Thursday, September 30, 2004

Initial thoughts on the First Debate

Kerry opening, a bit nervous. Can he make the US safer? He started out well but then went into a laundry list that I'll
never remember. He should have stuck with his only good points - alliances and approach to the muslim world.

Bush seems nervous as well. "Free nations" repeatedly. Talks about "the enemy" - the "ideology of hatred". He seems a bit defensive
when Kerry says that there were 10 times more soldiers in Iraq than in Afghanistan. The answer to Lehrer's follow-up question shows
that he really has no answer.

Pretty funny - Bush' joke "how's he going to pay for it" seemed out of place to me. The accusations are much to serious. He
definitely seems defensive. Almost whiney. "Stay on the offence" - terrible.

It's funny about the 87bn dollars - Bush counters Kerry's bombs with Republican talking points.

Man, it's not pretty watching Bush when he's run out of talking points and he's actually thinking. Kerry is holding it together
very well. He's got a big upper hand (at 45 minutes).

Osama bin Laden doesn't decide US foreign policy, Bush says in response to Kerry's arbument that bin Laden uses Iraq as proof
that America is after Islam.

"The only consisten position of my opponent is that he's been inconsistent". Guess which one of them said that :)

What is up with "the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time"??? Crazy man.

Kerry's weakest answer was on specifics for ending the war. He basically didn't have any. Not sure how he could have done
this any better though. If he's elected he'll inherit a mess, and it probably won't matter much who is president. The key
point which Kerry should have made is that proper pre-war planning would have avoided the mess in the first place.

Kerry excellent on N-Korea, and very good on Darfur - great points of over-extending the military.

So Bush' main grievance against Kerry is that he "changes his mind on something he believes in his heart". So now American wars
are fought because of what's in the President's heart. I guess that pretty much sums him up. Is that what the rest
of us want though?

What do you see as the biggest threat asked Jim of Kerry. Kerry's answer about nuclear proliferation was solid, passionate and
seemed credible. Bush was yet again on the defensive. No new ideas, just bland defense of past actions. Very impressive
of Kerry.

When Bush talks about the "dangers" of breaking up the 5-country alliance by opening up bilateral talks with N Korea he sounds
like somebody who has been told it's a bad idea but he doesn't really know why.

Weak closing by Kerry. Sounded like he did at the convention - hurried, too many items on the list.

Bush actually better at the closing. When he's not on the defensive and stays clear of details he actually sounds a bit

Ok, those where blunt impressions.

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