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Coward-in-Chief.
October 5, 2004 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Coward-in-Chief. George Bush has announced that he will give a major national speech on Wednesday, in which he will respond to John Kerry's criticisms of the president. This appears to be the first time any president has tried to hold a major televised speech during the election season for such a purpose. During his term in office, Mr. Bush has given the fewest press conferences of any president in the televised era. John Kerry had previously offered Bush weekly debates... and George Bush refused. Is it fair to say that he'd rather use his power of office to dictate to us instead?
posted by insomnia_lj (183 comments total)

 
This certainly raises the question of whether this is in violation of electoral campaign restrictions or not.

It's good to be the king.
posted by clevershark at 1:06 PM on October 5, 2004


fratboy is running scared.
posted by quonsar at 1:06 PM on October 5, 2004


a major televised speech during the election season

Don't their reelection campaigns have to raise money to pay for commercials? Will John Kerry also get an opportunity to make a televised speech?

On Preview: what clevershark said.
posted by Stuart_R at 1:08 PM on October 5, 2004


This is getting more and more bizarre all the time. Is he going to call this a one man debate? He'd probably still lose.

Is there anyone who still thinks that Bush is playing with a full deck?
posted by fenriq at 1:08 PM on October 5, 2004


and kerry's equal time will be broadcast when? oh, never mind.
posted by quonsar at 1:09 PM on October 5, 2004


The president is said to be eager to rebut Kerry's attacks on such issues, especially those that came during last Thursday's presidential debate...

then why didn't he?

"There are some big differences facing the American people, and the president wants to highlight those differences."

oh, they were highlighted quite sharply during the debate.

Chimpy McAwol just wants to spew his "terra terra terra" schtick in the absence of any possible rebuttal.

this will backfire.
posted by quonsar at 1:13 PM on October 5, 2004


This certainly raises the question of whether this is in violation of electoral campaign restrictions or not.

Precisely what I was wondering, clevershark. Will Kerry get the same bully pulpit to rebut Bush's "attacks" too? Likely not.

I will be seriously angered if the major networks preempt programming for his speech. If so, they owe John Kerry an equal block of time during a similar time of day. The only purpose of this speech is to benefit/rescue his campaign.
posted by contessa at 1:14 PM on October 5, 2004


Sounds like typical Karl Rove strategy to me.
I'm not kidding when I say the man uses The Prince and 1984 as instruction manuals.
Its all about gaining and keeping power and nothing else.
Nothing matters except the power.
There are no rules.
Guess who will roll over for Unka' Karl?
That's right, the corporations that own our media.
And that includes PBS and NPR.
posted by nofundy at 1:16 PM on October 5, 2004


Chimpy McAwol

quonsar, will you marry me?
posted by contessa at 1:19 PM on October 5, 2004


They're getting desperate.

Also, nice way to take the wind out of any post VP Debates.

Nonetheless, Edwards ought to follow an easy-to-use line:

q: What are the main reasons you support John Kerry over George Bush?

Edwards: Halliburton

q: Can you give me any differences you find between you and Vice President Cheney?

Edwards: Halliburton

q: You have stated throughout your campaign that this is the wrong war, wrong time, wrong place. Can you please explain?

Edwards: Halliburton

. . .
posted by jackspace at 1:19 PM on October 5, 2004


Despotism.

Are you better off than you were four years ago??!
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:23 PM on October 5, 2004


We can start off by calling our local TV stations and to call immediately our representatives to make this 'speech' (one-sided debate is more like it) into the joke-spectacle it IS. But we need a lot of people to make this actually work NOW.
posted by jackspace at 1:24 PM on October 5, 2004


I have a feeling it will go something like this.
posted by four panels at 1:25 PM on October 5, 2004



I'm not kidding when I say the man uses The Prince and 1984 as instruction manuals.


I think you are kidding. I think you know you are using hyperbole for comedic value. Do not be ashamed of your talent re: humor. A gift like yours should be shared. I will look for you in comedy clubs.
posted by thirteen at 1:26 PM on October 5, 2004


This promises to be the electioneering equivalent of the Star Wars Kid: there he'll be, puffing and posing and thrashing away at an opponent who conveniently isn't there. Jesus, we've all had our "I shoulda said" moments, but this is pitiful. When do I get this kind of do-over?
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:26 PM on October 5, 2004


I doubt this'll get televised coverage. The networks aren't stupid: even the president can't get free time just by saying "It's a major national speech!". The networks are already giving up two nights of primetime this week to debates. Besides, the new TV season just started, and schedules are fixed. No way Fox is going to preempt the second (third?) week of That 70s Show.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:28 PM on October 5, 2004


Is it fair to say that he'd rather use his power of office to dictate to us instead?

Going by this evidence – absolutely not.
posted by ed\26h at 1:30 PM on October 5, 2004


nice halo dude:


posted by H. Roark at 1:31 PM on October 5, 2004


Federal Election Commission Regulations for Electioneering Communications

This brochure focuses on the rules pertaining to electioneering communications—television or radio communications that refer to a clearly identified federal candidate and are distributed to the relevant electorate within 60 days prior to the general election or 30 days prior to a primary.1 In general, these rules require that electioneering communications be financed using funds from sources permissible under the federal campaign finance law; but neither the funds raised nor those spent are subject to the law’s contribution limits.2 Once payments for electioneering communications exceed $10,000, the disbursements and the sources of the funds used must be disclosed within 24 hours.

and

An electioneering communication is any broadcast, cable or satellite communication that fulfills each of the following conditions:

1. The communication refers to a clearly identified candidate;
2. The communication is publicly distributed shortly before an election for the office that candidate is seeking; and
3. The communication is targeted to the relevant electorate (U.S. House and Senate candidates only).

posted by Stuart_R at 1:33 PM on October 5, 2004


I doubt this'll get televised coverage

Yeah, I'm confused, where does it say this is going to be televised?

It sounds like he just changed the topic of his already planned speech for tmrw, and is trying to talk it up.
posted by malphigian at 1:33 PM on October 5, 2004


Holy shit four panels, that's hysterical!

Can't believe I missed that the first time around.

(And say what you will about Rudy, at least he can pronounce terrORists correctly.)
posted by papercake at 1:34 PM on October 5, 2004


I don't see how ANYONE can possibly defend this. I'm sure the windbags -- Coulter and Limbaugh -- will find something to spew, but otherwise I can't imagine even the most hardline conservative Bush supporter dreaming up a justification for this (other than "because he can.")

nice halo dude

Roark, I think that's a bald spot shining through some of that spray-on hair.
posted by Shane at 1:36 PM on October 5, 2004


I wonder if he'll win this debate?

Debate is not his strong suit, obviously - he believes that, once his mind's made up, it's weakness to change a decision even if it's wrong.

The president is said to be eager to rebut Kerry's attacks on such issues, especially those that came during last Thursday's presidential debate, according to The Times.

Why couldn't he rebut such attacks during, say, oh, I don't know, the actual debate with Kerry?

"There has been an attempt by the president's opponent to launch false attacks and mislead the American people on these big priorities," the paper quotes White House press secretary Scott McClellan as saying. "There are some big differences facing the American people, and the president wants to highlight those differences."

In a "safe" forum, where voices of disagreement and dissent can be filtered out so that he's not flustered.
posted by FormlessOne at 1:38 PM on October 5, 2004


Do not be ashamed of your talent re: humor. A gift like yours should be shared. I will look for you in comedy clubs.

Does thirteen work at a fortune cookie factory or something?

To be honest, I think we're making a bigger deal than we should, just as Bush wants it. This article doesn't say he's making a rare prime-time address to the nation. It sounds like he's changing the theme of whatever his stump speech at a campaign rally at 11 in the morning is going to be, and Karl Rove cleverly pushed a press release implying it was the second coming.

Seriously, Bush has been making "major televised speeches" for the last six months, all of which could be considered "during the campaign season." The only reason for this story was to give media speculation about Bush's "bold new speech" at the cost of diverting time from analyzing tonight's debate.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:38 PM on October 5, 2004


Yup I agree with malphigian, all he is doing is changing the subject of a speech he was already gonna give. It's not a fireside chat or anything. They are just trying to hype it up a bit to get some extra coverage. Move along nothing to see, nothing to hear, just more of the same.
posted by zeoslap at 1:38 PM on October 5, 2004


If the networks carry this, this is absolutely insane.
posted by dig_duggler at 1:40 PM on October 5, 2004


This will be the first nationwide broadcast of l'esprit d'escalier in American history.
posted by jkilg at 1:41 PM on October 5, 2004


Let's all calm down now. This is a non-issue. He changed the topic of the speech he is giving to an invited crowd in Wilkes-Barre at 10:10am tomomrrow morning.
posted by FreezBoy at 1:42 PM on October 5, 2004


nice halo dude

Am I the only one who thought Zapruder film when they saw that image posted with this comment?

"moment of impact..."
posted by Peter H at 1:43 PM on October 5, 2004


I used to work for a guy who looked a lot like George Bush. His name was Richard, but he said to call him "Dick."

True story. Make of it what you will.
posted by jonmc at 1:43 PM on October 5, 2004


It's not meant to be a televised address, but a speech made at an appearance. The media will, of course, provide reports that will broadcast the "relevant portions" (read: Karl's talking points against Kerry, especially if they relate to the debate), giving him free air time without having to pay for it or to address the larger electioneering broadcast regs. After all, if the news outlets decide to film a speech at a public appearance, it's not the same thing, right?

Why else would you leak a last-minute speech change, in advance, to media outlets? To ensure that the media covers the content of the speech.
posted by FormlessOne at 1:45 PM on October 5, 2004


Also: I think a good indication of how closely this "major national speech" will be covered is the coverage of the announcement. Though the announcement was made at 7:30 AM EDT, no one is covering it, not even Fox News. We've got one little wire story, that's it. This item has already fallen off the news cycle.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:45 PM on October 5, 2004


Seriously, Bush has been making "major televised speeches" for the last six months, all of which could be considered "during the campaign season."

But none of those was announced a mere day-and-a-half previous to its occurrence, or happened to be conveniently sandwiched in between the Vice-Presidential and Presidential debates scheduled to be held in the same week.
posted by clevershark at 1:46 PM on October 5, 2004


damn! Roved again!
posted by quonsar at 1:48 PM on October 5, 2004


Note that the original story was reported by Yahoo! News quoting by the Washington Times, folks. The only way I'd be more suspicious of its accuracy is if Reuters was involved somewhere.

It would be ridiculous for this to be broadcast on television, and almost certainly in violation of the FCC rules. It will not be. I'm sure some people will find it interesting, exciting, and passionate, and other people will find it dull, ill-informed, and repellent. Some of the people who liked it will vote for Mr. Bush; some of the people who didn't like it will vote for Mr. Kerry; and lots of the people who really meant to vote will go out for dinner instead, or forget where their polling place is, or think that the election is on November 9th.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:48 PM on October 5, 2004


Well... if it's not "a major televised speech during the election season" then I think George W is right to change his speech. He looked very bad on debate night, and you can't fault him for trying to win.

Nothing to see here...
posted by Stuart_R at 1:48 PM on October 5, 2004



Does thirteen work at a fortune cookie factory or something?


We live in interesting times.
posted by thirteen at 1:48 PM on October 5, 2004


damn! Roved again!

no wait - insomnia_lj'ed again!
posted by quonsar at 1:49 PM on October 5, 2004


"Change of topic for stump speech in hick town! Film at 11."

I hardly ever think Matt should pull FPPs, but I think this might be one that needs to go.

insomnia_lj, I don't know if this was a (very rare) misreading your part, or a screwup on the part of the good folks at Yahoo!News, but this is definitely one for the NonStoryFilter.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:52 PM on October 5, 2004


Is this the October Surprise speech?
posted by eatitlive at 1:56 PM on October 5, 2004


Remember when George spent an entire episode trying to get a guy back with the "jerk store" zinger because he couldn't think of a good one at the time?

George Bush, the George Costanza of politics.
posted by Slightlynorth at 1:56 PM on October 5, 2004


Considering it took Bush more than a year to (almost) admit that he rushed into war based on faulty intelligence, I applaud him for taking only one week to respond to criticisms brought up in a debate.

Bush may very well be our first tape-delayed president.
posted by turaho at 1:56 PM on October 5, 2004


Although it does appear to be far less of an issue than initially advertised it is still interesting that it appears Bush feels he actually needs to preach to the choir, as it were. He has to clearly layout the differences between himself and Kerry to them. I guess he doesn't hold the intelligence and critical ability of his audience in high regard.
posted by juiceCake at 1:57 PM on October 5, 2004


If the major speech is to say that he's decided that elections, at this juncture, are too dangerous because the terrorists are just waiting for us to let our guard down, I think I'm going to start heading to Washington to demand he leave.

Its too early to trot out a trussed up Osama, isn't it?
posted by fenriq at 1:58 PM on October 5, 2004


"no wait - insomnia_lj'ed again!"

Um... maybe the fact that a major news source said "Bush to Give Major Speech" had something to do with it.

If it was just a new stump speech as opposed to a "major speech", they should have said as much.

I wasn't the only one who read the story and saw the same thing.
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:03 PM on October 5, 2004


Bush may very well be our first tape-delayed president.
Probably not our first, but most certainly one of our most delayed.
posted by FormlessOne at 2:03 PM on October 5, 2004


Its too early to trot out a trussed up Osama, isn't it?

Too early? I want my October Surprise! What is this -- October 5th already, and no surprise? Goddamn Bush administration can't deliver on anything.
posted by eatitlive at 2:04 PM on October 5, 2004


But that said, it's probably best to pull the post.
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:05 PM on October 5, 2004


The president is said to be eager to rebut Kerry's attacks on such issues, especially those that came during last Thursday's presidential debate...

It's a do-over debate, in hopes of getting a do-over second term.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:05 PM on October 5, 2004


Insomnia, even Homer nods, as the poet says. You're usually a very thorough researcher of your posts, so I'm not holding one mistake against you!

I do wonder, though--did it ever say "televised" in the Yahoo!News piece, or did you just make that assumption because of the undue coverage they (and the Washington Times) were giving to a routine press release? (Based on my past experiences, I'm quite willing to believe that the Y!N folks misreported--almost more willing to believe that than that the usually pretty accurate i_lj misread.)

My perception of the Yahoo!News piece was already shaped enough by your FPP that it took my darling husband's question "Wait, who says this is going to be televised?" for me to realize what was actually going on.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:10 PM on October 5, 2004


... preach to the choir ...

One of Karl Rove's great insights was that in the media era, even sermons to the choir get broadcast outside the church. So you can get the great benefit of keeping the Pres happy and comfortable, while sending the sound-bite rich message far and wee. So it's actually better from his perspective that it's not televised; if it were, there'd be less of a chance to nibble it up into little pieces for news-cycle consumption.

Certainly that's not an insight unique to Rove. Others have had this idea. But it's hard to deny that he's milked it more thoroughly than most.

Another one of Rove's great insights -- and this is probably the more important one -- is that the most important thing is not to convince people to think like the choir, but rather to convince them that they're in it. That way, they'll go along out of a feeling of guilt...
posted by lodurr at 2:12 PM on October 5, 2004


The president announced he had his fingers crossed all during the debate with Senator Kerry, thus allowing him this do-over. Further, he declared that he would "take his ball and go home" unless it was allowed, going on to say "Unka Anton and Unka Clarence said I could."
posted by amberglow at 2:17 PM on October 5, 2004


Don't take this seriously. Guys, the quotes are from the Washington Times, a rag that makes Fox actually look fair and balanced by comparison. It also happens to be owned by the Moonies, and therefore has all kinds of strange rumors and fairy tales in it. I live in the DC area, and everyone pretty much treats this paper as a joke.
posted by unreason at 2:28 PM on October 5, 2004


Pass the lube boys, the facts are drying this circle jerk out.
posted by Mick at 2:41 PM on October 5, 2004


I think the post should stay simply because it produced the phrase "George Bush, the George Costanza of Politics", which is brilliant.
posted by pikachulolita at 2:46 PM on October 5, 2004


Um, excuse me. I hate to rain on the parade here, but I appear to be among the very few who's noticed that even though Chimpy had his ass handed to him last Thursday, the polls are still showing, at best, a tied race. This right here is looking more grim for Kerry than before the debates. So, Bush giving a speech, any speech, that refutes Kerry as having drubbed Bush's stupid ass, can only be good for Bush.

That having been said, I will never understand how a country can knowingly admit that Bush got slaughtered in a head-to-head with his opponent, and yet he comes out stronger looking still.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:52 PM on October 5, 2004


Wulfgar!: There's a certain lag built into electoral-vote.com, simply because of the way the state-by-states are conducted. Also, the guy running it is now using the average of the last three polls, not just the last poll, and while this is designed to remove some of the chaff, it actually has the effect of amplifying some of the more suspiscious polling (like Stategic Visions).
posted by bshort at 3:01 PM on October 5, 2004


Wednesday's when he's going to announce the capture of Bin Laden. He just forgot that it was supposed to be a surprise and wanted to give the networks a day to plan.
posted by kfury at 3:02 PM on October 5, 2004


no wait - insomnia_lj'ed again!

I wasn't the only one who read the story and saw the same thing.


indeed. i retract my previous statement and issue this correction:

quonsared again!
posted by quonsar at 3:04 PM on October 5, 2004


bshort, I'm aware that you're correct. I've never picked a fight and I've never lost a fight; but the last time I was in a fight, one of us walked away, and one didn't. There was a clear winner. No one who witnessed that gruesome spectical left believing that my opponent was able to protect and defend them or himself. Most of the country admits that Kerry whooped Bush, yet 50% still hold the belief that that stuttering cowardly goon is the best to lead because he'll throw the first punch, get his ass kicked at our expense, but he won't forget Poland, and that bastard Kerry supports terrorism by pulling out a pen. There is something terribly terribly wrong with that.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:44 PM on October 5, 2004


I'm not kidding when I say the man uses The Prince and 1984 as instruction manuals.

Okay, that gave me pause for a moment.... I think we could really use some lovesexy funk in the White House, myself.
posted by jokeefe at 3:47 PM on October 5, 2004


Yeah, but Bush was tired from consoling hurricane victims, no wait... Kerry cheated... no wait... I want a do-over! A mulligan.. Waaaaaaaa!
posted by psmealey at 3:58 PM on October 5, 2004


Pass the lube boys, the facts are drying this circle jerk out.
posted by Mick at 2:41 PM PST on October 5



yes, by all means. after the debate fiasco, lube must be, ahem, sorely needed for you boys down in Unkle Karl's dungeon, as the Rude Pundit politely points out:

Oh, how Karl Rove's leather slave that he keeps in the basement of the White House, right next to Andrew Jackson's collection of scalps, must have suffered Thursday night. How Rove, sweaty, smelling of open bar cosmos, took out the big, pointed dildo and, unlubricated, shoved it into his ecstatic leather slave's asshole, twisting it, shrieking, "I'm the master of spin. I'm the master of spin." Because Rove knows, he fucking knows in his heart of hearts, that he's lost just a bit of control, that he has played a high-wire act with the media and that he has stumbled, and maybe, just maybe, he will fall. And it's all because of that goddamned half-wit son of a bitch Bush, who Rove has dragged by his nuts through more vicious dogfights than a starving mutt in the streets of Rio. Rove is a madman in the sense that he is insane. Crazed. A demonic essence tinged with a human's capability to draw blood. And he's gonna strike back. If he's got anything left in his quill, he's gonna fire that motherfucker with everything he's got.
He's got Fox willing to do his bidding, now that the "news" network has tossed aside any semblance of fairness. It's the "news" network for the imbalanced.




:)
posted by matteo at 4:20 PM on October 5, 2004


"This right here is looking more grim for Kerry than before the debates.

They just changed their methodology in a way that is clearly less favorable to Kerry. You'd know this if you scrolled down and read the news on their page. Frankly, their abrupt change on the eve of the debates disturbs me, and makes me wonder just how fair their site is.

Prior to this change, they could easily be accused of "cherry-picking" the polls they used. By averaging several polls, it makes "cherry-picking" less of a potential concern -- unless all their poll results are cherry-picked -- but it also makes it so that their results less accurately predict where we are now in the race, as opposed to where we were when the oldest poll in their data was taken.

If you look at their polling data, you'd see that some of their "latest" data is over a month old. As far as this race is concerned, that's forever. All you do from averaging significantly older data with new data is making the overall data far less accurate.

Out of the 316 statewide polls used at electoral-vote.com to create their projections, only nine come from after the first debate... and even those results are being averaged with results that, in some cases, are over a month old.

In short, their methodology sucks. It seems to reflect the efforts of either an amateur statistician, or one who may be intentionally trying to skew their results. Using their methodology, it is likely that we will never see the full impact of the first debate in their results prior to Election Day-- much less the impact of all subsequent debates.
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:21 PM on October 5, 2004


Chimpy McAwol...

sorry, just had to hear it again.

Lol, as they say.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:22 PM on October 5, 2004


"cheat sheets" - This is the real world, notes - not grade school cheating. If Bush knew the proper use of one, he could drop the annoying; "let me finish" line.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:24 PM on October 5, 2004


Nice work on electoral-vote, insomnia, I've been thinking that they've gotta be fudged up somehow to keep sliding towards Bush in the light of, uhm, reality.

So where's a more reasonably balanced place to check out the current state?

Kind of funny if its a pro-Bush site and they're having to work this hard to keep Bush in the lead on paper though.

And Matteo, that was lovely, thanks for sharing! Hahaha!
posted by fenriq at 4:25 PM on October 5, 2004


Er, electoral-vote.com claims to be anti-Bush. Maybe the site is a Karl Rove conspiracy, yes?
posted by Krrrlson at 4:32 PM on October 5, 2004


speaking fear
posted by thomcatspike at 4:33 PM on October 5, 2004


You'd know this if you scrolled down and read the news on their page. Frankly, their abrupt change on the eve of the debates disturbs me, and makes me wonder just how fair their site is.

i_lj, I'm sorry, but I don't appreciate your tone very much. I did read the methodology of electoral-vote.com after the rather disturbing and untoward change in Bush's favor. Which leads directly to my dismay that anyone who thinks that Kerry won the debate will still be willing to stump for Bush. What matters is that the debate changed very little in the way of public opinion or stump polling. The idiots are in charge of a psuedo-truth and Americans are buying it. Electoral-vote isn't fair, as was my very point. Almost no one today is. Now if you wish to insult me further, please do so, and we'll mix it up right here. Otherwise, back off.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:46 PM on October 5, 2004


George Bush, the George Costanza of politics.

No, that's just as good. Thanks guys, I've been a lovely audience.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:46 PM on October 5, 2004


Bush may very well be our first tape-delayed president.

With that earpiece? Won't anyone think of the feedback?
posted by dash_slot- at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2004


So where's a more reasonably balanced place to check out the current state?

What is really reasonably balanced, these days?

I loved electoral-vote's "latest poll wins" methodology — it's now switched to a 7 day, 3 poll average (whichever is less) instead of the terrible 30 day averaging. I still don't like it, but right now it's my number one site to follow. I also check in on race2004.

If you really care about the electoral vote tally, read Ed Fitzgerald's electoral poll roundup.
posted by rafter at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2004


"So where's a more reasonably balanced place to check out the current state?"

Anywhere you can find more recent data. The most recent polls matter the most. If you're looking for a good state-by-state summary, you can often find those amongst the latest poll data as it is released by the media, but sites like electoral-vote.com are not a good source of that information.

Even then, you have to take the poll results with a grain of salt, as what is being polled is usually "likely voters". Recent Gallup polls balanced their likely voter methodology by using 12% more Republicans in their polled group than Democrats. It should be pointed out that Gore trailed in the polls by 5% amongst likely voters on the eve of the last election, but won the popular vote... and there are more organizations and mechanisms in place to get out the vote this year than in prior elections.

The only reasonable conclusion you can draw is that so long as Kerry is within striking distance -- say, 6-7% or so -- on the national and battleground state polls... he's got a fair chance of winning the election. .Financially, he's looking really good. On the ground, he's looking pretty good too, with lots of "get out the vote" efforts in battleground states. Also, trends ahead (such as further debates and the likelihood of increased violence in Iraq during Ramadan) favor Kerry.

I think the only reasonable thing to do is assume that this race could be another nailbiter and act / vote accordingly.
posted by insomnia_lj at 5:11 PM on October 5, 2004


Wulfgar! - are you in a fight I can't see?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:23 PM on October 5, 2004


"I don't appreciate your tone very much."

I suggested that before touting electoral-vote.com as meaningful, you should've checked out their methodology first -- which you didn't appear to have done, as you didn't mention it.

I could've said it nicer, but I wasn't too horrid about it. If I hurt your feelings, I'm sorry.

"What matters is that the debate changed very little in the way of public opinion or stump polling."

I disagree. Most polls after the first debate showed marked improvement for Kerry's numbers. It often takes weeks for the full impact of the debates to settle in with the voters, but they do matter. The whole tone of how this election is being covered has changed since the first debate. Kerry is no longer seen as on the defensive, and there are clear signs that Bush's support, like his approval ratings, is not particularly solid.

"The idiots are in charge of a psuedo-truth and Americans are buying it."

I'm not sure they are... and I'm not sure you aren't making the problem worse by citing Kerry doing badly on electoral-vote.com without pointing out why that is the case.
posted by insomnia_lj at 5:34 PM on October 5, 2004


One of my main fears this election is that there will be the "spoiler returns" from back east that we'll already be getting out here. In 2000 the returns basically said "Don't bother voting, its already locked up."

I'd very much like to make sure that the media doesn't do the same thing this time around. As in, you can't declare a state decided when only 13% of the vote has been counted.

Thanks for the alterna-polls. I was growing tired of electoral vote's look anyway.
posted by fenriq at 5:44 PM on October 5, 2004


I'm not kidding when I say the man uses The Prince and 1984 as instruction manuals.

Okay, that gave me pause for a moment.... I think we could really use some lovesexy funk in the White House, myself.
posted by jokeefe at 3:47 PM PST on October 5


Heh! I love jokeefee! The image of once-again-known-as-Prince doing some lovesexy with Laura and Dubya is great!
posted by nofundy at 5:54 PM on October 5, 2004


I suggested that before touting electoral-vote.com as meaningful, you should've checked out their methodology first

The fact is, you're wrong. The point is, regardless of Kerry's improved numbers concerning the debate or individual polls, the RNC talking point (Kerry is losing by a landslide) still carries some validity ... even though Kerry clearly won the first debate (and likely will win the next two). I'm not making the problem worse by pointing out the real live essential problem ... that many people will follow polls before they will follow the raw evidence of their own perception. I am sure, completely certain, that a significant number of voters will believe whatever lie is presented, simply to tout the illusion that they were on the winning side. They're hedging their bets. If you think that's "making the problem worse" then you are deluded, and have ignored even what's happening on such a leftist playground as MeFi. You cannot, with any reason, say why Kerry is doing poorly in any poll. He whooped Bush's ass, and yet this country remains split down the middle in support of a loser.

Don't ask yourself why I'm supporting an illusion, which is really the truth. I'm obviously not. Ask yourself why the illusion is persuasive enough that clear evidence is disregarded so much that this election is even in any doubt. Then we have a clear point of agreement.
posted by Wulfgar! at 6:04 PM on October 5, 2004


Amazing! Moveon.org is working with RealVoices.org to air the most powerful campaign ad yet in battleground states.

I think I'll donate $50 in the memory of adeptus13.

Adam died in an RPG attack outside Baghdad on April 12th, 2004.
posted by insomnia_lj at 6:07 PM on October 5, 2004


How does the RNC talking point that "Kerry is losing by a landslide" hold any validity, Wulfgar? Bush may be slightly ahead in some polls, but I haven't seen a "landslide" since the debate, even in the Gallup polls.

Now, if the talking point was "Bush is ahead in the polls", I'd buy it, because Bush is ahead in some of the polls. But there's no "landslide" out there.

Why is it so important to you to contend that it's a "landslide"?
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:13 PM on October 5, 2004


Oh, man! Edwards just took Cheney to the fucking WOODSHED on Halliburton. He said that they didn't vote against 87b because they didn't support the troops, but rather that they didn't agree with a $20 billion appropriations bill "of which $7 billion went for a no-bid contract to the Vice President's former company, Halliburton."

And Cheney was all, "John Kerry voted against important weapons systems" and Edwards pointed out that Cheney, as the Secretary of Defense at the time, recommended that 80 weapons systems--including the ones Cheney was dissing Kerry for voting against--be eliminated.

The only thing Cheney could say in response was, "Gwen, I think the record speaks for itself."
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:29 PM on October 5, 2004


Cheney is digging his own grave here--he's now contending that the current Iraq coalition is as strong as the Desert Storm coalition, and he was actually stupid enough to say "We had 34 partners then, and we have 30 now."
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:30 PM on October 5, 2004


Cheney is sounding nastier and nastier, I can't wait to get home and Tivo the debates!
posted by fenriq at 6:37 PM on October 5, 2004


Lies just continually flow out of Cheney's mouth, like water or vomit or something--it's weird.

He also hasn't once countered any of the Halliburton stuff.
posted by amberglow at 6:46 PM on October 5, 2004


At least Edwards finally dropped the H-bomb.
posted by adampsyche at 6:47 PM on October 5, 2004


Much as I hate to say it, Cheney, although nasty, is returning fire rather effectively. Like Kerry, he seems to be more polished, more at ease, more....presidential? I dunno. He's got a fairly commanding presence. Go John(s).

On preview, I honestly don't think Cheney gives a crap about Halliburton allegations. I'm trying to be balanced here, but my gut says that Cheney is doing better.
posted by TeamBilly at 6:49 PM on October 5, 2004


Then again, Edwards seems to be handling domestic issues better.
posted by TeamBilly at 6:50 PM on October 5, 2004


Oh, man, this is priceless. Priceless! Cheney just bashed Edwards's record, but Edwards had a totally brilliant comeback about Cheney's least popular votes as a Representative, including voting against Martin Luther King Day, Head Start, Meals on Wheels for senior citizens, and demanding the release from prison of Nelson Mandela.

I was expecting Edwards to say that Cheney had voted against puppies and kittens!

Cheney had nothing to say except, "Well, I think Senator Edwards's record speaks for itself and it's not very distinguished." His look--like a man who swallowed a moldy lemon--didn't help, either.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:50 PM on October 5, 2004


And Cheney's also not helping himself with his core--he's touting the Bush Administration's support for a Palestinian state, and just said "We took fifty thousand people off the income tax rolls" as an Administration achievement against policy.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:53 PM on October 5, 2004


It is kind of funny watching this debate. There's lies and misinformation through the whole debate from both sides. I do have to say that Cheney is currently leading on BS though.

I'm still waiting to hear that "it's hard work".
posted by JakeEXTREME at 6:54 PM on October 5, 2004


Ifill is sucking at keeping things on track. Edwards is winning on domestic stuff, but Cheney's very smooth (and lying continually).
posted by amberglow at 6:55 PM on October 5, 2004


Edwards is sucking it up.

Kerry beat Bush handily Thursday night, and I anticipate that he will again on Friday and Wednesday.

But hardcore Dems need to take off their rose-colored glasses.

Edwards is doing absolutely terrible. Every word out of Cheney's mouth may be a lie, but Joe Swing State Voter doesn't know that. Edwards' poise is just embarrassing.
posted by rafter at 6:58 PM on October 5, 2004


Right wing boards are saying Cheney is destroying Edwards, Metafilter is saying otherwise. Oh who to believe.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:00 PM on October 5, 2004


I swear to God, Cheney's scalp just went a couple shades nearer his tie color, or C-SPAN2 is having fun with the camera color-thingy.....damn....
posted by TeamBilly at 7:01 PM on October 5, 2004


Ifill is really not doing a good job.

I really don't see this "Cheney is beating Edwards" stuff, and I'm not a Democrat, hardcore or otherwise.

Cheney got some good attacks off earlier in the debate, but he's been really flummoxed a couple of times since then.

OTOH, Edwards is being a little too cool, calm, and collected "Ken doll".
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:04 PM on October 5, 2004


How dare you impugn the good name of the iraqi security forces by not including them in your casualty counts! (And DON’T FORGET POLAND, MOTHERFUCKER!) Sorry for the outburst. I can't believe the shit the pours out of Cheney's mouth. Fucking El Salvador as a template for success in Afghanistan? Right wing death squads for everyone! I will give this to Cheney, though, he is one hell of a salesman.

I don't think Edwards is doing that poorly, but he is coming off like a lightweight. Cheney's unshakable conviction (even though he's lying through his teeth) is hard to compete with.
posted by psmealey at 7:05 PM on October 5, 2004


Ooh, but Cheney is bobbling the whole "frivolous lawsuits" business badly, and Edwards told us a story about a cute little girl who was injured by a faulty pool drain.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:07 PM on October 5, 2004


Oops, and now Cheney is trying to counter the cute little girl with some aircraft manufacturers in Minnesota and something about Medicare formulas that is just too confusing for me to understand.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:09 PM on October 5, 2004


Edwards does the "thumb gesture" as much as Clinton. His hands look like he's running a puppet show.

> How does the RNC talking point that "Kerry is losing by a landslide" hold any validity, Wulfgar? Bush may be slightly ahead in some polls, but I haven't seen a "landslide" since the debate, even in the Gallup polls.

Unless you look at the votes that ACTUALLY COUNT:

http://www.electoral-vote.com/

> Electoral Vote Predictor 2004: Kerry 200 Bush 321

Duh!
posted by dand at 7:10 PM on October 5, 2004


Oh, God, now Cheney's bragging about the Medicare drug card, which is a proven flop with voters. Eeee.

Dand, did you read the rest of the thread, including the discussion of why those electoral-vote.com numbers aren't particularly accurate in reflecting current polling trends? "Duh" me no "duhs", buddy.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:12 PM on October 5, 2004


psmealey, you hit it dead on. Thank you for labeling what I was trying to think of. Cheney is indeed a hell of a salesman.
posted by TeamBilly at 7:13 PM on October 5, 2004


Hey, dand, RTF copy:

Not a lot of change in the state polls right now. I installed new software yesterday to average recent polls per state going back 30 days. There was a create hue and cry that this was a bad thing because the race is in such a state a flux that polls that old are meaningless.
posted by psmealey at 7:13 PM on October 5, 2004


Cheney's much better than Bush was--but which one is the president? This makes Bush look even worse, i think, on balance.

Edwards is bringing the AIDS question exactly into focus---the millions that don't have health insurance here at home.
posted by amberglow at 7:14 PM on October 5, 2004


Anybody know why John Edwards is blinking so much?
posted by David Dark at 7:14 PM on October 5, 2004


Yeah, because the stench of Cheney's lies is burning his eyes.
posted by psmealey at 7:17 PM on October 5, 2004


My take so far:

Cheney wins on Iraq, holds Edwards in check on jobs and the economy.

Edwards wins on tort reform, beats Cheney down on the whole "record" question--his refrain that "a long resume does not equal good judgment" (which he just repeated for the fourth time) is brilliant, as Cheney can hardly contend that a long resume does equal good judgment, since Kerry's is the longest.

I think that Cheney is going to alienate independent voters with his open partisanship. Since this is really about winning the independents and swing voters, I'm not seeing Cheney doing the job here.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:19 PM on October 5, 2004


I'm not seeing Edwards doing the job here, either, though, except that he is focusing on centrist issues like "tough on crime" and "tough on terrorism", which does reach out to the independent voters.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:22 PM on October 5, 2004


How can Cheney praise Bush with a straight face? I mean, Cheney doesn't seem like a stupid man. Bush is clearly a very stupid man. Is it just that Cheney enjoys keeping his hand up Bush's behind so much that he's prepared to defend a developmentally-delayed president?
posted by Hildegarde at 7:23 PM on October 5, 2004


Cheney's framing this entire debate in terms of looking the part and hoping no one's actually listening. There were early questions where he didn't address the topic at hand, didn't even address the response from Edwards... it was like they were hitting buttons on a tape player or something every time it was Cheney's turn.

The problem was that he just spewed gallons of vindictive bullshit and Edwards had to respond to it instead of making a case. It's just amazing how much Cheney looks like he doesn't give a shit and throws Edwards off by doing it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:27 PM on October 5, 2004


At the risk of sounding naive, maybe Cheney believes that he can keep Bush from driving us all off a cliff by occasionally reaching over from the passenger seat to correct the steering?

Meanwhile, Rove whispers to Bush over the headrest that the guardrail looks really cool....smash it....it's not that far down.

Just a thought....
posted by TeamBilly at 7:29 PM on October 5, 2004


Hildegarde, I think that Cheney honestly agrees with the majority of Bush's policies.

Ifill is just doing a hideous job. She's a pretty good reporter, but she's horrible at this.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:29 PM on October 5, 2004


Cheney is now blaming the Democrats for the lack of bipartisanship. This is not going to go over well with independent voters.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:30 PM on October 5, 2004


On a side note, who the hell picked this woman to moderate the debate? It's not even a partisanship thing... she just sucks. There's been like two or three flubs in her own questions, and now she just forgot how the debate structure worked. What the hell?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:30 PM on October 5, 2004


Ah, okay, so it's not just me.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:31 PM on October 5, 2004


She's pretty distinguished as a reporter. The problem is that the skills needed for doing a five-minute stand-up on television are not the same as the skills needed for moderating a debate.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:31 PM on October 5, 2004


I'm calling it a draw--Cheney wins on the amount of lies per minute tho. Edwards clearly wins on domestic stuff. Ifill is the big loser tonight.
posted by amberglow at 7:33 PM on October 5, 2004


Ifill's questions are terrible (did she write them?), her delivery is terrible, her moderation ("You just said Kerry's name!") is terrible, and -- oh, god, did she really just screw up whose turn it was to speak?
posted by rafter at 7:34 PM on October 5, 2004


How does it work in Bush/Cheney's favor when Cheney says "You're forgetting the Iraqi casualties?" Isn't he basically saying that the casualties are actually higher than Edwards said, and that's somehow better?
posted by emelenjr at 7:34 PM on October 5, 2004


Oh, no, Cheney! Don't go to that Medicare Reform Bill! Everyone hates it!

This debate has actually made me like Cheney more, oddly enough. I really admired his handling of what I thought was an inappropriate question about his daughter. Also, I'm positively surprised by how Cheney looks more like a crabby old man than a SCARY EVIL GENIUS.

I think Edwards's message is more focused on the people he actually needs to reach right now, though. He's hammering the centrist and pseudo-populist messages home, whereas Cheney is doing too much defending of the Administration's unpopular positions.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:35 PM on October 5, 2004


this closing thing by Edwards is just excellent tho. "They don't see it"--indeed.
posted by amberglow at 7:35 PM on October 5, 2004


What I don't get is how a clearly intelligent man can like the idea of being #2 to a guy too dumb to be shoe leather.

I'm not saying Cheney is a good guy or anything, but he obviously knows his shit. Edwards seems like a lightweight to me.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:36 PM on October 5, 2004


Disclosure: I'm a libertarian-leaning pragmatist who supports Kerry in this election.

Cheney was stronger in the foreign policy part of the debate, I thought. While I don't agree with B/C's Iraq policy, Cheney made a strong case for it tonight.

Edwards did better overall in the domestic policy, but it wasn't a shut-out. His proposal on tort reform was bizarre, to say the least. (An "independent panel" to determine whether a case is meritorious before it gets to court? Isn't that one of the things a court is for? And just who will this "independent panel" be beholden to?)

I join in the jeers at Ifill as a moderator. Not only is she bad at keeping the candidates on topic, but she's sending way too many softballs at both of them. (What experience do you have?! How are you different from the other candidate?! Stick to the issues, Gwen, and let the voters decide whether they're qualified, and how they're different from each other.)

Bottom line, in the two debates we've seen so far, we've seen three well-prepared, well-informed, and highly skilled debaters.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:36 PM on October 5, 2004


Seems like a draw to me. Cheney's vocal tenor--over the radio, at least--makes it sound like he learned how to speak before some senate investigation. He sounded like he was testifying the whole time.

Still, not a decisive win on either side. Too bad; I was hoping that Edwards' trial lawyer experience would make it so he'd pull out some kind of bomb at the end, like he'd been setting Cheney up the whole time.
posted by interrobang at 7:36 PM on October 5, 2004


At best, this will be seen as a tie. Most likely, it will be generally awarded to Cheney. And I'm not sure they'd be wrong. If you read the debate on paper -- it'd probably go to Edwards. Too bad this debate wasn't on paper.

The Kerry team blew it; they knew Cheney's line of bull even more than they knew Bush's. They had ample time to prepare.

Times running out. Couple this anemic performance with the Bush's upcoming speech and it's not a rosey picture. I'm reminded of people a few weeks back screaming for Kerry to start his damn campaign. That lag time hurt him.

Kerry would probably be elected if the election were Nov 30th.
posted by RavinDave at 7:38 PM on October 5, 2004


I also thought the subject of his daughter, however benign the context, was kind of inappropriate. You didn't see Cheney bring up Edwards' dead son. It just seemed rude.
posted by TeamBilly at 7:40 PM on October 5, 2004


I expected it to be a rout by Edwards; Cheney's performance surprised me. It was by far the best speaking he's ever done, in my opinion. Edwards did a perfectly fine job, but Cheney was really on the top of his game.

However, it seems to me that Cheney focused more on reinforcing the core party constituency, and Edwards focused more on reaching out to independent voters.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:43 PM on October 5, 2004


I think Cheney handled it excellently, though, which is not good for the Dems. The "Thanks for the kind words, John, but no comment" response really just seemed so noble. Same with the "You want me to comment on his record?" -- charming as Edwards is, Cheney came off as extremely likable.
posted by rafter at 7:44 PM on October 5, 2004


It's not inappropriate when they create a constitutional amendment about it, and make it an issue. Not inappropriate at all.
posted by amberglow at 7:44 PM on October 5, 2004


TeamBilly, Edwards didn't bring up Cheney's daughter--Ifill framed the question around her. And I agree it was spectacularly inappropriate, but you can't hang that on Edwards.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:45 PM on October 5, 2004


I can't imagine how Cheney can possibly appeal to blue- or white-collar swing voters; he's like everyone's asshole boss.
posted by interrobang at 7:45 PM on October 5, 2004


I think Cheney comes out good by nature of Edwards performing nowhere near as well as he should have. Scarborough is tossing Cheney's salad on MSNBC right now, and I'm not even frustrated, just confused. Praise Cheney, but if you're gonna say he "obliterated" Edwards (actual word he used) then it's way too transparent how hard you're straining to compensate for last week's debacle.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:45 PM on October 5, 2004


Well, interrobang, Cheney said that he used to be a union electrician and that he was the first person in his family to go to college. That was the appeal to the blue-collar world, apparently.

Edwards did a little better on the blue-collar appeal with his story about his dad working at the mill or whatever it was, not to mention his constant refrain of "We're going to go up against the big drug companies, the big insurance companies" etc.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:48 PM on October 5, 2004


I like how Cheney tried--and failed--to make Edwards' experience an issue.
I didn't see any points scored by Cheney--Edwards was not trashed, or belittled, and Cheney's performance points out how belittled Bush is.
posted by amberglow at 7:49 PM on October 5, 2004


FWIW. MSNBC web poll: Edwards 76% - Cheney 24%
posted by psmealey at 7:52 PM on October 5, 2004


Republicans think Cheney won big.

Democrats think Edwards won.

The key, though, is what the independent/swing/undecided/whatever we call them now voters think. I'm interested to see what people say about that between now and the Friday debate.

In terms of performance and presentation, I think that Cheney did really well, much better than anyone had expected. Edwards did fine overall, if a little flaky here and there, but the story is how unexpectedly well Cheney did given his inconsistent performance as a public speaker in the past.

In terms of substance, Edwards was quite a bit better prepared. The thing about Cheney's unpopular votes, for example, was brilliant. Some campaign drone deserves a big pat on the back for that one!
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:54 PM on October 5, 2004


I can remember the exact wording of the question, Sidhedevil, so maybe you're right and I missed something there. Has a transcript been posted yet? Something in the back of my mind says that if the question was about gay marriage and constitutional amendments, and specifically about the daughter, then Edwards should have left her out of it and talked about the issue. Again, though, I must have missed the phrasing of the question which might have changed my perception.

Side note - just caught a CNN article talking about Patrick Leahy's strategic seating within view of Cheney. Nice touch.
posted by TeamBilly at 7:57 PM on October 5, 2004


This would be the MSNBC that's broadcasting Scarborough right now, right?

Just pointing that out, so people don't say "Oh, MSNBC is all liberal and biased."

Interestingly, the Fox News poll right now is 13% for Cheney, 17% for Edwards, 3% "I did not watch", and 67% "None of the above."
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:58 PM on October 5, 2004


Ugh. Can't type "can't." That should have read, I CAN'T remember the exact wording of the question.
posted by TeamBilly at 7:59 PM on October 5, 2004


You have to admit the quip "I'm there most Tuesdays and Senator, tonight is the first time I've met you." was good..
posted by jazzkat11 at 8:01 PM on October 5, 2004


TeamBilly, I am right--I noticed Ifill's wording because it was so spectacularly inappropriate. She began by quoting a 2000 comment of Cheney's on the order of "Freedom means freedom for everyone" and then said something like "You repeated that comment in discussing your differences with the Bush administration about the issue of gay marriage, using your family as an example--I mean, your family experience as a context".

There was really no way Edwards could have avoided acknowledging that, and I thought he acknowledged it gracefully (and I thought that Cheney's thanks to Edwards for his comments were the most graceful of all!) Everyone but Ifill acquitted themselves quite well in that exchange, I thought.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:02 PM on October 5, 2004


Look ... Cheney's been going around as recently as the last few weeks doggedly sticking to his BS about a Saddam/Al Qaeda tie to 9/11. Suddenly, tonight he worms out of it with a few deft weasle words -- and (incredibly) Edwards let it slide. That was a bat-it-out-of-the-park-slam-dunk that one ASSUMES they Kerry team would have prepared for. We get word today that that a significant number of people still think Saddam had something to do with 9/11. We all know that is DIRECTLY because the Bushies repeatedly blurred the line. It was damn frustrating that Edwards didn't nail him on this.
posted by RavinDave at 8:05 PM on October 5, 2004


I think it would have been a mistake for Edwards to go after Cheney on that point more aggressively than he did, actually. Because it's an easy slam-dunk now, and every day until the campaign.

I thought Edwards's refrain of "The American people know what's really going on" and "You're not being straight with the American people" was more effective with the people he needed to reach--undecided voters--than trying to pin Cheney down on his lies would have been.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:09 PM on October 5, 2004


I think the news in general lately (Bremer and Rumsfeld's comments, and the other Iraq horrors) outshone this debate entirely.

Ravin, Edwards repeatedly called him on that...I heard it. Cheney actually ducked it tonight, and softpedaled the connections.
posted by amberglow at 8:09 PM on October 5, 2004


Cheney didn't do a Bush. If he acted like Bush did in his debate, we'd be talking about retirement homes right about now.

That said, he was horribly vulnerable, and took the kind of verbal battering on undefensible positions that we're not used to seeing someone in his position take. He could only be said to have done well in comparison to Bush, but he didn't outperform Edwards.

Oh... and where's his f*cking neck?!


posted by insomnia_lj at 8:11 PM on October 5, 2004


Very well, then, Sid, we'll agree that it was inappropriate and that I missed the mark on the question. Mea culpa.

Watching the CSPAN2 postgame interviews, I'm hoping for a chain-rattling, switchblade-flashing rumble. There are some very pissed off whiners there.
posted by TeamBilly at 8:11 PM on October 5, 2004


I thought Cheney's comment on working with France concerning Iran was hysterical, when they've been using France as a bat to hit Kerry with.
posted by amberglow at 8:12 PM on October 5, 2004


What the hell was Edwards's lapel pin? It looked like a donut.
posted by sohcahtoa at 8:17 PM on October 5, 2004


TB, I'd post a transcript but they haven't gotten that far yet. I'm sure I'm right, though, because as a journalist myself I was blown away by how outrageous Ifill's question was, and impressed by how well Cheney handled it. I would have flown off the handle if someone had asked me such an inappropriate question.

Insomnia_lj, that kind of shit isn't funny when Rush Limbaugh does it, and it isn't funny when you do it. And in any case, this is a campaign for the Vice-Presidency of the United States, not for the Beautiful Neck Award of 2004.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:17 PM on October 5, 2004


This was fun to catch up on, now its time to go down watch the debate. Stupid dog class was a waste of time, this would have been way more fun to do.
posted by fenriq at 8:18 PM on October 5, 2004


Well, instead of an incompetent liar, we saw a competent liar tonight. I don't think that's much of an improvement.
posted by muckster at 8:18 PM on October 5, 2004


I was wondering about Edwards's lapel pin, too. I couldn't figure it out at all. "Donut" is a fine rallying point for me, though. I'd gladly vote for the Donut Candidate.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:19 PM on October 5, 2004


Lesson from Debate: When wearing lavaliere mic, never fold hands in front of mic and rest chin on folded hands. Voice disappears. Thanks Dick.

Speaking of Dick Cheney's hands: Lady Macbeth? What's with all the hand-washing?
posted by mmahaffie at 8:20 PM on October 5, 2004


All the perfumes of Arabia!
posted by interrobang at 8:22 PM on October 5, 2004


the Donut Candidate.

I'm getting scared now. Wasn't that the hand signal the Martians used in "Mars Attacks"?
posted by psmealey at 8:22 PM on October 5, 2004


Sidhedevil,

Don't worry about the transcript, I believe you. I was distracted right then, but I caught the last piece of the question and the response. All I could say was 'Holy shit....'

Interestingly, Andrew Sullivan handed this one to Edwards.
posted by TeamBilly at 8:24 PM on October 5, 2004


Cheney rarely talked about Bush, The Man, while Edwards did a good job of plugging for Kerry at every chance (even during a question where he wasn't supposed to). Cheney's avoidance of any President Bush myth-making seemed to convey that Bush is merely the mouth of the party. Whether Cheney or Edwards won may not be as relevant as whether the Bush's image or Kerry's image won, and Bush's image was a no-show. Overall, I'd give the debate to Edwards, primarily because he hit his points better than Cheney, and the Halliburton stuff was pure gold. But both sides landed some good shots, particulary Cheney's repetition of "Kerry voted against that, too".
posted by Succa at 8:26 PM on October 5, 2004


Ah, Leahy is saying that Cheney only meets with Republicans in private every Tuesday in the Senate. Chris Matthews asked about that "never seeing Edwards there" thing.
posted by amberglow at 8:27 PM on October 5, 2004


CBS poll just showed Edwards winning. Something like 42 % believed Edwards won, 29% said tie and 29 % said Cheney.

What I will take from this debate is the closing arguement by Edwards. Cheney's I can't even remember, but Edwards' was emotional, appealing and stirring. The light (of hope) is indeed flickering in America and the Bush administration does seem blind to this, but I think the imagery will resonate with most middle class Americans as it resonates with me. We cannot take four more years of the same.

Oh, and a minor detail. Edwards thanked the moderator and the Vice President for his time. Cheney thanked the moderator.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:28 PM on October 5, 2004


It really was a "holy shit" moment, wasn't it.

There actually was a clear loser in this debate, folks, and it was Gwen Ifill. What a hideous job she did.

It's not easy to moderate debates, of course, but even so she was just awful. It's a shame, too, because she really is a smart and talented journalist.

My favorite VP debate moment of all time, though, will always be Admiral Stockdale's 1992 classic, "Who am I? Why am I here?"
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:29 PM on October 5, 2004


I was wondering about Edwards's lapel pin, too. I couldn't figure it out at all.

It's his deceased son's Outward Bound pin.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:31 PM on October 5, 2004


The Fox News poll still has Edwards ahead, too (57% to Cheney's 41% as of 11:30 p.m. EST). Which surprises me, because I thought that Cheney did a really good job of communicating with the core Republican constituencies.

(On preview) Gravy, Edwards remembered to thank Cleveland and Case Western also. Even though it felt a little "Spinal Tap" to me, every vote counts in Ohio!
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:32 PM on October 5, 2004


I watched cheney just fold under Edward's criticisms and to top it off the guy didn't reply four times. Some of which were the toughest attacks Edwards had. The Cheney "I'm grandpa, sit on my lap and Ill tell you some facts" persona doesnt really work when youre peddling Saddam-AlQaida disinformation, diluting american deaths by tossing in Iraqi deaths, and making ridiculous claims like this coalition is anything like the gulf war coalition. From there is was just downhill.
posted by skallas at 8:34 PM on October 5, 2004


My favorite VP debate moment of all time, though, will always be Admiral Stockdale's 1992 classic, "Who am I? Why am I here?"

Yeah, but that was Stockdale's sole memorable moment. Gore and Quayle pretty much ignored him, and more importantly, Stockdale gave them no reason not to ignore him.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:35 PM on October 5, 2004


That's sweet, XQU. Sweet, but not telegenic. Still, one appreciates the sentiment.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:36 PM on October 5, 2004


MSNBC's newest correspondent: Ginsburg--the Bush/Swift Vet lawyer--ugh.
posted by amberglow at 8:44 PM on October 5, 2004


Sidhedevil: You are talking about the opening "Thank yous" when they were both being gracious, I was referring to the closing "Thank yous" when it seemed Chaney had lost a little of his graciousness.

Also I think the most shocking moment of the debate was when Chaney answered Edwards' claim that Americans were carrying most of the burden of the war in Iraq by paying 90% of the financial costs and suffering 90% of the fatalities of the Grand Coalition. Chaney said all these figures were wrong. Because Kerry-Edwards were not counting Iraqi casualties as part of the Coalition's numbers.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:46 PM on October 5, 2004


IMHO Cheney clearly won tonight's debate. I was expecting so much more from Edwards due to his success as a trial lawyer but he seemed lightweight and Quayle-like.
posted by gyc at 9:01 PM on October 5, 2004


CBS poll just showed Edwards winning. Something like 42 % believed Edwards won, 29% said tie and 29 % said Cheney.

And here's another--MSNBC poll: Who won the debate? 323145 responses

Sen. John Edwards 71%
VP Dick Cheney 29%

Which is interesting, all things considered:

Spinning Out Clear Winner Even Before Debate Begins

Determined to win the post-debate spin war on Tuesday night, President Bush's campaign called on its supporters to flood the news media with quick declarations that Vice President Dick Cheney had come out ahead.

Ken Mehlman, Mr. Bush's campaign manager, delivered the request in an e-mail message to supporters early Tuesday morning.

"Immediately after the debate, visit online polls, chat rooms and discussion boards and make your voice heard," he said in the note, sent to the six million supporters on the campaign's e-mail list. "People's perceptions are shaped as much by their conversations around the water cooler as by the debates themselves."


Vice President Cheney speaking at National Prayer Breakfast February, 2001: Thank you. Thank you very much. Congressman Watts, Senator Edwards, friends from across America and distinguished visitors to our country from all over the world, Lynne and I honored to be with you all this morning.
posted by y2karl at 9:07 PM on October 5, 2004


I hope the undecided voters go to the link the Vice President mentioned.
posted by paisley at 9:16 PM on October 5, 2004


Gravy, I didn't think that was a shocking moment, just a clusterfuck. Unless you think that Cheney was purposely trying to sandbag Edwards--I thought he had honestly misunderstood what Edwards had said. I don't think it helped or hurt Cheney, because a) it was obviously a misunderstanding, and b) the folks they needed to reach in this debate couldn't care less about the Iraqi military.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:21 PM on October 5, 2004


I was pretty surprised with Cheney's remarking that he'd been in an electrical union and laid off. It gave him a kindly grandfatherly blue collar sort of quality, not like the death warmed over face of American arrogance that he usually embodies. As for Edwards, He did a good job of showing that he can stand toe to toe with the guy regardless of all his experience and whatever. It shows he's ready for the big leagues and it bodes well. He was excellent in invoking Halliburton and in coming out swinging hard on the Iraq lies the administration spews out. Also he did well with that question from Ifill (who was a bit sloppy) regarding his dearth of political experience. This was the same exact question that destroyed Dan Quail ( Quail compared his experience as congruent to Kennedy's and Bentsen said "You are no Jack Kennedy"), I'm sure Cheney was licking his chops on that one just waiting, but Edward handled it well. His closing remarks were aces.

Was I the only one who heard Cheney chuckling derisively at some of Edwards criticisms? Arrogant twat.
posted by Skygazer at 9:24 PM on October 5, 2004


Why didn't Edwards answer the question about his experience with "I have more government experience than George Bush did when he ran for president"?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:24 PM on October 5, 2004


He probably didn't want to mention Bush at all. And Cheney could have countered with a long speech about Bush and helping his father out, etc...
posted by amberglow at 9:27 PM on October 5, 2004


Of course, you guys all realize that the results of this (and Thursday's) debate are going to be thrown out the window when George reveals that we've suddenly caught Osama bin Laden tomorrow, right?

(Just to bring this thread back to where it was originally going, is all.)
posted by interrobang at 9:39 PM on October 5, 2004


They haven't tho, i don't think. Edwards scored points about that tonight, about outsourcing the hunt for him.
posted by amberglow at 9:43 PM on October 5, 2004


They're good at pretending, though. Real good.
posted by interrobang at 9:46 PM on October 5, 2004


Why didn't Edwards answer the question about his experience with "I have more government experience than George Bush did when he ran for president"?

How do you figure that? Looking at their biographies, it looks like Bush had been governor for 6 years when elected President, the same length of time Edwards has been a Senator for.

But in any case, if your argument is "George Bush is a bad President," "I have more experience than George Bush did" isn't very compelling.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:01 PM on October 5, 2004


Why didn't Edwards answer the question about his experience with "I have more government experience than George Bush did when he ran for president"?

Screw that. It was the perfect opportunity to point out how out touch the administration is with regular people and the reality of what their policies are doing to the economy, healthcare and edukation. Smoothly segwaying hitting home once again with the administration's poor understanding of what's really happening in Iraq.
posted by Skygazer at 10:15 PM on October 5, 2004


Monkey see monkey do -
An unknown suspect fired multiple shots into the Bearden office of the Bush/Cheney re-election campaign Tuesday morning.

In an unexpected twist, a bank directly across the street from the headquarters was robbed as KPD officers were busy investigating at the scene of the shooting.

Someone took a page out of Bush & Co ‘s tactics...
posted by thomcatspike at 9:50 AM on October 6, 2004


the non-issue appears
posted by petebest at 11:34 AM on October 6, 2004


Senator Gone comment refuted by hometown paper.
posted by petebest at 11:42 AM on October 6, 2004


On topic: You Call That a Major Policy Address?

Did CNN and MSNBC get hoodwinked this morning? Yesterday, the White House announced that President Bush would be delivering a "major policy address" on terrorism today. The cable news networks broadcast it live and in full. Yet the "address" turned out to be a standard campaign stump speech before a Pennsylvania crowd that seemed pumped on peyote, cheering, screaming, or whooping at every sentence.

The president announced no new policy, uttered not one new word about terrorism, foreign policy, or anything else. He did all the things he wanted to do in last Thursday's debate—accuse his opponent of weakness, bad judgment, vacillation, and other forms of flip-floppery—though this time without a moderator to hush the audience, much less an opponent to bite back. And Bush loved it, smiling, smirking, raising his eyebrows, as if to say, "How 'bout that zinger?"

In short, the cable networks were lured into airing an hourlong free campaign ad for George W. Bush...

posted by y2karl at 10:49 PM on October 6, 2004


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