Cheney vs Edwards

Tonight, Dick Cheney and John Edwards get their only chance to debate - in Cleveland, Ohio. Discuss. (Use the comment link below.)

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    Tonight's betting pool: At what point will Dick Cheney fake a heart attack in order to get out of the debate?

    (Note to Secret Service: This is not a bet on when he will actually have a heart attack, but when he will fake one.)

    Two options for betting:

    (1) How many minutes into the debate will Cheney fake this medical emergency?

    (2) During what topic or issue will Cheney fake this medical emergency?

  • Michelle (unverified)

    What kind of bull shit are ya'll tring to start. Cheney is a great man, and this is completely ridiculus.

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    So no bet from Michelle, then.

  • Shelby (unverified)

    Edwards is clueless!! He should get his facts straight before campaigning. Cheney is making him look like an idiot and he's not trying very hard!

  • Bob (unverified)

    Edwards needs to stop relying on his southern charm and take a lesson in wisdom from Cheney! He keeps trying to point fingers like a kindergartener. Quote,"I'm the one who talked about Iran, he is the one who didn't want to talk about it". Give me a break!

  • GA - Keith (unverified)

    Way to go Edwards, giving up so much time on the Gay marriage issue to talk about taxes. Dull. Especially after chastising Cheney for doing the same thing earlier.

    Then he said "we believe marriage is between a man and a woman" three times. Three times. Three times!

    And goes on to say we shouldn't be using an issue such as Gay marriage to divide the American people.

    Mr. Edwards: You. Just. Did.

  • JS (unverified)

    Bob and Shelby (the same person?) must have received their talking points from the RNC: "Edwards is young and unaccomplished!"

    No doubt Cheney is doing better than Bush did. Too bad for Republicans that he's not running for President.

    Edwards is more intelligent, more charming, and will make a better Vice-President than Cheney. He's likable, he knows his stuff, and most importantly he's honest.

  • Just me (unverified)

    That was the juciest vice presidential debate I've ever seen. While I'm a rabid democrat and gay, I still am feeling numbed by the gay marriage debate. What was that? I guess I really am voting for the lesser of two evils. Edwards played both sides of the fence: damn! And Cheney just opted out of the whole convo. I don't know Edwards: maybe you'd think this was a top topic if you yourself were faced with the scenarios you mentioned. Until that happens, you just want to table the discussion for "more important" issues. You define marriage as between a man and a woman, but you say long term gay and lesbian couples deserve benefits? Don't get me wrong: I'm still totin' a Kerry/Edwards sign in my front yard, but damn. I wish He was more on our side: separate is always unequal. Side note: So at the end, there was Mary AND HER PARTNER on the stage. Whoa. That's a first.

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    I didn't find that juicy at all. In the end, it was a draw, which means post-debate effects will entirely be determined by who wins the spin.

  • Miles (unverified)

    Yeah... I'd call it a draw, which in the context of Bush's "loss" last week, makes it a "win" for the bad guys.

    I don't think anyone persuadable watches or cares about these debates.

    You gotta love Dick Cheney. I say this as someone who truly hates Republicans and Bush and all things fascist, but this guy can sell bullshit like it was a bunch of roses. Why can't we have a guy who can do that? Dick Cheney is one smooth Dick.

    Dick's biggest mistake was to get lost in some arcane policy details now and then.

    John came across like an over eager puppy. Basically he made all the reasonable points.

    But he stumbled both in talking about Kerry during the "don't talk about Kerry" question... (twice!)... although his "save" in the followup question was fairly smooth.

    Sometimes he seemed to be cramming other issues into a question... "trying too hard." Less of that feeling from Dick.

    They both talked too fast... but John even more so.

    I think the law is "he who reacts less while the other guy speaks wins". John was pretty expressionless but all that busy writing suggested that he actually cared about anything Dick had to say.... and that is a tactical error. I don't recall Dick writing anything.... thus exhibiting indifference to John. Again that is smooth Dick at work. Cool cucumber. Too bad he's not fighting for truth justice and the American way, instead of corporatism, facism and the obscenely rich.

    Note to future debators. Have a STONE face while the other guy speaks. When you speak say LESS than the other guy said, say it slower, and make every word count. That's the winning secret, that Kerry got closer to on Thursday, and that I'm afraid Dick got (if only slightly) closer to tonight.

    Looking forward to the next two.

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    Also note that Cheney seemed to save most of his lies for the 90-second slot, meaning that Edwards would either not have a chance to show them up as lies at all, or would have a scant 30 seconds to try to do so.

  • Jesse (unverified)

    I concur with Miles. That Edwards didn't blatantly lose against Cheney is, I suppose, enough for me. However, he was just not as cool, calm and stony as he should have known to be.

    Point to Dick Cheney for his performance. I enjoyed his abilities.

    *Note: The democrats have always carried the well deserved title as the party of inclusivity. This means we are the gray issue party. Perhaps this is why Edwards chose to emphasize the Kerry/Edwards position on gay marriage. They've got a few swing voters in there somehwere that just can't, in good--and, not as expansive as one should hope--conscience, vote for a candidate on the wrong side of this nasty wedge issue. Nasty.

    Fortunately for the Bush/Cheney folks, Cheney can get at that vote a bit with his stance on the amendment, though he changed a bit on his position tonight.

    I think the blue side is doing just fine folks.

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    Cheney's position on gay marriage didn't just change a bit, it was self-contradictory. In essence, he said states should decide... unless a state decides to have gay marriage.

  • Pedro (unverified)

    Bob and Shelby's presence here on Blue O may be due in part to:

    It's pretty clear to me, Bush/Cheney are running scared!

    By the way, in my opinion the debate was a push, nobody said anything we haven't heard before, no gaffs and no special moments that will be replayed before the next VP debate in 2008. The highlight of the evening to me was Mary Cheney's partner onstage with her father-in-law!

  • LC (unverified)

    I think Cheney will actually receive a little sympathy for his position on the gay marriage issue. The issue divides this country, divides many families and Cheney shows some independence in being divided on it as well.

    His personal opinion is different from Bush's stated policy position, but (reading between the lines) he doesn't think it is important enough to divide the administration. But he was clearly troubled by the question and avoided anyfollow up on the topic (although that could have been because Edwards had already done himself so much damage by trying to talk both sides of the issue without ever saying anything).

    Cheney probably edged him, but (like the first debate) I doubt that it will swing any committed voters - just give the undecided's more to chew on.

  • The Prof (unverified)

    I thought Cheney was oddly reticent to attack. He seemed to get lost in policy details at multiple points. He was put off balance by Edwards's relentless attacks, especially the Haliburton attack left him angry.

    Edwards fumbled most on his ability to defend himself and his qualifications for the veep. Frustrating: a republican would have trumpeted his success in the private sector as qualifications for the office. Why can't Dems do this?

    Edwards needed to respond a lot more aggressively on the softball question about flip flopping -- rather than accusing Bush of same, why not trot out the "consistency in defense of failed policies is not good."

    I thought Cheney seemed like he wanted to get out of there as fast as possible. That's why he often failed to fill his time. Amazing how little he had to say about domestic policy, but how could he? Here is a man who is a lifetime deficit hawk and in favor of small government. This admin really doesn't have a domestic policy agenda, does it?

    A draw I suppose, though I thought Edwards did better keeping on theme: honesty and trust. Cheney's theme: consistency and credibility just didn't sell.

  • GA - Keith (unverified)

    "They've got a few swing voters in there somehwere that just can't, in good--and, not as expansive as one should hope--conscience, vote for a candidate on the wrong side of this nasty wedge issue."

    So Democrats have allowed it to be a wedge in their own party. Look, Democrats had the opportunity to say, WEDGE ISSUE and declare it to be and issue for the states to decide. "As President, I will support states in how they decide," would have sounded principled, just, and completely reasonable. It would also have made their defense against the FMA a lot more solid.

    Instead their position comes across as opportunistic, and I do not think it really is all that convincing: as many times as he and Edwards have said, 'One man, one woman' people still believe that they do support it.

  • Jesse (unverified)

    For those of you wondering..."How could Cheney not have met Edwards until now?"

    <img src="">

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    During the debate, Cheney gave out a URL, urging people to visit the site to learn the facts about Haliburton.

    What he meant to give out was What he actually gave out was -- thereby directing millions of television viewers and radio listeners to the website of George Soros and his effort to unseat George Bush.

  • raging red (unverified)

    Dick's biggest mistake was to get lost in some arcane policy details now and then.

    Actually, Dick's biggest mistake was accidentally saying instead of


  • raging red (unverified)

    (Oops, looks like b!X beat me to it.)

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    And more on this -- it looks like the .com address was a dead end until this evening, when someone must have set up a quick redirect in order to take advantage of what Cheney said.

  • Joe Lockhart (unverified)

    We're two for two. Tonight, in Cleveland, John Edwards showed real strength and conviction -- he was in command of the facts and in control of the debate and a powerful advocate for John Kerry. The American people saw John Edwards as somebody who is ready, if necessary, to be president of the United States.

    Dick Cheney is totally out of touch with reality in Iraq and totally out of touch with the struggles of the middle class. This is nothing new to a man with a lifetime record of protecting the powerful and well-connected. He came across as smug, arrogant, mean and defensive -- but his trademark distortions and scare tactics didn't work. John Edwards refused to let him play the politics of fear and forced Dick Cheney to confront his administration's record of failure.

    Americans are tired of growls and scowls from our leaders, and John Edwards and John Kerry offer America hope and optimism.

    The Bush-Cheney campaign is already trying to spin the debate. I am here in Cleveland, right now, working to make sure that doesn't happen. Tonight my job is going to be a lot easier than my Republican counterparts' for three reasons. First, John Edwards is our candidate for vice president, second, Dick Cheney is theirs, and third, I know that you are going to join me in this critical fight.

    To take action, visit the Democratic Party's Debate Center website:

    John Edwards clearly won on stage tonight -- let's make sure he wins against unrelenting Republican spin.


    Joe Lockhart Senior Advisor

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    As canned as that comment was, that's still deeply surreal to see it here.

  • raging red (unverified)

    Re: snapping up during the debates. As JMM asks, could Soros (or whomever) have done that so quickly?

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    Cheney screwed himself more than once. Never met Edwards before tonight? Not so says Edwards, along with countless bloggers, who have already dug up prior meetings. The Dems, according to Talking Points Memo, are already circulating a photo of the two of them standing right next to one another.

    From the linked AP story:

    "The vice president said that the first time I met Senator Edawrds was tonight when we walked on the stage. I guess he forgot the time we sat next to each other for a couple hours about three years ago. I guess he forgot the time we met at the swearing in of another senator. So, my wife Elizabeth reminded him on the stage," Edwards said as the crowd roared.
    According to Edwards staff, Cheney replied, "Oh, yeah."

    At this point, their lies are not just intentional and deliberate -- it's become a mental disorder. They just can't stop from lying about everything they touch. Such a shame.

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    Edwards: "John Kerry and I will never stop fighting for working people."

    Game. Set. Match.

    The photo of Cheney next to Edwards at the National Prayer Breakfast, and at Liddy Dole's swearing-in, is just gravy.

    The Big Dog told us they're not evil, just wrong. I'm having a hard time believing him right about now...

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    DNC releases video undercutting Cheney's lies about never having suggested an Iraq/al-Qaeda link.

    (Note: That URL is to a page with links to where to watch the video, as well as the transcript.)

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    Red, no - it's not possible that was snapped during the debate. It had to have been done before.

    Once you register a domain name, you have to point it at a nameserver. That nameserver then tells the Net where the domain lives. Generally speaking, it takes between 24 and 48 hours for DNS (domain name service) to propogate around the world.

    Also, it would be hard to believe that U Penn would have grabbed and ignored More likely that the dot-com was registered long before the dot-org.

    Here's my write-up over at

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    Created On:29-Sep-2003 18:02:43 UTC

    Creation Date: 04-feb-2004

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    Notwithstanding our GOP trolls above, here's a view from Slate's William Saletan - Edwards "kicked his expletive" and knocked "Dick Cheney around the ring."

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    I don't care who "won" -- just to see young self-made Jackie Edwards gave that old vampire the tongue-lashing he deserves was a tonic to my soul.

  • raging red (unverified)

    Thanks for the info b!X. Care to share your internet sleuthing secrets?

  • bill deiz (unverified)

    Now that the dust has settled, and we've had some time to digest last night's "debate", wasn't it refreshing to see a Democrat on the offensive?

    No wonder the Republicans want to cap trial lawyers' fees.

    Any way you slice it, it was a "win" for John Edwards with the vast majority of folks who don't earn more than $200,000 per annum, and, yes, they will show up at the polls to register their disgust with Bush-Cheney.

    Edwards was the only one on stage who seemed to give a darn about us working stiffs, who have tried to hold it together during the Bush "trickle down" recession. Middle class tax breaks, indeed.

    It was amazing to me to watch a vice-president lie and dissemble as a matter of policy. To tell the truth would, of course, be a fatal blow to his re-election effort. I can't recall an election in which the Republicans had absolutely NO record to run on. Their only recourse is to lie and to distort the records of their opponents in order to distract attention from their own failures.

    --No connection between Sadam and Al Qaeda...despite what Cheney continues to claim. --No stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction by Sadam --No support for the weapons inspectors who were swarming through Iraq and WHO COULD HAVE SHOWN US THAT THERE WERE NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IF THEY HAD BEEN ALLOWED TO FINISH THEIR WORK!!!! --No proper planning for the troops put in harm's way without body armor; armor plating for vehicles; with unfortified supply lines; with unsealed borders so that insurgents could pour into Iraq and join the fight against the "imperialists"...despite warnings from our own people on the ground... --No capture of Osama Bin Laden when he was cornered in the mountains...(although we mustn't rule out an October "surprise") --No building of an effective coalition of nations so that we don't suffer 90 percent of the casualties and sustain 90 percent of the costs of the war...

    When these points are driven home, they lose ground.

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    Meanwhile, have the UFO conspiracy theorists started in yet on Edwards mistakenly referring to "leaders of other worlds"?

  • Doug Q (unverified)

    Edwards proved to be just a vapid pretty face for the DNC. How disappointing. He could not go toe to toe with someone as disliked and stupid as Cheney. Is that the best we could do? Come on Dems, we can do better.

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    ... Cheney cited, a for-profit advertising site based in the Cayman Islands.

    The company decided to redirect traffic to the Soros site..."

    The full story's here:

  • miles (unverified)

    " "Dick's biggest mistake was to get lost in some arcane policy details now and then."

    Actually, Dick's biggest mistake was accidentally saying instead of


    Yes... didn't know about that when I wrote the above.

    My post was a first impression. I've revised my view of Cheney downward somewhat, based on Saletan, based on debate's effect on undecideds in the CBS poll. I'm thinking that Edwards did better than I thought as I was sitting staring at it happen...

    I'm remembering his recounting of Cheny votes against Head Start, etc.

    I'm remembering his pointing out that Cheny opposed the same weapon systems he attacks Kerry for opposing.

    I'm remembering that I thought Cheny was looking pretty worn out and ready to be done by the time it was done.... although so did Edwards. But Edward's energy level kind of bounced back at the end.

    I'm thinking that anyone who was still undecided when they watched this debate would find something a little bit more interesting, lively and attractive in Edwards.... but this opinion of mine is now polluted by having read everyone else's opinion. The first one was hot off the presses, first impression, uninfluenced.

    Onward to the next debate.

  • Javier O. Sanchez (unverified)

    Sweetdick scares me...always has, always will.

    There is a freudian thing going on that makes me surf back to my very own salad days when I wasn't working, paying rent and raging in my daddy's house as a fun, life imbibing 17 year old full of bliss, blood and love. My pops use to harsh my mellow with a Cheney-like leer and affect followed by the monosyballic utter of dribble that made no sense but had me doing moronic shit like cutting the grass and arguing with the homies on how the military is protecting everyone's freedom and it's ok to dominate the foreign policy agenda and run proxy war shit out ofcentral america and africa, because we are protecting the world--crazy shit man! And Cheney has a convincing, confident, quasi-cocky lilt to his speak that fascinates and disturbs me--

    Thank god SweetDick is on the sidelines for the rest of the debates; I fear the blue would be very blue--

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    That 'disturbing fascination' is more emphatic than noodgy qualms about it. Cheney literally has brain damage, as in take a MRI scan of his brain, make some measurements, gar-own-teed there is synaptic and neuronal trauma and damaged sections. This is real stuff, man. These people are literally 'mentally ill,' Actually really behaviorally malformed; sick. It's like when you open the paper in the morning and read about some guy somewhere doing absolutely criminal crimes to someone, and you think 'How could anyone be like that and do those things.' And probably in 99% of their other behavior they seem perfectly, or, at least mostly normal. Some neighbor will get quoted in the story saying something like 'What a surprise. He seemed like such a regular guy.'

    It is critically important to call a psychopath a psychopath as soon as it is definitely known, and before any more damage can be done. Does it take some reminding that this guy Cheney and his power-mad blatherings has killed thousands and thousands of souls. He's sick. We imprison such criminals for life, no parole. Get him up on charges! He's got NO reason for Iraq invasion, every word he has said to hide behind, has turned out to be a lie, and 'official report' released today kicks all the props out from under the Evil Office in The Fright House. Serious serious business, man, as in, circa 1935, Why didn't ordinary Germans see where Hitler's pattern was headed and DO SOMETHING to stop him?, kind of serious.

    The coup de grace could be the new book -- "Crossing the Rubicon" -- by Mike Ruppert, get it at Amazon or at Mike's website

    Here's the gist of it: In perfect (this time it's the right word) detail, documented and 'proved', Ruppert spells out that Cheney was in his bunker on 9/11 joystick-controlling the whole tragedy. Not merely "knew in advance." WAS DIRECTING IT.

    Because he wanted a 'reason' to get to the middle east permanent military base installation that is his very aim. And every dot in his pattern for three years is leading in that exact same direction to that exact same purpose. Election defeat is not enough for this administration. There must be jail time. People have been murdered.


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    More on the controversy. Turns out that says that what Edwards charged about Haliburton in the debate "was mostly right."

    So Cheney screwed himself something like three times over with this one remark.

  • LC (unverified)


    You really need to put the tinfoil hat back on. It will protect you from the satellite rays that are penetrating your skull.

    Also, you must buy only bottled water, the flouridation is beginning to weaken you.

    Keep waiting for the sign of the mothership. The revolution is underway.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    Write if you get words.

  • Randy (unverified)

    Since I haven't enjoyed reality TV so much since, well, the genre began, my brief comments.

    Edwards wasn't the smooth Gerry Spence I'd imagined him to be...

    But -- he at least held his own and, based upon the "I've never met you beore tonight" spin -- he finished slightly ahead.

    I'm looking forward to Friday. Town Hall format. All issues on the table. If Kerry holds service, then I think he will open a 5 - 8% lead.

    The Emperor has no clothes!

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