The first debate
Who watched it, what did you think?
Bush talked alot but didn't say much if you ask me. Debating is not a strength of his that's for sure. Lot's of long pauses, lot's of ummmmm, seemed unsure of himself at times, strange facial expressions when Kerry was speaking, Kerry was stronger tonight IMO. He backs up what he says and doesn't keep circling around like Bush. He was more clear and concise.
I'm gonna go with Kerry. I'm not a huge political guy, but I have followed this election alot because of the war. I still dont know who I'm voting for yet, but I think Kerry had a stronger night.
Really it was pretty close, but Kerry is the one trying to catch up and become President, not Bush. Kerry had to have a clear win tonight, and I don't think he did. For that reason I give it to Bush.
From a "production" standpoint, I thought it was interesting how little Kerry looked at the camera compared to Bush and how (at least) on NBC there were full shots of Bush but not of Kerry. And in the double-box shot (both of them shown side by side) they adjusted the camera angles so that they looked like they were the same height
Kerry seemed stronger to me (but I must admit that I'm already pro-Kerry).
He had (for him) pretty clear answers about his views on Iraq, and he was agressive on criticizing Bush.
Bush seemed a little clumsy in his speech (nothing new), and he began to sound like a broken record with his flip-flop claim. He sounded best when talking about people, and when he talked directly about Kerry's daughters, etc. He's clearly much more comfortable on that level, and his strength is seeming like a regular fellow.
The incumbent has little to gain from debates, especially when leading in the polls. Kerry got to stand there with the president and show that he's on that level, which I think he did (not so hard with dubya). But I doubt it'll have much effect in the crucial battleground states. Still, we'll see.
Bush was clumsy, he stuttered, and he acted like an ass. Making dumb comments and rolling his eyes.
Kerry was in the zone on all of his talking points.
WHAT ABOUT POLAND?
I feel Kerry was stronger, and considering Bush had all of the questions in advance he either didn't do his homework or had no idea what Kerry would say.
I want to see Bush man up and accept a debate that the questions aren't revealed in advance.
i watched it with some other people... the general thought afterwards was kerry looked good if you were a dem, but if you didn't have a preference before, no one really came off as being awesome ;)
i didn't like some of what kerry had to say about expanding the military, not because its a bad idea (if we never downsized the army in the first place we'd be hundreds of billions of dollars ahead at this point... contractor deployment for logistics is very expensive), but because for the last thousand years kerry has voted against EVERY SINGLE military spending bill that's been written.
On N korea he said he rather give them free nuke plants and then just hope they don't use them for weapons... he wants bilateral talks (which is stupid, china sends N korea a lot of money and helps keep the regime working, they're the country with the most sway, regardless of what politicians may say)... he thinks a missile defense shield is a waste of money, which might be true... but when he says nuke proliferation is the biggest concern and that he wants to reduce america's nuclear reserve, it doesn't make much sense. His talk of nuke reduction made me think he wanted to say "we have no will to retaliate, fire at will"... (bush should have replied that N korea is now able to launch missile at California in defense of a missile shield, but he missed the opportunity)
I think he needs to drop the war hero act altogether, he looks and acts like a stuffy politician and his conduct as that point in his life wasn't exactly top notch.
kerry cleared up that he wanted saddam out, but he would have handled things differently, but he never said HOW he would have handled it (besides more UN support... russia and france were on the iraqi payroll for military gear during sanctions)... he also seemed to want to put a time table on troop removal regardless of what events may occur, and i don't think thats really reasonable. Overall he didn't come off as very military savy or what have you.
his good points were increasing nuke clean up in russia, and stem cell research (neither candidate is great on science... but bush is really bad).
bush on the other hand really didn't say much besides that he thought he's done a good job and would like to continue (his opinion), but kerry didn't throw any real knockdown punches, and i don't think either candidate got that many fence sitters here...
[QUOTE=Daseal]I feel Kerry was stronger, and considering Bush had all of the questions in advance he either didn't do his homework or had no idea what Kerry would say.
I want to see Bush man up and accept a debate that the questions aren't revealed in advance.[/QUOTE]
What makes you say he had all the questions in advance?
Both solidified their bases, the key as always is what the swing voters think.
I think that Bush did a good job of coming out a showing that he is not the buffoon that so many have tried to make him out as.
IMO, neither really came out swinging for the fences when it comes to the swing voters.
First let me say that [B]I'm not a fan of either candidate[/B]. So you're getting an objective viewpoint here. I'll be voting for Michael Badnarik by the way. For those of you who have no idea who I'm talking about, you really need to familiarize yourselves with some of the other choices out there. It doesn't have to be one or the other, people. To me, the distinction between democrats and republicans is similar to the difference between Coke and Pepsi.
That being said, John Kerry is clearly more articulate than Bush, and a more seasoned debater. But I still don't know exactly where he stands on Saddam Hussein, or the war in Iraq. It did seem like Kerry had more to say, more points for Bush to defend, while Bush basically had one answer for everything, "It's hard work, we can't show weakness, blah, blah, blah."
Those long pauses that many of you have mentioned, the uncomfortable moments when Bush seems to struggle may actually appeal to more voters than you think. The fact is, most people talk that way. Unless your a politician, I think there are lots of people who realize that Bush sometimes sounds like they would sound in a similar situation. In those ways, Bush may actually identify with more people. By and large, unless you're a passionate Bush Hater, I think the American people are generally forgiving for Bush's lack of polished public speaking abilities.
I was anticipating a gaffe, but didn't see one. I thought for sure Bush would stumble ackwardly through the debate, but it never really happened. Neither candidate scored big, and neither really lost it completely.
I don't agree with the war in Iraq, and I was never convinced that Hussein presented the grave threat that many conservatives were apparently so scared about. But does John Kerry really offer a clear alternative? He's not giving us that much of a different option as to how to get out of the mess that's been created.
On the points that Bush lost interest in Osama bin Laden and recklessly went after Saddam Hussein, who never attacked us, Kerry clearly won that aspect, while Bush tip-toed, and weaseled his way out of it. If Kerry really drives that point home, then that could be an effective weapon that Bush obviously has no answer for.
I'm more interested in domestic affairs, and I can't wait for that debate. Last night's round was a draw in my mind.
Of course I'm a little biased, but I saw vintage Bush buffoon last night. Long pauses where sometimes it seemed he wasn't going to be able to spit out a single word, he kept repeating himself without rephrasing, obvious looks of frustration when Kerry was speaking. Nobody is ever going to confuse him with being an eloquent speaker that's for sure. He's an average Joe, but personally I don't feel comfortable with an average Joe being the leader of the free world.
For those that want to know more: [URL=http://www.badnarik.org/]Michael Badnarik[/URL]
I'll bet a lot of potential voters fall under [URL=http://www.kerryhatersforkerry.com]this[/URL] category
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