Saturday, October 09, 2004

Presidential boondoggle

Okay, here's my imitation of Kerry at last night's debate:

Normal person:
Sen. Kerry, can you tell me what you would do about healthcare/the deficit/my son's low SAT scores?
Kerry:
I can, and I want to be very clear about this. This president rushed to war without a plan to win the peace. He is the first president in 72 years to have lost as much money as he did. Remember: the No Child Left Behind plan does nothing to alleviate the untold suffering of AIDS victims in the coalition that he says he has built but which is really nothing more than four Australians and a dog named Mokie. Under his plan, the nuclear materials in Russia would take 13 years to be dealt with; under my plan my family can do it this weekend. I have a plan. I do indeed have a plan. Sometimes I get my plan out at night and pet it. And the American people have a right to that plan which is my plan and which will be their plan after November 2. Thank you.

You think I'm messing with you? I am not messing with you. The first part of the debate was Kerry's Publishers Clearing House Giveaway of talking points.

It might also have been a mistake for him to look right into the camera that one time. Now, to be fair, it wasn't his idea. Somebody asked a question that was something like, "Can you look right into the camera and tell the American people that you will never raise taxes?" So of course Kerry jumped right onto that opportunity to look like a straight-shooter, but I tell you, man, when he swung that big ol' face dead center and about a foot away from the camera, I was hoping that anyone that had kids had already put them to bed. I promise not to harp on this if Kerry wins, but he's just a little scary-looking, you know?

But I'm not saying that he had all the bad moments. I think they both suffered occasionally from the format where one of them is sitting on his little stool, mike in hand, while the other one is talking, like Sonny Bono just waiting for one of his lines in "I Got You, Babe". Kerry opted for getting a faraway look that I don't think worked well for him. Bush did this blinking thing. I don't know if there were lights in his eyes or what, but he got real blinky when he was waiting his turn. It didn't make him look like the sharpest tool in the shed.

Okay, but enough of the cheap shots. On to the countdown: I'd say Bush won last night, but I'm pretty sure Kerry supporters would say he did. Maybe a better thing to say would be that anyone that liked Kerry at the last debate liked him again, and anyone that really wanted Bush to do better last time was satisfied.

I definitely was. He wasn't vague -- his thoughts were focused, he wasn't at a loss for words. I thought he answered questions in a more linear way than Kerry, and he made his arguments well. The question now is if people really want to hear what he's saying. I think that people in this country really want to do something that matters. I don't think they're as afraid of being grown-ups as Baby Boomers were in their 20's and 30's. So if they believe, at the end of the day, that this war matters, that it's not just a pathetic blunder, I think they'll elect Bush. It's very hard to avoid the conclusion that we're in Iraq based on faulty intelligence, but does that make it the wrong war at the wrong time?

There are other issues, of course, but I'm thinking that this one really trumps the rest.

Just me thinking, of course.

4 Comments:

Blogger Karl Thienes said...

LOL! That imitation made me laugh out loud!

Frankly, I thought Bush clearly had the upper hand, albeit with some missed opportunities (like when Kerry said "I'm the president who believes in science" Bush should have nailed him on that)...

October 9, 2004 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Grace said...

Yep, I know what you mean. I happen to be watching it right now (no, I'm not this obsessed, I just missed part of it last night), and I can't believe that Kerry had the nerve to accuse Bush of being inconsistent on his ethics regarding stem cell research. You know, if I was a pro-choice Catholic, I think I'd keep my mouth shut about inconsistencies. Bush let it go. Oh well.

October 9, 2004 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger i;ajgnlkaj said...

... and a dog called Mokie... too funny but that is the way Kerry comes across even to me and I'm a Brit with no understanding of American politics at all. Still, it takes my mind off the miserable state of our own government and even more miserable opposition.

October 11, 2004 at 3:04 AM  
Blogger Grace said...

Havdala,
I never thought of that. I'm sure anybody's election is a bit more fun as a spectator sport.

I'll return the "compliment". I sometimes get a kick out of watching the House of Commons (if I've got that right), whereby Tony Blair tries to act civilized and esteemed parties on all sides harrumph their agreement or disagreement. It's really something, but I don't see how anything gets done.

October 13, 2004 at 7:08 PM  

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