Bush vs Kerry II

In Round Two of the presidential debates, President Bush and Senator Kerry face the voters in a town hall format in St. Louis. Discuss.

  • JS (unverified)

    The comments are down on the previous thread. What's up?

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    What is up with the President's shifty eyes? I guess he's managing to keep his face from scowling--perhaps Karl Rove gave him a few Botox injections--but his eyes are acting crazy.

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    Johnn Kerry is kickin' his ass, again!

  • GA - Keith (unverified)

    Kerry supported "faith based initiatives?!"

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    Debate comments.

    W looks coached to not smirk, watch K talking, take notes. K looks normal.

    K answers quick, strong line in his argument, plants his feet, stands on spot and delivers. W mutters to a start, makes points scattershot letting listener find or make sense, shifts feet standing on one then another, wanders around stage sorta pacing, gets in the face of front row audience and argues by intimidation and body odor, and has something about him just something ineffable whether it's his facey or posture-gesture or tone of voice whatever it is -- It. Says. LIE. Some of it is his cast, this style he has locked into, a sort of TV-stiffness he is now reduced to by the process of elimination of quirks and jerks which were his first nature, and as a result, in being stiff consistently, the way he talks now he looks exactly like he looked when he talked before and LIED. He reminds you of himself: a LIAR.

    On content, K has too many attack points to fit into ninety minutes, W has too few points to fill out ninety minutes so he pads his dead air with LIES.

  • Randy (unverified)


    I would have thought Rove would have drilled W on how to disguise his emotions and fear. But it didn't work, especially if you watched his jaw clench repeatedly.

    W looked little better than last time.

    Kerry looked much more Presidential than last time.

    Did anyone else laugh at W's last lie:

    "Thanks, Charley, I've enjoyed it tonight."

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    I loved W's line "Look at the record of the man running for President!"

    Uh, be careful what you ask for dude.

    Sitting here listening to the call-ins on C-SPAN. I can hardly believe the desperate spin of the righties. It's just stupifying.

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    You know what, though? I think undecideds - as far as action, tone of voice, etc. would call it a draw (regardless of what Karen Hughes is saying right now. Can I smack her?).

    This is where we're going to see the swings start to make up their mind. Social issues like abortion and stem-cell research are going to start dividing them now that the topics have been addressed - and fairly clearly at that. However Bush did try to make it sound like Kerry was dodging after the question regarding abortion and tax dollars. I, however, think Kerry handled that one very well.

    Luckily the majority of Americans are pro-choice and in favor of stem-cell research. :-)

    I'm anxiously awaiting the polls. Though I really do think it's a draw. Depends on people's personal hot-buttons, I think.

    (On a side-note, check out the latest updates to Electoral-Vote.com to see some really handsome numbers.)

  • Jesse (unverified)

    These are pretty handsome as well.

    Did you all hear Bush refer to JK as Senator Kennedy?

    Happy weekend!

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    Hi, is this where I find those "internets" the President mentioned?

  • charlie (unverified)

    Hey, now give George a break--all this talking and thinking in the last few days, it's hard work!

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    Via HinesSight... the latest debate's sudden website aftermath.

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    But the award for best debate coverage may go to Wonkette.

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    Awww hell with the debates. Teresa said it best to some hecklers who shouted "4 more years" down in Arizona- "Four more months, four more months, four more weeks." I love that lady.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    Suddenly I see what's missing from the debates and campaigns. (Jesse, maybe you know someone inside ...'I, John Kerry, can bring people together.')

    First, the moral of the story. In all my experience, and now a graybeard, the ONE skill I practiced and practiced that gave the most and best return on investment, is to pay attention and look and see what's missing. If it's a list, What's missing? If it's a claim of performance, What's missing? If it's a perfect day, What's missing? And a tiny example: Dumbo the Flying Baby Elephant in the debate tonight, signing off, said "It's been enjoyable." What's missing? He didn't say what he felt. Did HE enjoy it? -- "I enjoyed it." That's not the same as saying "It's been enjoyable." It has also 'been aggravating,' and 'been informative,' and 'been tiring,' but none of those say 'I got aggravated, informed and tired.'

    I took the car to the shop last week, a local mechanic just up the street, small garage business, never been there never met the guy before. When he wrote the bill he took 10% off because I had a Kerry sticker on my car. He said he didn't do that for drivers with Bush stickers.

    I like to jabber-jive with the checkstand people in Freddy's while they scan and bag my groceries. Often I say edgy things -- on the edge of politics -- which is supposed to be taboo to talk about with strangers. Without going into detail, after many months I realized that all of the checkers, or most of them, were religious goody two-shoes, (they'd cringe at some comment of mine, or were wearing cross jewelry, or various little things, nevermind). Then it dawned on me the employment application probably had a question of religion and only the people who marked [ x ] Christian could get hired. But try to prove it.

    The point is politics has seeped into our commerce. Where we do business, with whom we do business, how much we do business has all been poisoned with politics, over the course of, say, thirty years, since Nixon. One effect is that young people today think politics means jobs, but it doesn't. It never has. That's wrong. Politics means government.
    Another example: Calvin Coolidge's (last president to lose jobs in his term) ignominious quote: "The business of America is business." (That's inexact but it's better.) Coolidge is flat wrong. The business of America is justice. The business of business is business.

    So today, 'The Great Republican Newspaper of the West,' ('The Oregonian' -- bet you didn't know that motto used to be in their masthead, for a long time), so today, the Republican talking-point lockstep lockbrain editorial board endorses rightwing extremist Ameri against David Wu. For what logical reason? 'He hasn't done anything.' I happen to think it a virtue not to be a trouble maker. Wu has done stuff, lots of good stuff, but he hasn't been slanderous and fanatical and assaultive -- so he 'hasn't done anything.' Thank goodness. So The 'O' says vote for a pig in a poke. Take a flyer on the unknown, untried, untrue, because she's a Republican at "a time for change." That's not an argument for endorsement, it's a cry for help -- 'stop us before we vote again.' So their one favorable point: She "seems to have a firm grasp on the trade and economic needs of the high-tech industry and the district," and "the most important duty for members of Congress is to look out for the economic interests of their district." That's bullpucky. They spit in their media kool-aid and then serve it to subscribers. Look, refer to the U.S. Constitution on this: What is to grasp is the district -- the PEOPLE who MAKE it, who constitute it, called 'the constituency' -- have needs before the industry, some economic but more than that, need industry to obey the law, need industries which promote the general welfare, need industries which provide (taxes) for the common defense, need industries which don't bribe politicians. No doubt business tries to buy the people and order the people and boss the people. That's the backwards. People buy the businesses, people order the businesses, people are boss, and if a business doesn't respect that then it "needs" to find itself another congressional district. You know, grown-ups used to tell me "politics is so dirty." They were wrong. It is business that is dirty, in its very heart -- The love of money is the root of all evil (Tim.I) -- and the dirt gets on the politicians business buys. Sorry, 'O' (The Big Zero), people need justice, liberty, peace, and equality under the law, and people don't need to buy a dogma newspaper addicted to reciting rightist dollar-dictatarianism betraying people to live their lives and sell their souls for money. I still expect The 'O' dictatorial board endorses Dumbo before they quit. They are kind of stuck with the president they bought because they have profitted on printing and selling his lies, and have endorsed the lies, and have a hand in the deaths of Oregonian soldiers brainwashed into military invasion. For oil. The item MISSING in today's paper? The news that FBI has seized internet server computers used by Independent Media (browse portland.indymedia.org ). Newspaper buyers don't know the encroaching thought control police state because it is never news. It reminds me of the catcalls I get here from the ones who have never seen the evidence, which is plentiful, that 9/11 was conducted by Cheney, to get the excuse for war. He killed 3000 Americans, planned it, coordinated it, cold bloodedly. I didn't start out knowing that, I arrived at it, following the trail of evidence. They lied what the election was, they lied what 9/11 was, they lied what the Iraq invasion was -- there's a pattern, people. People absolutely cannot get their minds to touch it. And namecall at the people who do. All of this destruction of democracy is the end result of starting in thinking the lie "the people in the congressional district need business" instead of the truth that business needs the people and has to respect the people's qualifications and rules.

    Expect also The Big Zero to endorse small-minded bigots against gay marriage -- I don't know, did they already publish their position on it?

    The rightist dogma point common to endorsing Ameri, Dumbo, and suppression of free thought is religious fanaticism, which is coded as 'anti-abortion.'

    Sorry, where was I?, oh yeah, what was missing from the debate tonight. And the prior debates. And all the campaigns. And missing from sick-media editorials where wisdom belongs -- Nowhere have I seen the statement like 'if elected the candidate will bring the people together.' Or, 'the people will come together and get behind such-and-such a winner.' Even Dumbo's ridiculous "I'm a uniter not a divider," though a pathetic lie, still kept honor with the principle, and promise, in: We, the people. In order to form a more perfect union.

    From my comments about the shortage of reading and learning and experience of younger people, who didn't know The 'O' called itself 'The Great Republican Newspaper yada yada yada,' I could go on to constructively offer a direction to grow and a target goal. Learn about human nature. Learn people-sense. Aim to understand the PURPOSE of progressive or liberal or leftist or whatever the label is in the future, and WHAT IT IS. Read here: http://www.opednews.com/liberalism.htm

    I think I see the knowledge in those tracts MISSING in a lot of what gets said.

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    Hi, is this where I find those "internets" the President mentioned?

    That cracked me up... but I think you find them at factcheck.com. ;-)

    Hey, now give George a break--all this talking and thinking in the last few days, it's hard work!

    And we know this, of course, because he's told us repeatedly how hard it is to be president. lol. Spending over 25% of his time on vacation has gotta be rough.

    Sorry, couldn't resist the "hard work" reference. hehe

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    And the snap polls are in.


    Kerry 44 Bush 41 Draw 13

    CNN/Gallup: Kerry 47 Bush 45

    It's a statistical tie, but once again, the incumbent should be able to garner more than 50% - or at least come out on top AND outside the margin. Great news for Kerry (and the rest of us!) once again.

  • Miles (unverified)

    Once again I was depressed by how well I felt the Republican was doing in the debate against my guy.... and once again the polls suggest that my guy really didn't do that badly.

    The morning after, I remember wincing... absolutely cringing at Kerry's abortion response, and Bush's killer come back to the effect of "did you follow that?"

    Kerry started the abortion thing brilliantly, then dropped into a list of prochoice policy positions (that I fully support, but which were absolute gobledigook to someone who is vaguely antiabortion but my be persuaded by the idea that his personal views were shared by Kerry, but shouldn't become national policy.

    Bush knocked his response out of the park for the audience that cares about this.... Kerry was on the right track when he talked about his Catholic values... and then veered so far off the track that he just blew it.

    So many of Kerry's responses felt like that... a good line and a good few points, but then a pulling back, a failure to make the sale, a digression into policy points on a list. Frankly I thought it was pathetic, and as a progressive it hurt.

    Take another example: the environment. Bush got the first take and did REALLY well talking to someone who doesn't give the environment two thoughts in the course of the year.... made himself into an environmental hero.

    Kerry starts strong talking about the "Orwellian" Clear Skies idea... digresses to No Child Left Behind not being fully funded (which you and I understand was an example of good idea underfunded, but which sounds like a digression from the environment..... and then somehow... I don't remember what he did say.... but I know what he didn't say... he didn't say "This President has crawled in bed with the very polluters we need to regulate, let them write the environmental laws, and has the audacity, the chutzpa, to come before you and claim to be a good steward of the environment. Let's talk about stewardship because as a churchgoer and a Catholic that means something to me. Stewardship means taking care of the earth for our children and grandchildren. It means having a backbone when industrial polluters want to despoil the earth.... etc. etc.

    Kerry couldn't to it. Go read the transcript and weep.

    And so it went. So I was depressed.

    And yet, the polls suggest that Kerry didn't do badly.

    OK, I can accept that. I guess I'm just out of touch, and happy that I am.

  • Miles (unverified)

    Whoa nellie.

    Check this out: http://www.isbushwired.com/ !!!!

    And check out Salon (subscription) http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/10/08/bulge/index_np.html

    This could explain my impression that Bush was MUCH better than I thought him capable of being.

    Carl Rove was offstage whispering talking points in his ear.

    I'm just stunned. Nothing should stun me, but this does.

    And yet it has such intuitive probability. OF COURSE!

    I couldn't figure how Bush could produce such detailed "fact" (in the Republican sense) laden comments....

    But here we had handlers whispering responses in his ear.

    I think the most amazing tidbit is that someone actually picked up the radio transmission of the handler in France during D Day celebrations.

    The man is literally a puppet, dancing on the strings pulled by his handlers. We knew this was the case but perhaps we haven't imagined just how profoundly it is true.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    Yeah, Miles, a lot of the perception is in what the eye beholds. Here's one 'In' door that leads into 'touch.' Get in it.


    Maybe a good second (back channel) path into the touch room is at BuzzFlash.com where this hour or two they are featuring in their banner headline the LA Times story today reporting that cable TV (Sinclair) is setting up to be the October Surprise that electrifies people to robotically vote for Dumbo the Flying Baby Elephant.

    It's pretty slick. There is not a real October Surprise planned. Just the effect of one. A virtual surprise.

  • Justin (unverified)

    I think Kerry won on foreign policy and I think they tied on domestic issues. I'd give the debate to Kerry.

    And B/x, I agree about Wonkette. She's a pretty funny chick. Did you catch her question to Bush in the NYTimes yesterday?

  • Justin (unverified)

    Hell, I'll just paste it here. This the Wonkette's question to George Bush during the debates.

    ANA MARIE COX, editor of Wonkette.com:

    Personal experience can often change political opinions. So, just hypothetically: Let's say your vice president's daughter was gay ... Oh, wait. Umm ... What if you were responsible for the biggest deficit in American history - oh, ha. O.K.: Let's say you invaded a country based on faulty intelligence ... Er, oops ... No, we got it: How did "The Pet Goat" end, anyway?

  • Miles (unverified)

    Just to prove what a nut I am, I'll tell you that I just finnished watching the entire 2nd Presidential debate on CSPAN.ORG.

    I just wanted to try to figure out what really happened.

    I have to say that Kerry looked better on the second viewing, although he really did botch the abortion question and Bush got the better of him (falsely) on the Wood exchange.... The environmental thing went better for Kerry (on second viewing) than I had remembered....

    The problem is NO ONE watches this thing twice, so second impressions are pretty meaningless.

    But I thought Kerry did pretty damn well this time, on second viewing.

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    Well, I guess GWB is the Manchurian Candidate after all.


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    FYI, according to Hunting The Muse, in tomorrow's paper The Oregonian editorial board abandons its 2000 endorsement of Bush and goes for Kerry.

  • Miles (unverified)

    Were you as amazed, puzzled, and dumbfounded as I was when W. started talking about the 19th century Dred Scot case?

    First he talks about the "under God" and judges who'll leave it in the Pledge. Got it.... standard conservative boiler plate.

    Then Dred Scott!!! A decision that allowed human slavery to continue. A terrible decision we all agree, but isn't Kerry also against human slavery?

    What the #$#$*#$?

    Well friends, here is your answer: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/10/9/16460/5820

    It's clear as day code for the pro-life folks, who think that the argument against Dred Scott which stripped the rights of Blacks, is the same argument that applies to the rights of zygotes, embryos and fetuses.

    I had no idea.

    Bush isn't just a loser... he's part of a team of smart and devious............. losers.

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    Just got back from being overseas for a couple weeks (I saw part of debate 2 in the Hong Kong airport), and it's nice to read all this analysis. A few things I've discovered as I've pored over the internet looking for news:

    Tripias (poll watching site):

    Bush Likely states: 160 Leaning states: 109 Total: 269

    Kerry Likely states: 160 Leaning states: 109 Total: 269


    Gallup also has some critical polling data showing that Kerry's bump may have been far bigger. Among the polled, 47% to 45% said Kerry did better, but among independents, the figure was Kerry 53%, Bush 37%, and women favored him to 51% to 40%--both of which are key blocs. Overall, people had a more "favorable" reaction to Kerry, who beat Bush by 7 points there. (http://www.gallup.com/poll/content/?ci=13549)

    All of this points to good things. This election is a referendum on Bush. If Kerry is consistently beating him in the polls, it means that the swing voters are tentatively voicing their confidence in a Kerry administration--and considering booting Bush. As the spinsters go into their G-force rotations, it's wise to remember that the election will come down not to the fervency of the faithful (of which spinsters can be called the grand priests), but those who can't tell the difference between Kerry and Bush. It's a grim fact, but it's true.

    And among that group, Kerry is starting to pull ahead substantially.

    (Also, that last debate was on a Friday night, right? (In Hong Kong it was Saturday morning.) Kerry's over-under may have waned in comparison to his first performance, but who saw it? Those univolved swing voters probably didn't.)

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    Jeff, If you liked those polls, you might love this: http://www.electoral-vote.com/ Someone else had also posted it earlier. Overall, polls went off-kilter immediately after Rightwing Convention. Both local and national polls -- too much deviation between different ones measuring the same population. Erratic and contradictory results signify doctored results -- ask the pollsters: "On what conclusion are your facts based?"

    B!x, my one, my true, browse on dude. Yeah, The Big O endorsed Kerry. The editorial read more like damning him with faint praise compared to damning Bush to oblivion. Not a Kerry endorsement, a Bush un-endorsement which, indeed, they owed subscribers -- a retraction of their 2000 Bush kool-aid suicide note that ended their claims on professional journalism and subscribers' loyalties. Now for Kerry, expect their rightwing subscribers to all cancel subscriptions. In all respects but one, it don't matter -- because they have no extremist rightwing subscribers, (regardless of the shouting about it), and they cut off their left flank friends in 2000.

    In the Public Editor's column, the inside ink said the publisher still voted editorially to endorse Bush, believes that liar, is in the bubble with him. What matters about that is it represents the final straw for his career at The 'O'. He is going now. He might crash the whole enterprise on his way out, in spite of leaving his son's position in the ruins. Alternatively, some selected career assassinations as he sulks out the door. In the end he couldn't be a Hearst, a McCormack, a Scripps-Howard, or a Sulzberger or a Graham -- in short: not a winner. George Seldes in "Witness to a Century," about newspapering from 1910 - 1990, spelled out the doom of publishers who believe their own propaganda, back in the '30s, using Hitler as an example. Too bad it took this one at this newspaper inflicting wasted words on these people over fifty years to write the self-indicting failure. With the endorsement of Kerry for being the last one standing, an era passes away at the paper and in the self-immolated GOP which Bush ignited. I don't expect either the paper or the party to resurrect, rather, just to peter out and end with whimpers. The internet got 'em both.

    In the same issue,(Sunday), Reinhard's column starts to sound like his wimpy swansong, too. He writes in the delusion that Oregon is a swing state, and that readers are going to believe his lies instead of their own eyes on the debate. He looks forward to getting back to Philadelphia, and readers can't wait either.

    The op-ed column selector hit a sort of nadir, too -- All this in a single issue! The featured Krauthammer piece had its lies documented and nailed to the wall two days before The 'O' dumbly ran it, see http://mediamatters.org/items/200410080008 and even the venerable George Will flamed out and started falling from his heights in loop-de-loops of analysis. What happened to the old school GOP was: it traded its fiscal soul away for a graft-on branch of apolitical religious zealots who had never voted before Roe v. Wade, and who, like parasites, rotted away the internal guts of the GOP with the black-bile cash infusion from televangelists raking in a one-eighth share (in the beginning) of all cable TV subscribers' payments (circa 1976). The old GOP is now and probably remains all christo-fascists, until real Republicans divorce them, if ever. All of Will's fancies about pre- and post-Goldwater redefinitions of 'Republican' and think-tank infrastructuring, is revisionism too superficial to fool anyone over thirty; in heart, today's GOP came from armored truck-fulls of cable preachers' cash and congregated voters.

    That's a lot of deadweight losers in a single issue of the paper, and endorsing Kerry in a two-man race by the process of elimination, is not enough life preserver to keep the Big O's boat afloat.

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