Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Thoughts on the Veep Debate

This is a much more substantial debate than the first Presidential one.

At one point Gwen Ifill even joins the fray:

Dick: I can respond, but it'll take more than 30 seconds.
Gwen: Well, that's all you've got.

No surprise: Cheney proves a *far* better debater than Bush. (Like that, NRO folks?) He also can deliver a hard blow very coolly and very deliberately. His line about this being the first time he's ever met Edwards because he's never seen him in the Senate floor was well-delivered and effective. Might be the kind of thing to sway undecideds.

Edwards' best line (and he used it twice:
"A long resume does not make for good judgment.
Surprised Gwen asked Cheney directly about the gay marriage issue, even alluding to his daughter. Good to see this highlighted. Cheney tries to have his cake and eat it too: the president sets policy and he supports it. That how Iraq worked, too, Dick? Kinda don't think so. Edwards was fairly careful in his response. Interestingly enough (and as per usual), Edwards appears far more comfortable using the word "gay" than the Republican does. Edwards gives a long, but fairly thorough explanation about what's wrong and politically divisive about the marriage amendment.

NRO's Jonah Goldberg thinks Cheney answered better:
That Dick Cheney -- whose daughter is gay and whose boss is for the FMA -- would be less awkward explaining his position that the Democratic nominee.
I disagree - all Cheney did was blameshift. Of course, his blameshifting was also a tacit way of saying he disagrees with the President. And to be fair, Bush has placed his Veep in a very inenviable position on this issue.

Ifell is tough! On trial laywers to Cheney: is Edwards part of the problem. Cheney smartly evades, saying he doesn't know Edwards' record. Edwards has the opportunity now to hit a home run: provide a concrete example of the *good* trial lawyers can do - will he take it? Yep, he pulls out a personal story and doesn't wring it for emotion either. Not exactly a homer though.

Edwards has a distracting habit of awkwardly pursing his lips when he hears something he doesn't like. Not quite as annoying as the Bush smirk.

This was a close debate. I'm not sure Edwards won. Cheney's a veteran at this and though I disagree with his policies and this his boss is the worst President we've had in my lifetime, his sense of authority is commanding. Even when he's wrong.

And unfortunately, people vote based on their impressions. Hopefully, their impression of Bush is so bad by now, it'll top any doubts they have about Edwards vs. Cheney. Especially since Edwards is obviously a highly intelligent and decent individual. In other words, he may be young(ish) and relatively inexperienced, but he's no Dan Quayle.

From Edwards' closer:
I have grown up in the bright light of America, but that light is flickering today.
His voice cracked as he said it.

I know how you feel Senator. I know how you feel.

Cheney ends with a message of fear: vote for us in case the terrorists attack again. That's what the Bush has been capitalizing on ever since 9/11. Fear. And I guess they'll continue to do so.

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