funny, but not, at the same time. Two subjects he should have kept quiet about, SEFD.

Nite all, see you tomorrow. For those who missed it, I have most of the words typed down or check c-span for a repeat. Another one in two weeks. I think I'll record it and try to learn how to write like Jay. Doubt it but together we could be awesome!!
~C

DAVE,HIS NAME IS N... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

DAVE,

HIS NAME IS NOT "JFK" AND PLEASE DO NOT USE THOSE INITIALS TO REPRESENT JOHN KERRY. HE NEVER USED THE "F" IN HIS NAME UNTIL LATELY AND HIS TEAM STOPPED THAT DEAD IN IT'S TRACKS FOR A REASON. HE IS NOT JOHN F. KENNEDY AND NEVER WILL BE. PLEEASE DO ME AND OTHERS A FAVOR AND DO NOT USE JFK WHEN REFERRING TO THAT SCUMBALL KERRY.
Thank you

~C

Awww Firstbrokenangel was u... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Awww Firstbrokenangel was upset that I used JFK instead of saying John Kerry? I am so sorry it upset you so much.

Nice use of CAPS in your post.

Dave (the other one)

Awww Firstbrokenangel was u... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Awww Firstbrokenangel was upset that I used JFK instead of saying John Kerry? I am so sorry it upset you so much.

Nice use of CAPS in your post.

Dave (the other one)

Re: JFK disagreement.... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Re: JFK disagreement.

Might I suggest that we refer to the sitting junior Senator from Massachusetts as "JF'nK" or "JFK the Lesser" to differentiate him from the former president? Both have their justifications...

J.

Why didn't Bush mention tha... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Why didn't Bush mention that Theresa was a major stockholder in Halliburton making her a de facto owner of Halliburton. Also, Cheney divested himself of all Halliburton stock and gave all the money to charity. And Clinton gave more no-bid contracts to Halliburton than any other president.

I'm sorry guys but that chi... (Below threshold)
fourmoremonths:

I'm sorry guys but that chimp of yours could not do a better job showing everybody what a total fraud he is. Any which way you look.

This country desperately deserves better.

Cant believe that anyone wo... (Below threshold)
James:

Cant believe that anyone would vote for Bush after that performance. Kerry might not be best man for the job but atleast he doesn't across as "Rainman" or "Forest". Could it be that Bush is autistic?

firstbroken-Don't ... (Below threshold)
floyd:

firstbroken-

Don't linit your searches to Halliburton, try Kellog Brown & Root, their division that has a ton of contracts in Iraq.

As far as not having employees kidnapped, maybe they're employees tend to stay in more secure areas as opposed the recent victims who were living in a residential neighborhood with next to no security.

The kidnappers do tend to go after the easiest targets.


I don't know if the format ... (Below threshold)
Neil:

I don't know if the format favored one candidate or the other. There was a lot of great give and take. I think the American people got a pretty good look at the candidates. By and large they both did well, but I think that Kerry came off better than Bush. The President just wasn't his normal self last night. I don't know why. I think he is going to have to tighten up his responses next time if he wants to convince undecideds to support him.

The simple truth is that Bu... (Below threshold)
James:

The simple truth is that Bush is incapable of making convincing arguments and looks lost at the best of times. Kerry may have made some factual errors but in campaigns where style is more important than substance, kerry's delivery was more polished. In fact if they made a movie about the two candidates, Dumb and Dumber would be apt were it not already an existing movie!!

Like I said Dubya had to ta... (Below threshold)
patrick:

Like I said Dubya had to talk that always gets him. I know if we could have read his mind all night long he was thinking "I just want to kick that Kerry's A** all night.

You called it in advance.</... (Below threshold)

You called it in advance.

Dubya's negotiating team sh... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Dubya's negotiating team should have pushed harder for the lifelines during the debate - anything could have helped and it would have provided some comic relief - boy it was painful to watch him speak for 45 - 50 of 90 minutes.

Dave (the other one)

Dubya's negotiating team sh... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Dubya's negotiating team should have pushed harder for the lifelines during the debate - anything could have helped and it would have provided some comic relief - boy it was painful to watch him speak for 45 - 50 of 90 minutes.

Dave (the other one)

Transcript of Debate #1 (vi... (Below threshold)
Richard:

Transcript of Debate #1 (video & text) http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,134152,00.html

If watching the debate, Bush was rushed and uncomfortable as being on the spot if bad for him for choosing words. Bush is more of a think it through then speak, which does not work for him when he have only two minutes or ninety seconds in which to articulate a point.

If you read what he actually said against what Kerry said, you would no doubt have to say Bush was far more logical in viewpoint and had a deeper understanding of the American people overall, and the war on terror as it applies to necessity. I could actually post snippets on each topic from both candidates if that would help.

I think Bush missed many opportunities to put Kerry away as he seemed too concerned to make sure he got in his talking points. What debates are about is knowing your material in and out, but NOT memorizing it word by word. Know it well enough that you can put into your own words smoothly. By the time Bush did articulate his point, he lost ground in presentation. A president needs to be in office based on substance, not style.

Kerry sat on the intelligence committee and if information was incorrect, he was one of those whose responsibility was to compile and interpret the intelligence. So if it was so terribly wrong, why is he not held accountable for his lack of foresight, judgment, accuracy?

Bush did exceedingly well on the Bill OíReilly show just days prior to the debates as he had plenty of time to respond so he was comfortable.

I believe Bush to be true, sincere and with the countries best interest in mind. This is our war; we were attacked, and any assistance from anyone is welcomed but should not be demanded. The fact that France likes Kerry should be reason enough to question his position on anything. Kerry canít bring his own party together, let alone nations. Besides how can anyone who has been on three sides of a two sided issue expect any foreign leaders to trust him. They may not like Bush, but the certainly know where he stands. No one puts their confidence on a weathervane of political opportunity.

Bush says something, then follows it through regardless of how popular it is one week and not the following week.

Kerry says something, votes against it, campaigns on it, trashes Bush for it. Just like Vietnam, enlisted in the war, then talked against the war, now says he is better to lead because he served in the war.

Richard

Of course after reading the... (Below threshold)
Richard:

Of course after reading the typos on my last post, i'm not too good and quick responce either.

perhaps it is off to bed :-)

nite all

Richard

Am I the only one that noti... (Below threshold)

Am I the only one that noticed Kerry totally dissed Lehrer?

He walked away and Jim looked a bit lost having to interupt him to get a handshake.

Bush immediately thanked Lehrer - very Presidential and polite - Kerry - well he Secret Serviced the guy!
David

Am I the only one that noti... (Below threshold)

Am I the only one that noticed Kerry totally dissed Lehrer?

He walked away and Jim looked a bit lost having to interupt him to get a handshake.

Bush immediately thanked Lehrer - very Presidential and polite - Kerry - well he Secret Serviced the guy!
David

Yes it was very easy for Ke... (Below threshold)
Branna:

Yes it was very easy for Kerry to get up there & bash Bush for making very tough decisions. From draft dodger to war protester. Is this the best democrats offer???? I can see where Bush is coming from. Not only did Kerry bash Bush but he used lies to make points that uninformed voters would think are true.

Kerry should be named the "Armchair Quarterback Prez Wannabe" in charge of bamboozling show stopping flip flops! He's ripe for election year blather.

I'm so glad the polls are reflecting that the public TRUSTS Bush more. Kerry should know that if hot air could win the peace the UN would be a great world body...yu think? hehehehe

To Neil,The presid... (Below threshold)
Branna:

To Neil,

The president was out all day consoling floridians & surveying damages while Kerry was getting his hair, nails & make-up done. Bush DOES takes his job more serious than Kerry who missed all those votes in the security council AFTER 911.

There yu have it. A carreer politician vs. a trustworthy incumbant who takes his position seriously.




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