April 22, 2021

Bush vs. Kerry

Last night’s debate was long!  My wife left about two thirds of the way through for bed.  In my opinion, it was too long on Iraq without saying much!  The other thing that debates miss is fact checking during it.  What I would really like to see is a buzzer sound every time someone gets a fact wrong.  For instance, there were many statements that the President had to correct Kerry on.  A buzzer would have helped there tremendously.

Critique of the President

The President looked/acted like I do when I’m tired (which, with two young children happens often).  He had trouble recalling what he was going to say.  He fumbled with “the day before 9/10” in which he mixed
two different ways of saying acting like 9/11 never happened.  His body language on some of the wide shots made him look agitated, and my wife noticed a smirk.

I thought his best lines were to do with avoiding sending mixed messages and denigrating our allies.  He also made good points regarding actually talking with our allies instead of saying that he will talk with them.  I thought he answered the critiques that he was “doing nothing” well.   I don’t know if the tactic of addressing Kerry’s stump speeches carried that well, since undecideds may not be listening to stump speeches, and some people don’t even know positions!

Critique of the Senator

The Senator had a lot to prove here.  He was impressive in his presence.  I thought he stayed pretty general on things, and used Vietnam much more than I thought he would.  I wish that he would have gotten the “what do you think about the other guy” question too.  Some things just didn’t sound accurate– like when he claimed to never accuse the President of lying.

I thought he was articulate as he could have been.  I thought he appeared knowledgeable, and did a good
job communicating what he previously said in nuanced ways.  If this was the first time you’d heard both of them, you would definitely find Kerry likable.

I think Kerry won this one, not so much because of facts, etc., but because he came across as someone you could trust– had you not been paying attention up to now.  And that’s where the President can improve his game.

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6 thoughts on “Bush vs. Kerry

  1. In substance, the President said a lot. In delivery, he failed to drive the point home. I also gave Kerry the win on deliver. But knowing how smooth he is, the facts aren’t in his favor. The President needs to do a better job of calling him on these ‘tangents off the cuff’ the Senator loves to go off on. The whole ‘global test’ comment the Senator had and was called on is what I’d like to see more out of the President. As it was, it seemed the President was too much on the defensive and didn’t play enough offense.

  2. Right, Frenzy, that was the other one I thought the President did well on– I forgot that one when putting up the orginal post. The other comment that he did well was the one Newt suggested– I agree with what Kerry said in April… that kind of thing.

    Kerry needed to be smooth, and he was. Do you think GWB did too much prep trying to come up with too many memorized lines? I almost think he’s better off the cuff.

  3. I agree, I beleive Bush would do better off the cuff. There were so many things that he could’ve/should’ve called Kerry’s hand on. The “mistake” of going to Iraq. Even in the debate Kerry flip flopped. I hope that when they come here in St. Louis at the next debate, he comes out swinging. I believe the president will not dissappoint us next time. There is some vidio footage of Kerry burning and urinating on the flag while in uniform that I hope becomes public soon. I believe that would crush his campaign. Have a great weekend and God bless.

  4. Good analysis. I was disappointed in Bush in several ways. He was speaking the truth, just not doing in a polished manner, and missed several opportunities to correct Kerry’s misstatements and factual errors.

  5. MIn, I thought the President simply wasn’t comfortable and it showed. I attribute that to the format and as you say, ‘off the kuff’ is more the style of the President. One thing I’ve also posted on is that most of us are pretty savy in following the issues. It looks as if those who aren’t, actually polled the two candidates much closer than we have. That is, those of us closely familiar w/the campaigns are engaged in what both sides are doing. Those who don’t follow politics gave a slight edge to Kerry, but believe it wasn’t as devasting to the President. In an ABC poll, the President’s believability actually gained a point from the beginning of the debate.

    So, the internal numbers are still good, but the President needs to drive some points home in the following two debates. I’m also looking forward to Tuesday’s V.P. debates. Should be interesting…

    Have a blessed weekend!

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