Anna Gregoline | October 1, 2004
What did you think? Anyone watch it?

Scott Horowitz | October 1, 2004
I think Kerry was on the offense tonight. Bush acted way too defensively, and got pushed into a corner he couldn't crawl out of. He also has to learn to pronounce "proliferation" and "nuclear"

Anna Gregoline | October 1, 2004
Yes, I agree - Bush seemed like he was trying to keep up. But I can't tell anymore.

Scott Hardie | October 1, 2004
I only watched the first twenty minutes or so while my mother could stand to see it, but that was just as well; both men sounded like broken records hitting the same tired points again and again. Kerry, we heard you already that 90 percent of coalition casualites and costs to date are American. Bush, we heard you already that 75% of Al Qaeda officers have been captured or killed. Because of this effect, I don't think the debate proved anything new about either man's positions or policies. The only thing that it did prove, which is useless information when casting a vote, is that Kerry is a much better debater. He was articulate, poised, and seemingly at ease, and he usually stayed on topic. Too bad that doesn't matter. :-)

Highlight of the show for me: My mother was complaining before it started that she might not vote for Bush again because of his arrogance, and, oh, that giant mess in Iraq. On the very first question directed to him, when asked how things would change if he were reelected, Bush replied that it was more or less a moot point, because "I believe I will win this election," because Americans knew what kind of a man he was. Nope, nothing arrogant about him.

Lori Lancaster | October 1, 2004
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Jackie Mason | October 1, 2004
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Kris Weberg | October 1, 2004
Actually, Jackie, Fox generally handed the debate win to Kerry. Yes, really.

Even FOX though Bush looked bad.

Anna Gregoline | October 1, 2004
Am I the only one who thinks that Kerry doesn't really talk about Vietnam that much, and it's the media who keep bringing it up?

I thought the debate went very well for Kerry - he did seem poised and comfortable up there, while Bush kept frowning and making the "church lady" face every time Kerry said something he didn't like.

I was surprised how excited I was to be watching the debate and how much I enjoyed it. I don't usually get into things like that but it was thrilling.

Scott Horowitz | October 1, 2004
I just looked through the transcript. Kerry mentioned the word "Vietnam" once throughout the entire debate. I agree with you Anna, The press is making a mountain out of a molehill.

Mike Eberhart | October 1, 2004
Not to get picky, but he did reference his time in Vietnam a couple of times. He just did it without actually saying the word Vietnam.

Jackie Mason | October 2, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 2, 2004
I can't wait till the rest of the debates! I feel like I'm watching history unfold right in front of me. I'm feeling like a dork for being so excited about it, but there it is. =)

Jackie Mason | October 2, 2004
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Scott Hardie | October 2, 2004
Kerry hasn't been bringing up Vietnam much since the whole Swift Boat fiasco a few weeks ago. It was a near-constant reference for him prior to that, imo.

Jackie Mason | October 2, 2004
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Melissa Erin | October 6, 2004
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Jackie Mason | October 6, 2004
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Kris Weberg | October 6, 2004
My favorite thing about the Vice-Presidential debate was Dick Cheney's zinger about how he'd presided over the Senate most Tuesdays, but never seen or met Edwards before.

I liked it because the very next day, the news channels showed footage of Edwards providing the Bible for Elizabeth Dole's swearing in on the Senate floor...by Dick Cheney. And then footage of Edwards and the Cheneys at a prayer meeting.

Oh, and it gets better -- Cheney has presided over the Senate a grand total of...2 times. The same number of times Edwards has.

Runner-up: Dick Cheney claiming Halliburton Oil has not gotten no-bid contracts or paid millions in fines in the past, despite the fact that the first of these facts can be confirmed in minutes and the second has been publicly known since the Enron debacle some years back.

Not that the network commentators managed to mention any of that, of course. That would be like actual journalism or something.

Jackie Mason | October 6, 2004
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Jackie Mason | October 7, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 7, 2004
That would be good, but the Daily Show does a great job as it is.

Jackie Mason | October 9, 2004
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Kris Weberg | October 9, 2004
Well, George W. Bush does indeed own a small timber company -- he reported $84 of income from a timber company on his last tax return, which was the source of Kerry's commment.

Bush doesn't even know what he owns.

Or what century he's in, apparently. It's good to know he opposes pro-slavery judges. Perhaps he can get a bumper sticker out of that one.

"George W. Bush: Strongly against slavery."

Kris Weberg | October 9, 2004
The really sad part is that Dredd Scott was in fact an example of the "strict constructionism" Bush claims to support -- in the end, it took the 13th Amendment to start removing institutionalized racism from the founding laws of the land. The Constitutional Convention had indeed decided that nonwhites were not citizens, and that slaves were property. The famous '3/5 of a vote" idea was from the Convention.

Thomas Jefferson provides an excellent recap of the debate that led to that provision in his Authobiography.

Kris Weberg | October 9, 2004
Oh, and I never againw ant to hear 'Al Gore said he invented the Internet."

Because not only does GWB think there's more than one -- "on the Internets" being a direct quote from the debate tonight -- he also "proposed the hydrogen car." That's going to come asa shock to a bunch of automotive engineers out there.

Anna Gregoline | October 9, 2004
The debates were riveting to me - I thought that Kerry did a great job, and had the balls to address many of his statements directly to Bush, who didn't look at him when he did so. Bush was very defensive, and sounded like a little kid in some spots. But I don't know anymore. Does it matter? Do the debates have any relevance? I can't tell anymore.

Melissa Erin | October 9, 2004
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Jackie Mason | October 9, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 9, 2004
Me too, the debates were fascinating to me! This was the most exciting one yet.

Kerry talked to the audience too, but he actually had the balls to address Bush too - which Bush never did to Kerry. They ARE right next to each other, and are debating each other, so occaisonally talking to each other makes perfect sense. Not to Bush though, apparentaly.

I'm slightly tired of people jumping on Bush's mispeaks too - after all, they are the smallest mistake he's made by far.

Kris Weberg | October 9, 2004
I used to thinkt hat Bush's misstatements were small potatoes, but then, as I said, one line by Al Gore that wasn't even false -- just badly phrased -- was used against him by conservatives ad infinitum and will be unfairly stuck to him for all time. So Bush's gaffes are fair game, as far as I'm concerned.

It's the "don't start none and there won't be none" principle :)

John E Gunter | October 11, 2004
Both conservatives and liberals have been using misquotes against each other for a long time and will continue for just as long. Personally, I don't like it as I don't like any of the mud slinging that seems to be the norm for politics.

But if you want to get caught up in the same thing, go ahead and be froggy.

John

Anna Gregoline | October 11, 2004
Froggy?

Anna Gregoline | October 11, 2004
This is an artistic rendering of all of Bush's own flip-flops, since they accuse Kerry so often of the same thing. Even if you don't care, it's a neato site.

Kris Weberg | October 11, 2004
Of course, John, the problem is that it seems to work. Poll after poll shows that people say they oppose negative ads and name-calling; but poll after poll also shows that negtaive attacks and name-calling have serious effects on approval ratings, vote determination, and so on.

The problem isn't just the discourse of negativity -- it's that negativity works very, very well.

Erik Bates | October 11, 2004
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Kris Weberg | October 11, 2004
I'm not makign this up, but -- the Green and Libertarian Presidential candidates actually managed to get arrested protesting outside the first debate.

And surely we can talk of "winning" or "losing" a debate; from Classical times on up, debates have been about exactly that -- posing a position against a counterposition, and determining which is more logically supportable and thus "more right."

Erik Bates | October 11, 2004
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Kris Weberg | October 11, 2004
Because the two parties run the debates -- really, it's a bipartisan committee or soemsuch. Neither party wants to give a stage to someone who could siphon attention and votes, and who isn't sticking to script.

I wish they'd let 3rd parties in, myself, but given the way the Electoral College works, I can see exactly why the Big Two parties see no benefit in it for themselves, because parties with no chance of actual electoral vote victories merely affect the Big Two's chances of actually winning.

And if you're looking at the debates as a contest between possible Presidents, the third parties, right now, have no actual reason to be there until one of them an carry a state.

Anna Gregoline | October 12, 2004
Can someone fill me in on what "froggy" means?

John E Gunter | October 12, 2004
Basically, if you feel that you must get involved with something, go ahead and do it.

Ie, frogs leap, so if you feel like getting involved and following the trend, go ahead and jump right in.

If you're still unclear, let me know and I'll elaborate more.

John

Anna Gregoline | October 12, 2004
So it's like "get jiggy with it," but "get froggy with it?" hehe

John E Gunter | October 12, 2004
Well, I think getting jiggy with it has a good connotation, where as feel froggy is more of a bad thing, kind of like, “look before you leap”.

John

Anna Gregoline | October 12, 2004
Ah. Thanks!

Jackie Mason | October 12, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 12, 2004
I think that the First Lady's oftentimes step back into the shadows during campaigns, so they don't risk changing their husband's election outcome. But yes, it needs to be stepped up. After all, we want a woman to be President one day, and the First Lady being more visible is one small step towards that idea.

Kris Weberg | October 12, 2004
I don't know -- 1) cliche as it is to say, I don't much think about the 1st Lady when I vote, because she has no "real" political power. Influence, sure, but "First Lady" is not an office. And 2) I vote for female candidates in much the same way, with next to no regard for who their husband was.

Anna Gregoline | October 12, 2004
That's the way it should be, Kris. But First Ladies do have a small influence on voters - look at all the praise and vehemence about Hillary Clinton. First Lady's give all sorts of support to programs and women's issues - when they care.

Anna Gregoline | October 14, 2004
Well, my scorecard for last night's debate was: I cried about 4 times, yelled only once.

Erik Bates | October 14, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 14, 2004
What?

Jackie Mason | October 14, 2004
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