George W. Bush mopped the floor with John Kerry. Kerry did try to make it difficult for Bush to respond by simply not answering the questions asked. Bush showed he’s a straight-talking, no-nonsense leader who has core convictions and sticks to them, even when the pressure’s on. Kerry gets some credit for only mentioning his service in Vietnam 2 or 3 times… that must’ve been rough to hold back for him. You did know he was in Vietnam, right?
But like I said 3 hours ago, the media have to make this a closer race than it really is. In fact, let’s look at the exact predictions (thanks Kevin - great call) compared with the real reactions:
1. John Kerry has found his voice and has lit a fire in his campaign.
ï¿½Tonight he seemed to find his voice for the Democratic view of the world.ï¿½ - Tim Russert
2. He was Presidential gave the American public a clear option in this election.
ï¿½This is the toughest weï¿½ve ever seen John Kerry. He attacked the very core of the Presidentï¿½s popularity. Heï¿½s basically saying, who do you believe?ï¿½ - Andrea Mitchell
“I think Kerry looked like a commander-in-chief.” - Mort Kondrake
3. The Bush campaign has to be worried because they have enjoyed great success the last 2 months beating John Kerry down without giving the public a good reason to vote for Bush. Now they must make that argument.
“This is the President’s turf, this is the place that the President is supposed to dominate, terror and the war in Iraq. I don’t think he really dominated tonight.” - Mort Kondrake
4. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a horserace on our hands.
“In the horse race, Kerry now leads Mr. Bush among uncommitted debate watchers” - CBS Website
“Kerry did very well and we will have a Presidential race from here on out.” - Fred Barnes
There you have it. Exactly as predicted BEFORE the debate. Does it get any more transparent?
In case you’re wondering how the Kerry camp is viewing it, even they don’t think Kerry won the debate - Unbeknownst to Kerry adviser Mike McCurry, a C-SPAN camera quietly followed McCurry as he found Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart on Spin Alley floor and asked him his impression of the debate. Lockhart candidly said to McCurry , ï¿½The consensus is it was a draw.ï¿½
Others talking about the debate:
Right on Red says: “I imagine that debating Kerry and trying to keep up with all of his shifting nuances is like trying to box Gumby.”
Hugh Hewitt agrees Bush won: “The same folks that declared his Boston salute a brilliant bit of theater are now saying he’s back in the race. Wrong in July, and wrong in September. … Kerry trotted out vintage nuclear freeze thinking tonight, arguing that the United States’ development of a new generation of nukes is a bad thing. No, it is not, because we are a good and responsible country. End of debate, because Kerry’s distrust of our weaponry is really a distrust of our national purpose.”