October 9, 2004

Presidential Debate 2 - Running Commentary

Here, in the extended entry are the running comments made by Chuck and myself during the debate. I am in yellow and Chuck is in green. Links where I thought it would be helpful to dive into the AP transcript.

Chuck(9:03:21 PM) Herecomes the chief
James(9:03:43 PM)Bush looks taller than the last time
Chuck(9:03:50 PM) platform shoes
Chuck(9:03:52 PM) hee hee
Chuck(9:04:27 PM) Q: (KERRY) are you wishy washy?
OTIS: Senator Kerry, after talking with several co-workers and family and friends, I asked the ones who said they were not voting for you, Why? They said that you were too wishy-washy. Do you have a reply for them?
James(9:04:42 PM)He looks comfortable. Respectful.
James(9:06:12 PM)His answer is a good start. He's gettign a chance to explain his positions and how they have not changed.
James(9:06:27 PM)Tone: very coinversational. Nor stiff at all.
Chuck(9:06:32 PM) the tail end of his answer seems to have left the wishy-washy thing behind
James(9:07:49 PM)This is Bush's strategy in this question: Bring in Howard Dean. Repeat the same distortion about the Iraq war.
Chuck(9:08:03 PM) Bush is being a little better this time.
James(9:08:48 PM)Not hard to do.
James(9:09:09 PM)Bush has been asked if the president's latest justification for the war is reasonable.
DAHLE: Mr. President, yesterday in a statement you admitted that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, but justified the invasion by stating, I quote, He retained the knowledge, the materials, the means and the intent to produce weapons of mass destruction and could have passed this knowledge to our terrorist enemies. Do you sincerely believe this to be a reasonable justification for invasion when this statement applies to so many other countries, including North Korea?
James(9:09:21 PM)"9/11 changed it all"
James(9:09:48 PM)So, apparently, 9/11 means we no longer need reasonable justification. <-- my analysis.
BUSH: In the old days we'd see a threat, and we could deal with it if we felt like it or not. But 9/11 changed it all.
Chuck(9:09:50 PM) Bush is claiming the decision to go to war was difficult and that diplomacy was exhausted.
James(9:10:15 PM)He's taken an Iraq question and diverted it briefly to Afghanistan. Now oil for food is the issue.
James(9:11:19 PM)Kerry asserts that the world IS more dangerous today.
Chuck(9:11:36 PM) Kerry is slamming Bush HARD
KERRY: The world is more dangerous today. The world is more dangerous today because the president didn't make the right judgments. [...] So what does he do? He's trying to attack me. He wants you to believe that I can't be president. And he's trying to make you believe it because he wants you to think I change my mind. Well, let me tell you straight up: I've never changed my mind about Iraq. I do believe Saddam Hussein was a threat. I always believed he was a threat. Believed it in 1998 when Clinton was president. I wanted to give Clinton the power to use force if necessary. But I would have used that force wisely, I would have used that authority wisely, not rushed to war without a plan to win the peace.
James(9:12:03 PM)Mike on Bush: 'I've got an intelligence group together to figure out why the intelligence group was wrong!'
Chuck(9:12:47 PM) here comes global test again
GIBSON (After Bush won't let him talk): Well, I was going to have you do the rebuttal on it, but you go ahead.
James(9:13:21 PM)And he just said Saddam could have given the WMDs to terrorists.
James(9:13:40 PM)Kerry: Sanctions worked! WMDs were out of Saddam's hand.
Chuck(9:13:48 PM) good responses so far
Chuck(9:13:52 PM) Both look very strong
James(9:14:05 PM)Bush is just louder.
BALDI: Senator Kerry, the U.S. is preparing a new Iraq government and will proceed to withdraw U.S. troops. Would you proceed with the same plans as President Bush?
Chuck(9:14:52 PM) Kerry is invoking conservative republican condemnations of Iraq.
James(9:14:58 PM)Owch!
James(9:15:11 PM)Those are some harsh quotes.
KERRY: Senator Richard Lugar, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that the handling of the reconstruction aid in Iraq by this administration has been incompetent. Those are the Republican chairman's words. Senator Hagel of Nebraska said that the handling of Iraq is beyond pitiful, beyond embarrassing; it's in the zone of dangerous.
Chuck(9:15:14 PM) Kerry differentiating himself. Bring in allies. Apply real diplomacy.
James(9:15:53 PM)Bush is doing the head-bob. Kerry so far has had no reaction when he's not talking. Even when the global test was mentioned.
James(9:17:39 PM)Bush is asserting that Kerry thinks we can't win, therefore he won't get any support.
Chuck(9:17:40 PM) fireworkds
James(9:18:28 PM)Bush is hammering on "Kerry thought we had weapons, too"
James(9:18:49 PM)Bush is a little shrill.
My opponent says he has a plan; it sounds familiar, because it's called the Bush plan. We're going to train troops, and we are. We'll have 125,000 trained by the end of December. We're spending about $7 billion.
Chuck(9:19:13 PM) Bush is saying Osama is not the focus of the War on terror, instead it is to keep WMDs out of the hands of terrorists.
Chuck(9:19:30 PM) Q (BUSH) : other coutnries are mad at us... what can we do to repair that?
Chuck(9:19:37 PM) invoking reagan
Chuck(9:19:43 PM) comparing himself to reagan
James(9:19:48 PM)"I made some decisions that have made others not understand our values."
James(9:19:50 PM)Hah?
James(9:20:22 PM)Bringing up Israel, Rove told him to talk to the base.
Chuck(9:20:37 PM) I think Bush is doing very well thus far.
James(9:20:58 PM)Perhaps, if you like shrill. But, yeah, his supporters would be happy.
James(9:21:07 PM)I'm not so sure he's reaching out to the moderates.
James(9:22:17 PM)"This president doesn't listen" (Kerry)
Chuck(9:22:40 PM) Bush is trying hard not to go facial
James(9:23:01 PM)Buch can't even wait for the moderator now.
James(9:23:58 PM)Kerry is sticking to a good message.
James(9:24:29 PM)The president didn't listen. The president rushed. The president was unprepared.
Chuck(9:24:35 PM) Q (KERRY): iran sponsors terrorism, has missles. Iran will have nukes in 3 years. If UN sanctions don't work what will you do?
Chuck(9:25:05 PM) JK <-- can't rely on UN sanctions alone... now shifting toward Iraq. Not answering question.
Chuck(9:25:30 PM) he's not answering the question
James(9:25:35 PM)He's staying on the Bush message. He has to tie it back.
Chuck(9:25:39 PM) okay
James(9:25:43 PM)Here he goes.
Chuck(9:25:43 PM) now he is answering
Chuck(9:25:57 PM) bring in germans, french, british. Lead the world. Crack down on proliferation.
Chuck(9:26:09 PM) Restating position on Russian nuke materials.
Chuck(9:26:20 PM) Bringing back bunker busting nuke wep.
Chuck(9:26:29 PM) closes with threat on Iran.
James(9:26:30 PM)Promises the greates counterproliferation effort.
James(9:26:43 PM)Bush jokes that he almost wanted ot scowl while Kerry was speaking.
James(9:27:54 PM)Axis of evil
Chuck(9:28:21 PM) Q BUSH How do we maintain Military presence without a draft?
James(9:28:25 PM)"the internets"
BUSH: I hear there's rumors on the Internets (sic) that we're going to have a draft.
Chuck(9:28:34 PM) GB no draft... all volunteer army works
James(9:29:09 PM)Replacing troops in Korea with weapons.
James(9:29:19 PM)(Bush explains how we are avoiding a draft)
Chuck(9:29:38 PM) withdrawing troops from europe and korean penninsula...
James(9:30:14 PM)Replacing troops with unmanned vehicles. "Forget all this talk abotu the draft."
Chuck(9:31:24 PM) JK --> backdoor draft ... overextended
James(9:31:49 PM)Half hour mark, no blood drawn.
James(9:32:07 PM)Bush is arguing with the moderator who is TRYING to give him more time!!!
Chuck(9:32:10 PM) GB getting mad
GIBSON: Mr. President, let's extend for a minute...
BUSH: Let me just -- I've got to answer this.
GIBSON: Exactly. And with Reservists being held on duty...
BUSH: Let me answer what he just said, about around the world.
GIBSON: Well, I want to get into the issue of the back-door draft...
BUSH: You tell Tony Blair we're going alone. Tell Tony Blair we're going alone. Tell Silvio Berlusconi we're going alone. Tell Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland we're going alone.
James(9:32:37 PM)Bush's voice is practically screeching.
James(9:32:48 PM)Kerry: calm.
Chuck(9:33:43 PM) Q KERRY : Why no terror attacks since 9/11? And how willo yu keep it that way?
James(9:34:26 PM)Bush agrees that it is not a question of "if" but of "when" though he had a little trouble getting it out.
James(9:35:11 PM)Even so, Kerry says we need cooperation. And we're not getting it. And Kerry now ties it to the tax cut.
Chuck(9:35:16 PM) Bush reallyllooks twitchy
Chuck(9:35:25 PM) He's trying very hard not to look mad.
James(9:35:35 PM)He's starting to blink away.
Chuck(9:36:05 PM) oop
James(9:36:05 PM)Bush is actually more comfortable (slightly) when he's talking. That's why he talks over the moderator.
BUSH: And there's a lot of good people working hard. We're doing the best we possibly can to share information. That's why the Patriot Act was important.
Chuck(9:36:09 PM) he said working hard
James(9:36:26 PM)That's a swig
James(9:37:17 PM)Kerry actually allows the moderator to talk.
Chuck(9:38:10 PM) working on weekends
Chuck(9:38:17 PM) workignovertime
Chuck(9:38:19 PM) long hurs
James(9:38:24 PM)Heh
Chuck(9:38:52 PM) Q BUSH : why block cheap drugs?
Chuck(9:39:05 PM) I haven't we are just making sure it is safe.
James(9:39:19 PM)Massachusetts is already doing what Bush says he's not sure is safe.
James(9:39:36 PM)They're doing it in Fall River
James(9:40:14 PM)Bush barked back at the questioner at the beginning of this question.
James(9:40:25 PM)I think it's OK for him if he shows agitation with Kerry
James(9:40:41 PM)But it's not going to work if he's mad at the moderator and the asker.
James(9:40:54 PM)He must have felt that because he tried to save with "thank you for asking!"
James(9:41:40 PM)Bush said he hasn't blocked Canadian drugs. Kerry says the senate passed it and the president DID block it.
James(9:41:59 PM)He's picking on Bush calling Canadian drugs 3rd World -- they're made here in America.
James(9:42:13 PM)Now linking Bush to the big companies. A good answer arc here
James(9:42:39 PM)Bush can't wait for the moderator. Can't control himself. Looking desperate and ornery. Will it work with undecideds?
James(9:43:49 PM)Tough question coming, Kerry ought to be ready for it, though.
Chuck(9:43:54 PM) Q KERRY: you chose a lawyer who sues medical professionals how does this lower costs?
LAURENT: Senator Kerry, you've stated your concern for the rising cost of health care, yet you chose a vice presidential candidate who has made millions of dollars successfully suing medical professionals. How do you reconcile this with the voters? KERRY: Very easily. John Edwards is the author of the Patients' Bill of Rights. He wanted to give people rights. John Edwards and I support tort reform. We both believe that, as lawyers -- I'm a lawyer, too. And I believe that we will be able to get a fix that has alluded everybody else because we know how to do it.
Chuck(9:44:11 PM) Edwards *AUTHORED* the patient bill of rights.
James(9:44:18 PM)Tort reform plan
James(9:44:34 PM)and the two of them are lawyers so they understand the problem (as opposed to Bush)
James(9:45:43 PM)Kerry calmly has answers for everything. Bush's attacks are shrill.
James(9:46:06 PM)Kerry asks people to help by rolling back the tax cut for >200/year
James(9:46:15 PM)Bush just called him Kennedy.
James(9:46:33 PM)And called him the most liberal senator.
James(9:49:05 PM)Good question!
Chuck(9:49:17 PM) Q BUSH: u never vetoed a single spending bill. 700B spent and not paid for. Please explain how this is better than JK's spending
O'BRIEN: Mr. President, you have enjoyed a Republican majority in the House and Senate for most of your presidency. In that time, you've not vetoed a single spending bill. Excluding $120 billion spent in Iran and -- I'm sorry, Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been $700 billion spent and not paid for by taxes. Please explain how the spending you have approved and not paid for is better for the American people than the spending proposed by your opponent.
James(9:49:31 PM)He's going to blame it on Clinton.
James(9:49:34 PM)And the war
James(9:49:59 PM)"this lady"
Chuck(9:51:11 PM) concerned about deficit, but not going to raise taxes or shortchange troops
James(9:52:26 PM)Kerry is pointing out that other presidents led during wartime, not cut taxes.
James(9:52:48 PM)Kerry can defend himself well while attacking Bush. Good answers
KERRY: He talked about war. This is the first time the United States of America has ever had a tax cut when we're at war. Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, others, knew how to lead. They knew how to ask the American people for the right things.
James(9:53:25 PM)Moderator is wrong: Kerry did say that he would raise taxes on >200K/year
James(9:53:36 PM)To help cut the deficit.
Chuck(9:55:02 PM) Q KERRY : give american people pledge not to sign a tax bill on those who earn less thanj 200K
Chuck(9:55:14 PM) JK --> NP. Does so.
Chuck(9:55:20 PM) lot of details though
James(9:55:34 PM)Yes, but he answered it to start.
Chuck(9:55:38 PM) right
James(9:56:07 PM)Mike: "Bush scaled back his favorite program, Sesame St."
Chuck(9:56:44 PM) GB --> he's not credible
BUSH: He's just not credible when he talks about being fiscally conservative. He's just not credible. If you look at his record in the Senate, he voted to break the caps -- the spending caps -- over 200 times.
Chuck(9:57:03 PM) JK will raise your taxes.
James(9:57:06 PM)He looked into the camera and answered. GWB's only answer is "don't believe him."
James(9:57:50 PM)Hasn't Bush figured out the light system yet?
Chuck(9:57:51 PM) GB says the tax rollback doesn
Chuck(9:58:06 PM) raise more than a third of what JK's proposals cost
Chuck(9:58:10 PM) so JK will raise taxes.
James(9:58:54 PM)JK is invoking John McCain. I have to think Bush will respond.
James(9:59:05 PM)(On fiscal credibility)
James(9:59:13 PM)No, he's going to let it go.
James(9:59:22 PM)Bang on liberal again.
Chuck(9:59:43 PM) Q BUSH: how would you rate yourself as an environmentalist?
James(10:00:19 PM)Going to increase wetlands by 3 million <-- Bush
Chuck(10:00:23 PM) reduce pollution 90% FROM Diesel engines, plan to increase wetland, green-up sore spots in cities, clean air initiative
James(10:00:28 PM)3 million what? <-- me
Chuck(10:00:34 PM) healthy forest bill
James(10:00:59 PM)Bush cites lousy federal policy.
James(10:01:07 PM)Er, who makes the federal policy?
James(10:02:22 PM)Kerry: "Don't throw the labels around."
James(10:03:28 PM)Kerry: "Clear Skies Act = Orwellian"
KERRY: The fact is that the Kyoto treaty was flawed. I was in Kyoto, and I was part of that. I know what happened. But this president didn't try to fix it. He just declared it dead, ladies and gentlemen, and we walked away from the work of 160 nations over 10 years.
James(10:03:41 PM)Mike: " Bush: "Or-who-ellen?""
Chuck(10:03:47 PM) kyoto --> cost america too much money
Chuck(10:03:52 PM) GB air is cleaner under me
James(10:04:23 PM)Kerry can remember people's names
James(10:04:42 PM)Bush sez: "that lady"
Chuck(10:04:58 PM) Q KERRY : how can the US be competitive in manuf given the wage necessary?
Chuck(10:07:23 PM) I'm too focussed on what they are saying to comment... :-(
James(10:07:46 PM)Yeah. A lot to listen to, but they're talking aobut keeping jobs.
James(10:07:53 PM)Kerry is on outsorcing.
James(10:07:59 PM)(outsourcing)
James(10:08:11 PM)Bush is on less regulation and legla reform
James(10:08:14 PM)(legal)
KERRY: And you know why he gets that count? The president got $84 from a timber company that owns, and he's counted as a small business. Dick Cheney's counted as a small business. That's how they do things. That's just not right. BUSH: That's news to me. Need some wood?
James(10:10:39 PM)Patriot act question: Why are my rights being watered down?
Chuck(10:10:47 PM) GB they're not
James(10:12:55 PM)Kerry is telling him he's right.
Chuck(10:14:08 PM) Q KERRY: stem cells, nobody cured by using embryonic stem cells
James(10:16:56 PM)Bush: stem cell research destroys life... I'm the first president to fund it. Huh?
James(10:17:06 PM)Did he mean to say it that way?
KERRY: Well, you talk about walking a waffle line -- he says he's allowed it, which means he's going to allow the destruction of life up to a certain amount and then he isn't going to allow it.
James(10:19:29 PM)Could he take the question seriously, please (Bush)?
James(10:19:52 PM)Oh, here's the God talk.
Chuck(10:19:54 PM) appeal to religious right
James(10:20:42 PM)Relating slavery to the pledge of allegiance?
James(10:20:57 PM)There's a good balance of important issues.
James(10:21:03 PM)(Bush)
James(10:21:11 PM)(and I'm being sarcastic)
James(10:22:16 PM)Kerry is talking to the moderates on choosing justices
James(10:22:20 PM)And doing it well
James(10:22:43 PM)If anyone is concerned about that, this is a VERY good answer.
James(10:22:56 PM)Choose good judges, not liberal/conservative ones
Chuck(10:23:11 PM) Q KERRY: hypothetical... voter thinks abortion is murder. What would you say to that person?
James(10:23:38 PM)Is he ready for this question? Will he keep to the subject?
James(10:24:03 PM)He was specifically asked abotu taxpayer money.
James(10:24:20 PM)Taxpayers don't get to choose. As a pacifist, your money still goes to the war.
James(10:24:54 PM)Not a very clear answer so far.
James(10:25:09 PM)But he is saying he will fund the abortions.
James(10:25:53 PM)Bush is just going to take it as a gimme for his base.
James(10:27:05 PM)Kerry's response is alowing him to clarify. Good, good good.
James(10:27:16 PM)Clear response!
GRABEL: President Bush, during the last four years, you have made thousands of decisions that have affected millions of lives. Please give three instances in which you came to realize you had made a wrong decision, and what you did to correct it. Thank you.
Chuck(10:28:59 PM) is he going to answer?
James(10:29:03 PM)NO
James(10:29:15 PM)He's changing the question!
James(10:29:27 PM)Actually telling her that she asked a different question, the gall!
BUSH: That's really what you're -- when they ask about the mistakes, that's what they're talking about. They're trying to say, Did you make a mistake going into Iraq? And the answer is, Absolutely not. It was the right decision. [...] Now, you asked what mistakes. I made some mistakes in appointing people, but I'm not going to name them. I don't want to hurt their feelings on national TV.
Chuck(10:29:42 PM) JK is already picking up his mic
Chuck(10:30:14 PM) GB is not going to name mistaken appointments because he doesnt want to hurt feelings?
James(10:30:20 PM)Bush's lame prepared answer about appointments he made.
James(10:30:30 PM)Lame, obviously prepared and puzzling.
James(10:31:00 PM)Kerry is asking US to decide what mistakes Bush has made.
James(10:31:37 PM)The crowd is connecting with Kerry on this last answer as he repeats some of the Republican criticism of Bush
James(10:32:44 PM)And Kerry admits to his mistake.
James(10:32:52 PM)(in describing his decisions)
KERRY: I ask each of you just to look into your hearts, look into your guts. Gut-check time. Was this really going to war as a last resort?
Chuck(10:37:38 PM) GB did an excellent job
Chuck(10:37:43 PM) Much more polished than last time
Chuck(10:37:48 PM) Clear winner?
James(10:38:26 PM)Really, I disagree
James(10:38:35 PM)He quarreled with the moderator
James(10:38:46 PM)He was less twitchy, but he didn't land anything major
James(10:38:55 PM)I think Kerry had some decent blows.
James(10:39:17 PM)GWB improved, but how could he have been worse?
Chuck(10:39:55 PM) GB's appeal is not so much on fact and evidence and reason, and I think his performance will appeal.
James(10:40:05 PM)We'll see.
Chuck(10:40:14 PM) Not feeling too good right now.
Chuck(10:40:53 PM) JK did well, but GB did well too. No clear winner, but at least GB didn't look lost dealing with JK. That's going to energize his base
James(10:41:12 PM)They were voting for him anyhow.
Posted by James at October 9, 2004 7:41 AM
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After the debate, Peter Jennings also mistakenly referred to Kerry as "Senator Kennedy" - gotta love it - maybe it's "subliminable" persuasion. ;-)

Posted by: Julie at October 9, 2004 3:26 PM

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