Thursday, September 30, 2004

Round one... Fight!

So the first of three debates nearly as sterile as the candidates themselves was this evening. And I've gotta say... Not too bad. Not really stellar, but not too bad. Kerry looked good up there. Bush, well, looked like Bush.

Is this any kind of surprise, though? Beforehand, a bunch of people were like "This could make or break the election! This could make or break the election!" Well, not really. At least, not when it comes to making the election for Bush or breaking it for Kerry. We all know that Bush is, ah, let's just come out and say it -- a shitty speaker. I mean, repugnantly awful for someone who ostensibly has a lot of power and influence. He's not a particularly rousing speaker, either. We all remember his RNC speech which was... Adequate. It was pretty much nothing but a bunch of people clapping at the shit they like being spoonfed anyway. Same thing tonight -- Bush repeated what you'd expect him to, but there was no way he was going to burn down the house like a Reagan or a Clinton.

John Kerry pretty much had to keep from drooling on himself and it was surefire that he would at least look adequate as well. The main concern, undoubtedly, was that he would come off as wooden or distant and fuck himself or get fucked (depending on how you look at it) like Al Gore four years ago.

Kerry did quite a bit more than not drool on himself. He was pretty solid up there. He spoke concisely and made his points. He pronounced "nuclear" properly. God, I just wanted him to go slap Bush in the mouth everytime he mispronounced it. Kerry looked like a man who at least has his shit reasonably well put together. Much more the kind of guy you'd feel at least somewhat secure leaving to run the country. What do you expect, though? He's a fucking educated man who's spent decades in the Senate. Oh, but what about Bush, you say? He went to Yale, and he's president! Yeah. Joke and joke.

The thing I liked best about Kerry's performance was that he was all over the place. Not in a helter-skelter, I-don't-know-what-the-fuck-I'm-doing kinda way, though, unlike someone we know. No, He just managed to hit everything he could in the time allowed while keeping it all tied together. Bush, on the other hand, got across one or two points the entire night (or at least tried to), the main one of them being that you have to be consistent. Or something. Seriously, how many fucking times did Bush talk about how you can't change your mind and blah blah blah?

Before this first debate, all we could hear was that Bush has never lost a debate and, as such, that he's a great debater. And it's like, no he isn't. He's Bush. Haven't you been paying attention for the last FOUR FUCKING YEARS? Oh, that's right -- you haven't.

I know that Kerry must have done a decent job despite my biases since Fox's commentators were being pretty positive with regards to his performance. When you've got the editorial staff of The Weekly Standard giving Kerry points, you know he did something good.

Of course, Kerry was far from perfect. He didn't exactly burn the place down, either. In some ways he was pretty lucky, because there were lots of times that anyone but Bush could have nailed Kerry on a particular point. Bush, the great debater that he is, failed to capitalize. Kerry, on the other hand, had opportunities where he could have really buried Bush on some stuff, or at least clarified a Bush distortion or hammered home a point, but didn't. Like I said, not perfect.

I just wish we could have at least one debate that's totally free-form. Just put these two in a cage -- no moderator, no handlers, no bullshit, just let them have at eachother. Rhetorically, of course. I'm not sure that we're at the point where even we're ready to turn presidential races into bloodsport, but yeah, maybe. Anyway, if these two could just sit down and argue shit out, and furthermore if Kerry didn't hold back at all, I know Kerry would rip Bush to shreds. I've had my own fair share of criticism for John Kerry, but I have no doubt that the man is a hundred times smarter than Bush. Hell, the floater I flushed down the toilet awhile ago is at least ten times the intellect that Bush is, so I know Kerry could shine against Bush if the shackles were undone.

One down, two to go. I don't know if this helped Kerry's chances a great deal, but I just don't see how it could have hurt.

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