Thursday, October 14, 2004

Final Debate - My thoughts

Now that I've posted the summary, it's time to be a pundit. Read on if you want me to tell you what to think. Or if you want to see what I want you to think. Or if you don't want me to tell you what to think so you need to know what I think so you can think something else. I think.

I think that if you watched the debate, it would look like a draw. However, if you look at the facts afterward, Bush's lies and distortions were clearly more significant than Kerry's misleading statements. So, it was a draw on style, but Kerry won where the facts are concerned. Part of the problem was that neither candidate offered anything new. They both stuck to their messages even when those messages did not answer the questions. Kerry and Bush both scored some good hits, but Kerry's hits stand up better to the facts.

Another area where Kerry was better was in talking about the details. I just worry that he threw too many details out there. Kerry tried to outline solutions to the problem facing the nation. Bush usually responded that we hadn't given his programs enough time and that they were starting to work. Therefore, if we do more of the same, we'll be all right.

In the commentary, Chuck and I both said there were no major flubs. I think we were referring to overt flubs that were obvious to the watcher. James correctly points out that lying is a pretty big flub. And Bush lied on a few issues, one of which was pretty big. On the question of Osama bin Laden, Bush claimed he never said that he just doesn't think much about him. However Fact Check shows that he did say it and that the quote is as damning in context as it sounds out of context.

Kerry needs to hammer Bush on his lies over the next few days because many undecideds are not going to check the facts. They are going to go on how they "feel" about their guy. And if they watched the debate and didn't check the facts, they have to feel good about Dubya. He came across as "folksy". Heck, he met his wife at a down home Texas barbeque. So, the only way to get the truth out is for it to get picked up on the dailies.