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QotD: Debate

Question: Who won the debate, and why?

My Answer: I didn't watch too much, but I caught pieces here and there. Kerry kept saying "I'll do better" and Bush kept saying "uhhh" when pausing for words. Bush won, 53% to 47%, only because Kerry can say he has a plan all he wants, but it seems to involve "magic." Magic money to pay for everything, magic ways to renew alliances with countries that, like him, want sanctions. Sanctions, as Bush pointed out, haven't worked in Iraq. Bush won.

As an aside, I must question the hypocrisy of Dan Rather covering the debates. You know, given Rathergate and all that… Ugh.

Please stick to the question (and your answer) in the comments. Attacks on anyone - on either side of this fence - will be removed.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

29 Responses to "QotD: Debate"

  1. Round-one knockout

    Already popping up on blogs everywhere (for instance, Erik Barzeski brought it up), the debate has been over for about 45 minutes. Kerry won. Totally. Kerry came across as cool, calm, collected, and organized. Bush came across as shuffling, inconsisten...

  2. So you deleted my comment because i didn't stick to the question… OK.

    Kerry won. Since you brought up Dan Rather, I must comment that every network carried the debate with no color commentary. They may have said something before and after… but it was not color commentary. Why does it matter that Dan Rather was one of the reporters?

  3. What debate? Oh, those interviews that were given by the same interviewer at the same time? They were interesting, but neither candidate has convinced me to vote for him yet.

  4. Sanctions haven't worked but has Bush's plan to rebuild Iraq been successful?

  5. Etan, how about you give it time to finish? Rome wasn't built in a day, and Iraq won't be rebuilt in one either. Also, answer the question.

    Yo: your comment was deleted because it didn't answer the question, and further comments from you will be more likely to be deleted so long as you fail to leave an accurate name and email address. Use as your URL if you don't want your email address to appear on here.

    It matters because Dan Rather has recently shown himself to be an incompetent, biased boob. He's lost what little credibility he once had.

  6. NO! The fact that we deposed the entrenched and deeply evil dictator of a country the size of California in a matter of days and everything didn't turn into sunshine and rainbows the very next morning is completely unacceptable! It's proof that Bush didn't have a plan for winning the peace! If he'd had a plan, our boys would be home now enjoying lemonade and apple pie on the back porch while suiting up to go to Darfur. Instead, all we're doing is sitting around taking about the president's plan for rebuilding Iraq and withdrawing our troops. Which he so didn't have.

    Kerry will obviously do better because he says so, and his credibility is at an all-time high with how often he's been right about stuff and everything. Besides, he can perform CPR on a hamster, so of course he's going to be a better president. He will wake up on the morning of January 21st, hit everybody with his magic "make it better" stick, and then it will all be better!

    Vote for Kerry, because it will all be better!

    In conclusion, BUSH LIED!

  7. QotD: Debate

    The Question of the Day (from nslog normally) is returning and with a good one.

    Question: Who won the debate, and why?

    Kerry. I believe that Kerry had control of this debate the whole time. He was well composed, jotted notes as Bush spoke, and ...

  8. I would define the winner of the debate as the candidate that is more likely to have won the undecided votes. I am not sure if either candidate did anything that was likely to have a major factor in bringing in voters or causing voters to change their mind. However, this isn't Soccer, there are no "ties" allowed.

    I thought that Kerry did a good job in the debate in terms of his delivery. In general, he is terrible at giving speeches and capturing your attention. Last night, however, he was crisp in his delivery and I felt he did a good job, for him, articulating his positions. He looked Presidential, which was important for him. Last night was the first time in a long while that I felt more comfortable with the idea of him as President.

    All of that being said, I would give the edge to Bush, slightly. I think he scored points on the Bi-lateral talks with North Korea and a few other instances where it came across to me that Kerry really is in over his head. His delivery wasn't very good, but what did you expect? It isn't as if people could have been surprised by it. If anything, he was good for him He has certainly shown he can be a lot worse. In the end, the Bush haters need to realize that the average voter is more likely to be drawn into Bush's style than turned off by it.

    I would give Kerry a B+ and Bush a B, but as I said, I would say Bush "won" the debate. In the end, he scored on the more substantive points. Kerry did well but it is going to be very difficult for him to undo the damage that has already been done. His image has already been pretty well defined in the minds of most voters and it is going to be hard for him to overcome that. I do not think he can.

  9. Whats interesting with this debate is that both sides think they won. In other words it hasn't changed anyone's opinions. It won't make a republican vote for Kerry or a democrat vote for Bush. Same old story. American politics is too entrenched. Too many people are willing to vote for Bush just "because" and too many people are willing to vote for Kerry because of the "anyone but Bush" meme.

    Oh well America deserves everything it gets.

  10. Turned off the typekey only comments?

    I watched the debate, and I still dislike them both.

    It annoys me how Kerry keeps talking about his plan, but never really says how he will pull it off... just directs them to his website. (Score one for bush by saying Kerry could never pay for his plans)

    Does he even really know what his plan is?

    That said, I think kerry did the better job on the debate... but he won't convince anybody who was not already going to vote for him.

    As for bush, he basically had 2 points:

    1) Kerry changed his mind, and do you want a Commander in chief who does that? (Never said the president.. does Bush have military on the brain?)

    2) That having Bi-lateral talks with North Korea was a bad idea because then China would walk away.

    Frankly, I don't want to vote for either of them.. but the alternatives are not much better.

    Its like voting NDP in canada.. (of course I will probably get some flack for that comment)

  11. Bush seemed defensive and less sure of himself at the outset.

    Kerry appeared to have accomplished his primary goal for the evening: establishing himself as a plausible commander in chief.

    Kerry won.

    Rome wasn't built in a day, and Iraq won't be rebuilt in one either.

    To rebuild Iraq, isn't it necessary to end the war before?

  12. Turned off the typekey only comments?

    I never had "typekey only." I did have moderation on while I was away to try to avoid having 90 comment spams posted in the 24 hours I might be away from a computer.

  13. Perhaps I miss understood this entry then.

  14. Has sanction worked for Cuba? Do we need to go there to overthrow Castro?

  15. I thought that Kerry's delivery more fluid and easier to listen to... Bush says "uhh", "umm", and pauses too often. But I agree with Erik on the message: Kerry has a magic plan to fix everything, and it's hard to take seriously.

  16. Kerry.

    Bush kept falling back on the "flip-flopper" routine and a set of phrases to attack Kerry. I think Kerry had a good response each time and repeated it as often as Bush did, although more succinct each time. Result: Bush blew a lot of time using the same attacks, Kerry shrugged them off with a quick statement that he set up the first time he had to rebut it.

    I think that Kerry made good criticisms of Bush's current plan and put forth what he could in the scant two minutes for each question. Diverting to the website is a good idea since people can find more in-depth explanations than he could squeeze into the time constraints.

    Bush landed some good points against Kerry, but wasted a lot of time blinking and thinking of something to say. Kerry seemed more on top of it. And again, Bush fell back onto the same set of criticisms too often and seemed to waste time repeating himself than actually answering the questions.

    Finally, I know looks aren't supposed to be important, but Kerry just appeared more Presidential. Bush looked to be almost slouching over the mike (which he's been known to do) where Kerry stood up straight all the time. Kerry took lots of notes and answered promptly. Bush delayed a bit before answering some questions. Bush tried some bad jokes (which is appreciable), but Kerry was more serious about the occasion.

    These are just my impressions. I look forward to the other debates. I don't think that the war is Kerry's strongest issue (although he does make a strong case), so I expect him to do better in the other debates.

  17. The First Debate of 2004

    I’ll admit my opinion has shifted a bit. Half way through last night’s debate, I turned to the group of friends I was watching it with and said, “Bush is winning this.” At the end, during our wrap-up discussion, the consensus wa...

  18. Kerry.

    Bush seemed distracted and unorganized. He slumped over his mike, often ran out of things to say well before the two minute mark, and asked for extra time without anything extra to say way too much. Kerry on the other hand always seemed well organized, ended his responses exactly on the two minute mark, and generally just seemed far more respectful and presidential of the two. I think the reaction shots really hurt Bush, he seemed like he just wanted to not be there most of the time.

    For all the constant comments by Bush and others that Kerry flip-flops, Kerry's position on Iraq seems very consistent to me. He feels that Hussein was a threat, voted for war with the same wrong information about wmd's as anyone else, and doesn't agree with the way the war was handled. That really doesn't seem that unclear. I thought the best thing Kerry said all night was when he said, in response to constant comments by Bush that Kerry wasn't certain about things, that you can be certain and be wrong. If Bush really believes that you should never, ever change your mind as commander in chief, even as new information comes out, then it explains a lot about our strategy in Iraq.

    I also thought that Kerry made good points both by using the quote from Bush Sr. and when he responded to the comments by the president on North Korea by saying that just because Bush says that bilateral talks won't work doesn't mean that it's true. I don't think China is likely to walk away for any reason, the threat of Nuclear weapons so close to them is way too important.

    Before this debate I was planning on voting for Kerry, cause I don't like Bush. After this debate I am planning on voting for Kerry, and I like him for who he is a lot more.

  19. Kerry won, but then considering his opponent, it was never much of a match. Not that any of it will matter, now that the RNC's reality distortion field is working its magic on the public airwaves.

  20. mrkranky, you seem to have forgotten to answer the "why" portion of the question.

    If anyone else comments that Kerry "looked" or "acted" or "spoke" more presidential without actually paying attention to what he said I'm going to shut down the comments here out of disgust for the stupidity of the viewing audience. Who cares how he looked saying it? Yeah, it matters, but a lot of shit matters more than how he looked.

  21. Kerry won. Sanctions have helped a lot in the past, not only in Iraq. Maybe you think the US do not need the UN or other countries as partners. But I can't eat as much as I want to puke when I see so much arrogance. The US have managed to bring even more poverty and suffering to a country that was ruled by a dictator for decades. You can really be proud of that.

    Normally, the whole rest of the world should have the right to vote in the US as long as there are people in that country who think they have the right to intervene everywhere they want to when it is really none of their business.

    Come on, we know already that there never were any "weapons of mass destruction" (those words alone are about as stupid as your current president) since the UN were in there.

    What's the next thing the US is going to do? Invade the dissenting countries? How about France or Germany? Your very own Donnie Rumsfeld compared Germany to Lybia. When are you finally going to get a clue over there?

  22. Kerry has a plan. His plan is that he isn't Bush. Of course Bush was being defensive, he was defending his policies...Kerry wants to add more troops to the military. How is he going to do this you say? His "plan" was on his website but it is now gone, but you can see the archive of what his plan is to get all these new troops. It is called a draft.

    "As part of his 100 day plan to change America, John Kerry will propose a comprehensive service plan that includes requiring mandatory service for high school students and four years of college tuition in exchange for two years of national service."

  23. Oops, I forgot to say I think the debate was draw. Both of them had their ups and downs.

  24. But Eric, c'mon. 99% of the crapola that was uttered last night was stuff we already knew.

  25. Kerry won. I actually heard Kerry say something substantial. I heard Bush explain, again, why terrorism is bad, m'Kay?

  26. ABC says kerry won 45% to 36% while 17% thought it was a tie and there is a margin of error of 4.5%

  27. damn didn't answer the question. don't delete the last comment entry. I thought it wasn't really a debate but a rehash of everything that we already knew. Bush broke the rules a lot and Kerry was caught by bush in a big way twice. Bush paused and umm'd and to be honest seemed off. CPSAN did a split screen and bush would cock his head like a dog when kerry talk and made marks not really note it seemed.

    I would have to say bush lost the debate in form and they tied in policies to me. same goals just different ways to get them and I'm more interested in domestic issues so I'm still undecided.

  28. There is no winner. There are no real judges and no way to measure performance and determine a winner, so basically every individual is a judge and we all determine a winner based on our own sense of weighing different strengths and weaknesses of the debaters.

    It is a bit creepy to compare Iraq to Rome even if it is just a saying.

    Kerry's point that one can be certain and wrong was great. I think he should have added to it by saying that changing your mind is something responsible people do when they get new information or realize that they were wrong. That is short, sweet and would have slammed Bush.

    I wish there was a clear winner for everyone. I'd like a politician to 'get it' and realize that we all want someone with a definite, cost-effective plan worked out and explainable in under five minutes. We also want someone with a bit of a track record for leadership and a history of getting results for his/her plans without offending anyone.

    At this point I am feeling like really ugly aging woman. My standards are extremely low, my parents are pressuring me to get married and have kids and I have to make up my mind, but I am extrememly limited to just bozos that will never cut it. Sucks to be in this situation.

  29. Short answer: nobody said anything worthwhile, and Kerry won anyway.

    In theory, the debate is about the contrast of ideas - but that's just a theory. Perception of "presidentialness" and thinly veiled primate dominance behavior have always been a huge part of it, all the way back to Greece.

    Kerry won by a long shot. The country is remarkably evenly split, and each side is remarkably rigid in its opinions. The fact that the public opinion polls say Kerry won at all, much less that he won with a hefty margin, is significant. This debate was on the issue that Bush has lead on in past polls, after all.

    Kerry accomplished exactly what he needed to in the debate: he came across as someone not entirely without credibility as a commander-in-chief. So his actual Iraq plan is so much smoke -- a virtual repeat of Nixon's secret plan to get us out of Vietnam. The point is, people seem to have bought it.

    I'm actually not being flippant here - the perception is very important. How many people actually have the time (and spend the time) to be fully informed on every important issue? There are too many of them, and they are too multifaceted. I consider myself pretty well informed, and I can't say that I understand the multilateral-vs.-bilateral issue in all its details. Nor can I think of an obviously superior approach in Iraq.

    But I have to pick somebody to put my trust in. To me, Kerry came off as very trustworthy; Bush not at all (if you only saw part of the debate, then you only have a partial idea of how fidgety and annoyed and even petulant he looked). Now, I came to the debate with heavy prejudice, but the poll numbers tend to suggest that many others felt similarly, including some people who plan to vote for Bush (and who are unlikely to have changed their minds as a result of this debate).

    I think (and this is just IMHO) that people use "who looked more presidential" as shorthand for all sorts of things, one of which is a half-conscious calculation of who is more trustworthy. It's too bad that people's estimation of trustworthiness is so subjective, but people are sacks of hormones, and both candidates are accusing each other of being liars.

    And now I'm going to resist the urge to go off on a purely partisan rant and just hit "post" instead. 🙂