My TV was apparently showing a different debate in my home last evening. I thought that Bush won the debate, easily. I think I have a pretty good 'Middle America Meter' and I think Bush's principled, determined, strong and clear message resonated with 'the folks' as Bill O'Reilly would say.
Kerry was able to talk within the time limits and that seems to be enough for the old media establishement to declare victory. I don't get it. He still sees the cures to world's ills at the United Nations, he held up Koffi Annan on multiple occassions as someone who wants to help the United States (please), he scoffs at Bush's alleged unilateral apprach to Iraq and then criticzes his multi-lateral approach in North Korea.
Kerry's claim that Bush has hurt 'first responders' here in the states because of the war in Iraq strikes me as a big loser politically. According to Kerry, we have to strengthen first responders so when we get attacked again they have the resources they need, to do this we should bring our troops home from abroad because we are wasting $$ over there that could be spent here, we stay home and wait...wait...wait for that next attack. Essentially, he is asking us to drop into the fetal position and wait to be kicked in the balls again. Doesn't sound very appealing to me.
The big media want a tight race. John Kerry did not hurt himself last night so he has been declared the winner. I don't see the polls moving much at all over this.
I really enjoyed listening to the debate and then reading the liveblogging at Powerline (where they got 70K hits during the debate!) Vodka Pundit , Captain's Quarters and BlogsforBush.
Speaking of Powerline, don't miss Scott Johnson, aka Big Trunk, on Pundit Review Radio this Saturday at noon. You can stream the show at www.wbix.com and call us with questions for Scott at 877-711-1060. We will also have Dean Esmay from Dean's World.
VodkaPundit offered some great insight and agreed with us that the debate won't change much, outside of the media fawning all over themselves talking about the new comeback kid.
Neither guy scored any big hits, although Kerry landed more jabs. That's
disconcerting (although not very surprising) since Kerry left himself wide
open for three or four knockout uppercuts.
Kerry annoyed me more than Bush did - and that's saying something.
Kerry won on points, which probably was enough to shore up his weakened support in New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. But I doubt it was enough to make much (if any) headway in former Blue States like Wisconsin or Iowa. In national polls, the race will probably tighten, but electorally we probably won't see much
SCORING THE FIGHT: I have Bush by 107-103, with no knockdowns. But, candidly, I don't think it went that well for the President. I think Kerry helped himself tonight. He came across as a credible candidate, and he was usually on the
offensive. Bush's demeanor while Kerry was talking wasn't good; anything but
commanding. Kerry's was better, in an odd reversal of what happened four
years ago. I think Kerry made headway, and there is plenty of material there
for the mainstream media to proclaim the beginning of Kerry's comeback. An
unknown is how Kerry's pompous style will strike people who haven't had to
listen to him for more than a few seconds at a time, until now.
On the whole, though, I think Kerry helped himself tonight.
BlogsforBush has a great day after coverage and Matt Margolis came to this conclusion after liveblogging,
John Kerry showed us who is really is: a 9/10 Democrat lost in a post 9/11
world. He wants to protect America if it "passes the global test." Bush on the
other hand has the attitude that "you take preemptive action in order to protect
the American people, that you act in order to make this country secure."
Bush won the debate with that line alone.
Captain's Quarters was liveblogging and said this,
Another thought -- one of Kerry's problems is that Bush has a number of home
runs he can hit, thanks to Kerry's vacillations over the past nine months, and
Bush hammered on Kerry for his policy flip-flops all debate long. Kerry's
counter is that Bush is too resolute, which hardly damages a leader during
I missed the Republican spinmeister, but Joe Lockhart claims that the debate
will be all about the "annoyed smirk". Eh? Actually, I think that sells this
debate short. It actually produced substantive policy statements and differences
between the candidates, and they both behaved in respectful and professional
manner. Is Lockhart really that desperate? ...
Last thought from the Fox panel - Bush may have edged Kerry, but the polls
will narrow slightly, and Kerry lives to fight another day. About what I'd say,
too. But I think Poland will continue to dog Kerry, and now that I think about
it, he forgot Australia, too. Kerry still has the same problems that he had
going in, and expect Bush to hammer on those more in the next couple of
Mickey Kaus says, "Man-tan works!" and gives the debate to Kerry
Hugh Hewitt says nonsense,
Overall: Bush gets a big win, by hitting all his messages over and over
again. He wins on substance. Biggest mistake by Kerry: "The Global Test."
Sorry, the American voters aren't interested in passing any global tests. Bush
stresses steadfastness and resolve. Kerry firmed up the hard-left vote,
but you can't win on this.