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Debate Wrapup

If the first debate was all Kerry, this one was all Bush. As I noted a week ago the town hall format was going to be the best format for Bush. He proved it tonight.

Kerry was not bad, but in some respects will be a victim of the higher expectations from the first debate. Given the inevitable comparisons between Bush's first debate performance and tonights it would be next to impossible not to notice the dramatically better performance by Bush.

Wizbang corespondent Douglas Ott is covering the debates on-site:

Also on campus: Amanda Doerty.

NZ Bear offers this:

Bush connected with the audience with humor (self-deprecating and otherwise), while Kerry utterly failed to do the same. It was Bush's room: Kerry was just visiting. Combining that with solid answers which hammered Kerry on his weakest points made tonight a clear win for Bush on points, if not an utter knockout.
I can buy that...

Update: Allah has the definitive roundup of reactions. Not sure Bush won? Sullivan declares it a draw - case closed.


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Comments (42)

Bush does well in this form... (Below threshold)

Bush does well in this formate, he also moped the floor with gore at 2000s town hall.

Folks, don't pay attention ... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Folks, don't pay attention to the flash polls on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, etc. websites. The DNC has been sending people online to inflate the numbers for Kerry. MSNBC has Kerry beat Bush 77% to 23%. That tells you right there it's a bogus poll. We'll have to wait and see what the scientific polls say about the debate. I'm hearing mixed messages. Some say Bush won, others say Kerry won. If the media says it's a tie (like the Cheney-Edwards debate) then you know Bush won. Republicans never win debates, the best they can hope for is a tie when it comes to the MSM spin.

Some of the regulars at So... (Below threshold)
Peter:

Some of the regulars at SondraK's blog had an IM chatroom set up, we 'watched it together'. Partisan crowd, consensus was Bush in a walk.
Kerry was STILL talking about those 'allies', the ones that had to borrow wheelbarrows to carry Hussein's money around.
Look for more of the same in the last debate. Bush will be fine if he isn't physically and emotionally exhausted from spending the day of the debate amid the carnage of another natural disaster.
There is simply no possible defense for Kerry. Every problem he complains about Bush answers with 'you were almost twenty years in the Senate, where are the bills you introduced to solve the problem?' Kerry will just look sicker and sicker.

Certainly Bush missed some ... (Below threshold)
Doug Book:

Certainly Bush missed some opportunities (not reminding everyone that Kerry voted against the first Gulf war; not repeating his early statement about UN members "gaming" the OFF program) but tonights' was infinitely superior to his last performance. He finally tagged Kerry with the Liberal label, which Kerry could not get out from under. Calling it a "label" doesn't make it untrue. Attitude and spirit made the difference tonight.

Hey, I thought he won the f... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

Hey, I thought he won the first debate; this one was a slam dunk. He's very good at noting the person's question, facing them, facing everyone, facing the camera and didn't trip once. Kerry on the other hand, did what he did before, bash and didn't even have his facts straight again; it was like watching the debate from two weeks ago. The man just fumbles around. My housemate came to my room to say that Kerry just said that Bush owned a Timber Company. Bush looks up and says "I do? That news to meet? You need some wood?" I love that man.
~C

I think we all saw what we ... (Below threshold)
REZA:

I think we all saw what we knew to be true - that we can't tell what the hell John Kerry is talking about. President Bush took this debate...

<a href="http://lifetrek.bl... (Below threshold)
Oh and again, Kerry brought... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

Oh and again, Kerry brought up the "draft" by saying he's going to having 40,000 specialized troops and Bush quickly said that as long as he's president, it was always be an all volunteer military. I have no idea what Kerry is trying to do, sneak in the back door? You can read right through him and still, the man just does not quit. He repeats everything, repeats what he said two weeks ago and just never lets up no matter how stupid he sounds.

God help us all.

~C

Look at the memo Mark Halpe... (Below threshold)
Doug Book:

Look at the memo Mark Halperin of ABC sent out to reporters this afternoon. (Posted on Drudge) Brit Hume also commented on it prior to debate. If anyone thought media bias was only alive and well at CBS... It's extraordinary that media elites no longer even put forth the effort to hide their efforts for the Kerry campaign.

I thought it was a clear vi... (Below threshold)
Jess:

I thought it was a clear victory for Kerry tonight (albeit not as decisive as last week). Seems that's not the consensus most places I've checked online, however...

How come Gibson gets away s... (Below threshold)
gdr:

How come Gibson gets away so easily with assigning the last question to Bush? Or more specifically, the specific question which necessarily called for a negative answer (actually *3* negatives) and allowed Kerry to build on any negatives Bush gave? Methinks Gibson took his boss' memo quite literally................

-gdr-

It was very apparent that t... (Below threshold)
Rocketman:

It was very apparent that the President opened a big can of whoop-ass tonight. He was energized, confident, and showed America what a world leader looks like.

There is one thing my father taught me as a child.... The truth will always catch the lie.

Most people seem to think K... (Below threshold)

Most people seem to think Kerry won again! But, I didn't expect you'd admit that.

RCM, you only wish. While ... (Below threshold)

RCM, you only wish. While resonable people could argue about winner of the VP debate, wait a day and see the polls on this one - Bush won this debate. It's 1-1 now.

I think there is some more ... (Below threshold)

I think there is some more wishful thinking going on here again. Kerry outclassed him, again. But I will respectfully wait to see what the polls show tomorrow. And by the way, I dont know if some of you guys know it or not, but Republicans can vote in online polls too.

. And by the way, I dont... (Below threshold)
julie:

. And by the way, I dont know if some of you guys know it or not, but Republicans can vote in online polls too.

Yes, Dave, they know. But since online polls are worthless, and the DUmmies have been stuffing them on orders of the dnc, the freepers have been stuffing them, too. Oh, you really didn't think Kerry was winning by 99%, did you? Oh, wait, I bet you did.

Nope... I think I will wait... (Below threshold)

Nope... I think I will wait until tommorow and I suspect it will be more like 2/1

DA

Can you believe Bush made t... (Below threshold)
dc diva:

Can you believe Bush made that dead-air joke about selecting supreme court justices that would vote for him? Yikes.

# BUSH DEFENDS IRAQ WAR: "... (Below threshold)

# BUSH DEFENDS IRAQ WAR: "We all thought there was weapons there, Robin. My opponent thought he had weapons... But Saddam Hussein was a unique threat. And the world is better off with him out of power."

# KERRY REBUTTAL: "I've never changed my mind about Iraq. I believed Saddam Hussein was a threat... But I would have used that force wisely... Not rushed to war without a plan to win the peace."

# THEN KERRY SAYS IRAQ WASN'T A THREAT: Says situation has gotten worse in Iran while Bush was "pre-occupied with Iraq where there wasn't a threat."

# KERRY SUGGESTS WITHOUT IRAQ WAR, OBL MIGHT BE CAUGHT: "If we used smart diplomacy we could saved $200 billion and Osama bin Laden might be in jail or dead."

THE CONFUSION CONTINUES . . .

RNC releases "Kerry on Iraq... (Below threshold)

RNC releases "Kerry on Iraq"

rtsp://real.stream2you.com/rnc/RNC152004Wr.rm

A MUST SEE!!!!!!!!!!

What They're Saying About P... (Below threshold)

What They're Saying About President Bush's Decisive Victory

NBCs Tom Brokaw: "Well, I Think that the President stepped up his game tonight, and I think that he came with a game plan in mind, and tried to execute it on that stage."

ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "I Think President Bush was most effective, is when he brought people into the Oval Office, talked about meeting with the Iraqi Finance Minister, talking about going to the Situation Room and talking to General Tommy Franks, and then, finally, also, bringing up Senator Kerry's Senate record. But you did see, I think, a lot of skill out there tonight."

USA Today: "Bush appeared more relaxed and forceful."

The New York Times' Katharine Q. Seelye: "The format served [President Bush] well. He looked comfortable and sounded confident."

NBC's Tim Russert: "George Bush was more energetic."

New York Times columnist David Brooks: "So I think overall, the effect of the debate will to be to give the Bush campaign a boost."

Columbus, OH Undecided Voter Lisa on CNN: I was kind of on the border, but after hearing both candidates tonight, I think that I've kind of swayed over to Bush's side."

The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes: "I would say that President Bush won the debate, and for me, it was actually a rather decisive win."

Kerry looked like a corpse ... (Below threshold)
Jim in Chicago:

Kerry looked like a corpse tonight.

The guy running for President of the US, who recently had cancer, looks like he could keel over at any second, and won't release his medical records?

Where the hell are those medical records Senator?!?

Michael Badnarik and David ... (Below threshold)

Michael Badnarik and David Cobb arrested for protesting the debate in St. Louis! What a country we live in when the so-called presidential debates are nothing but a scripted infomercial for the two major parties. Details here: http://tinyurl.com/5dex2 and AP story here: http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/news/politics/9872659.htm

David Anderson - I'm an ind... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

David Anderson - I'm an independent but it's pretty obvious to everyone that you are biased and slanted and in a dream world; you do not face reality and see it for what it is - wishful thinking my foot!!!!!

Kevin, I'm with you and NZ Bear. My family actually watched the debate last night and my housemate came in to tell me something Kerry said and then what Bush's answer was: "I own a Timber Company? That's news to me....why do you need any wood? and laughed. The first debate was also a knockout as was tonight. Whomever this Sullivan is - he has to be like David Anderson on the wrong side of the fence, can't face facts and reality and this was certainly no draw. Now the people that live in this house know my online involvement but I don't discuss it with them but it was good to know they watched it and came to their own conclusions without me having to say a word or letting them know that much of the conversation was already stated two weeks ago - something I have down word for word, just as I will have the VP debate and this debate. It's clear as day on all three so far who won the debate. Bush: to think otherwise, is not just "wishful thinking" but complete ignorance.
~Cindy

Missed Jay's play by play.

The Veep's favorite web sit... (Below threshold)
Rance:

The Veep's favorite web site, FactCheck.org, reports that " according to his 2003 financial disclosure form, Bush does own part interest in "LSTF, LLC", a limited-liability company organized "for the purpose of the production of trees for commercial sales."

It may have been a funny moment, but it doesn't make him look like he's in command of his own financial life, much less that of the country.

He also couldn't remember any mistakes that he had made, in almost 4 years, that he would do over differently, except for a few minor appointments which he wouldn't discuss lest he hurt someones feelings. I guess that's his compassionate side.

Most of the media are sayin... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Most of the media are saying the debate was a tie; which means Bush won. My only complaint is that Bush didn't nail Kerry on France, the UN, etc., who were taking bribes from Saddam and selling weapons to him. But it's only a small complaint.

The thing that bothers me i... (Below threshold)
Jim:

The thing that bothers me is that Kerry is a joke. Even the Democrats know he's a joke. He's a lightweight Liberal clown. Liberal-clown? Isn't that redundant?

I thought Bush definately w... (Below threshold)
Branna:

I thought Bush definately was in control of the debate last night. He hammered Kerry's RECORD then went right on message forcing Kerry to soften his rhetorik. Bush raised the bar on the campaign last night. FOR SURE. We always knew that.

People say he could've said more but Bush is too much of a class act. I loved the way he kept right on with his message, his record etc. Kerry definately stumbled & seemed at times at a loss for words.

Some of Bush's funnies..."That comment almost made me scowl." "Need wood?"

Overall the debate was excellant & I hope Kerry can take his cues from Bush & stop with the angry rhetorik. Then again, what would he run on? He won't run on his record. hmmm....

BUSH/CHENEY 2004!

Actually, Bush bringing up ... (Below threshold)
Branna:

Actually, Bush bringing up the oil for food scam blew all Kerry's arguments to bits. It must have been embarrassing for Kerry to have to tout his own rhetorik about the war after that. Like a tinman. Can you imagine???? hahahahaha

The Oil-for-Food Scandal su... (Below threshold)
Jim:

The Oil-for-Food Scandal sunk Kerry's foreign policy. The UN is corrupt, plain and simple.

Keep drinking the coolade, ... (Below threshold)
DaveV:

Keep drinking the coolade, my conservative ABK friends.

While GWB did better than the first debate, John Kerry came across as very presidential. That maybe the only thing that is necessary to get the people on the fence who do not like GWB to pull the lever for John Kerry.

Dave (the other one)

Gee Dave,I think i... (Below threshold)
Branna:

Gee Dave,

I think it was Kerry who was drinking the Kool aid...last night. He was reduced to a pussy cat after GWB hit him with the 2 punch...the oil for food scam & his 20 yr. liberal voting record. YUK! YUK! He couldn't be righteous when he's on the wrong side of the issues. heheheh

Kerry can "run" but he can't hide.

Bush/Cheney 2004!

So, let me see is the Oil-f... (Below threshold)
floyd:

So, let me see is the Oil-for-Food scandal the new justification for invading Iraq?

Uh? Floyd?Not a j... (Below threshold)
Branna:

Uh? Floyd?

Not a justification but unlike the fascade being the UN is a humanitarian body, their hypocrisy came back to bite them in the butt. Actually, if we never went into Iraq we would never know how corrupt European govts. have been. Not to mention the hypocrisy by democrats who proport to care about humanity as well as their irrational hatred of big business...which BTW, has been chasing the jobs away, we all know that your haliburton story is another scam.

You people are so slimey with your deceptions that you won't even be straight on where you stand. Yet you like to point fingers at republicans with your nonsensical conspiracy theories & lies. Thank God for straight shooters like Bush/Cheney. They won't pull any punches even if you don't like it. :)

This pretty much sums it up... (Below threshold)
Gary Lewis:

This pretty much sums it up....

debate summary photo

"Lumber company, do I own a... (Below threshold)
strackola:

"Lumber company, do I own a lumber company"

Well, yeah! Mr. small business owner.

www.factcheck.org (courtesy of Dick Cheney)

Lies lies lies and lies.

Mission Accomplished! (courtesy of Karl Rove)

I can understand why the co... (Below threshold)
DaveV:

I can understand why the conservative partisans are so giddy over the debate preformance of GWB last night. The Gallup Polls says it all "Bush played to his base Kerry played to the middle (57% - 33% of Independents said Kerry won the debate).

You cannot win an election with about 43% of the vote you need the independents.

But keep dreaming.

Dave (the other one)

Sorry that was 53% - 37% fo... (Below threshold)
DaveV:

Sorry that was 53% - 37% for independents (I reversed the last digit by accident)

But still impressive for John Kerry.

Dave (the other one)

It's all about being partis... (Below threshold)

It's all about being partisan... isnt it. Cindy I am sorry you think I am "stoopid," but hey I have been called worse. Dave II makes some good points. I have done my rounds this morning and noted a couple of things. Edwards by the scientific polls thrashed Cheney, so I guess there are a lot of "stoopid," Americans, sort of makes me feel better in my delussion. Many polls are calling this one a tie. I dont agree, but then I cant stretch tie into Kerry win either, something the other side seems to have no problem doing.
My opinion... Kerry won. Bush is good at reciting talking points, he for the most part just recited the same tired talking points he did last week. To us "stoopid," people, that makes us feel like... Well, that the President thinks we are "stoopid." But hey thats just me.
There is something people like about being reassured that the ship is not sinking, even as the waves crest over the bow (job numbers, violence and instability in Iraq).
Its a good thing a lot of Bush supporters dont travel internationaly. I have done a lot of it since the war started, and I can tell you the hatred for America is palitable, and not just in Muslim Countries. But hey... Those people are probably, "stoopid," too.

David Anderson, keep trave... (Below threshold)
Wilky:

David Anderson, keep traveling, but frankly I don't give a damn what any other country thinks. Leaders don't worry about such trivial things. Leaders make the hard, unpopular decisions, not to get relected, but because it is the right thing to do.

Kerry to the mullahs-- We will neutralize everything that is American ( military and technological superiority), please just play nice. If this doesn't tell you that Kerry doesn't know what we're facing I don't know what will.

And fianally, If Cheney had put "in a official capactiy" all these he lied he lied BS would be, damn, he just put a tourniquet on Edwards balls. BTW, when are Kerry and Edwards going to give the money back that they have been recieving for NOT representing their constituents. I suppose I shouldn't have to worry IF they get elected, judging by their actions. Don't actions speak louder than words. Maybe thats just in my universe.

Would love to see a repeat of Australian election, complete with MSM predictions and subsequent thrashing.

Dont hold your breath on th... (Below threshold)

Dont hold your breath on that election result. As for Kerry and Edwards and the Senate. I agree with you, they both should have resigned. But I would also like to see Bush give back a few bucks for the 40% of the time he has spent on vacation since he has been in office.

Bush wins this <a href="htt... (Below threshold)

Bush wins this beauty contest but fails to capitalize on an opportunity to win the election. He should have NAILED Kerry on his vote against the First Gulf War. Our actions contained everything Kerry says will pass the global test: action against another aggressor, with UN backing, having formed a strong coalition force. What MORE do you need Senator Kerry to commit US forces to action?




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