Good. Evil. Bratwurst.

Debating the debaters

Posted on by arlen

Third debate is now history. From the appearance of the two debaters, it certainly looked like GW thought his back was up against the wall. He looked and sounded desperate when not answering some of the questions. JFK, on the other hand, for the most part looked calm and reasonable while not answering the questions.

I lost count of the number of times either candidate lurched away from the real question in order to answer one they thought they were better prepared to answer. They both raised the art of reinterpreting the question to be about something else to a new high for this campaign. Probably because the moderator was asking tougher questions of both than the marshmallows served up so far. Didn’t someone explain the rules to Bob before starting, that he wasn’t supposed to ask questions that anyone really wanted to hear the answers to?

Best spinmeister? Senator Frist who called Senator Kerry a liar and then couldn’t get his own story straight (was it 10 years, 20 years, or in the time you’ve been Majority Leader?). The way he was falling over his own tongue made me wonder how he ever could string together a coherent sentence. I know he can, for I’ve heard him do it, and do it well. But just not last night.

Best moment? I think this goes to Senator Kerry, during the “what have you learned from being married to a strong woman” question, though President Bush runs him a close second, for his answer to the same question. The President: “To listen to them.” Agreed, GW. You should listen to her, because she’s got her head on straight and is probably the only advisor you have who’s willing to tell you the truth, in every circumstance. The Senator’s winning answer: “We’re probably all examples of lucky men who can be said to have ‘married up.’ Some would say me more than the rest [of you].” A man who’s willing to get into a contest not over who has the best wife, that’s common, but specifically over who’s wife farther outpaces her husband? Now that’s a treasure.

Most interesting observation? That while Senator Kerry occasionally praised President Bush’s decisions and actions, the praise was never returned. To me, that says someone’s so afraid his opponent may actually be going to win that he thinks he’d better not take the chance of pointing out any good in him. Point goes to the Senator for style. Nobody gets points for substance in this debacle.

Who won? Who cares. The people lost. There was less substance in this debate than the others, and this one was the one that was supposed to talk about issues that matter to more people. A pox on both their houses.

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October 2004
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