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    Friday, October 08, 2004

    The Debate: I had to watch this one alone, without my pro-Kerry spouse or my wiseacre pre-teen, which makes the whole process less entertaining, but I thought it was a very good debate. Bush did very well, exceeding my hopes for him after that last horrible debate. Kerry did well, too, and if I agreed with any of his positions, I would probably give him the win. But, I agree with Bush, so of course I think he won.

    Bush began the debate sounding too whiney. This was his problem in the last debate, too. His voice tends to go up to a higher register when he's ticked off, and I think he gets ticked off listening to Kerry talk about Iraq. He also fell back too frequently on that whole Kerry's-too-wishy-washy-to-lead theme which went on too long in the first debate. But, thankfully, both his voice and his arguments moved on to better things. Kerry's voice is better, even when he raises it, but he points his finger too much when talking. Maybe it's just me, but that comes across as condescending to the audience. I was watching him after the debate on Fox and ABC as he mingled with the crowd and he does the same thing in a one-on-one exchange.

    When it came to the stem cell and abortion questions, Bush seemed better informed. Kerry fell back on celebrity recommendations for stem cell research - Michael J. Fox says embryonic stem cells will cure Parkinson's, so it must be a good and worthy cause. But he ignored the question, which pointed out that only adult stem cell therapy has shown therapeutic promise so far. Bush addressed the need to strike a balance between the ethics and science. And as far as abortion, especially partial-birth abortion, Kerry had no defense. Saying he respects his questioners' pro-life views and pointing out that he's a Catholic only highlighted the ethical contradiction in his unwavering support for partial-birth abortion.

    Both candidates were boring when it came to the healthcare issue. I heard blah, blah, blah, and it's an issue I care about. But, then, I think it's also an issue that needs more than 2 minutes to explain, and to explain well. They both just resorted to their standard sound-bites. Same with tort reform.

    By the way, my pro-Kerry spouse thought that Cheney cleaned Edwards' clock last week. Maybe his expectations for Edwards were too high, but he had to leave the room a couple of times, he found it so painful. Just thought that was worth mentioning given all the pro-Edwards post-debate spin in the media.

    posted by Sydney on 10/08/2004 11:01:00 PM 0 comments


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