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Old 09-10-2004, 04:27   #1
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USA - General discussion (Part 1)

I watched the debate Live on Yahoo! and I music say that Kerry obviously won this one as well as the one before. Bush, on the other hand contradicted himself and even made up a word - "Internets". What the...? Anyway, here's a review of the debate with humor. The comments of the start of the debate are at the bottom, the summary comment is at the top.
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Editor's Note: Paul Begala, co-host of CNN's political debate program "Crossfire," is providing a view from the left on the second presidential debate through this CNN.com blog. Follow along as he shares his observations and send us your own by typing them in the "Share Your Comments" box to the right.

Posted: 10:48 p.m. ET

Good debate. The press will say it's a draw, but I think Kerry bested Bush -- or rather Bush made a few errors. Two words for President Bush: anger management. He spent much of the debate nearly yelling at the audience.

About two-thirds of the way through he calmed down, used a little humor. But overall he hectored more than visited with people. Kerry was much more conversational, certainly not the pedantic, pompous senator some expected.

Bush can't name a mistake
Posted: 10:34 p.m. ET

Kerry's going right at Bush on the issue of mistakes. He's hammering Bush for the way he went to war. Then he admitted he's made mistakes in how he's talked about the war, while Bush made mistakes in how he went to war.

Bush was asked to name three mistakes he's made. He can't name one. Breathtaking arrogance. He's had the hardest job in the world for almost four years and he cannot name a single mistak. Either he's the Second Coming of the Messiah, or he's so damned arrogant he's dangerous.

Kerry 'heartfelt' on religion
Posted: 10:29 p.m. ET

Missouri has a very strong pro-life movement, well represented tonight. The woman who asked Kerry about federal funding for abortion was poised and clear and strong. A far cry from the hysterics you usually see in the national media when abortion is covered.

Kerry's answer is sensitive. It's one of the few times he's talked about his religion in public -- and it's clearly heartfelt.

Bush says "I'm trying to decipher that." I (obviously) like Kerry. But even still I thought his answer was sensitive, and Bush's attempt at humor was callous.

The Bush litmus test
Posted: 10:26 p.m. ET

Supreme Court: A guy asked Bush who'd he appoint to the Supreme Court. "I'm not tellin,'" he said. Good use of humor. But I cringed when he said, "I want 'em all votin' for me." Is that a reference to Florida? To the Supreme Court case that put him in office?

He says he'll only appoint judges who oppose slavery. Wow, that's a great litmus test. Only anti-slavery judges for Bush. There goes David Duke's vote.

Bush incoherent on stem cell question
Posted: 10:22 p.m. ET

Careful, senator. A woman asked him about embryonic stem cell research from what is plainly a very pro-life position.

Good. Kerry is showing great respect for her values and her religion. And he's plainly energized by the prospects of the research.

Bush just said categorically, "Embryonic stem cell research destroys a life. I am the first president to fund embryonic stem cell research."

Huh? He said it's killing, but he's funding it? That's incoherent. That's our Bush.

Sneak and peek
Posted: 10:17 p.m. ET

Kerry just said he is against "sneak and peek" searches under the Patriot Act. How much you want to bet Bush thinks "sneak and peek" is a panty raid?

The weird turns pro
Posted: 10:14 p.m. ET

Hunter S. Thompson famously said, "When the going gets tough, the weird turns pro." Bush is definitely a pro.

Kerry referred to a timber company that pays Bush $84. I have no idea what he's talking about -- and neither did Bush. After ridiculing Kerry's argument by asking incredulously, "I own a timber company?" He paused for an awkwardly long time. Then he asked Charlie Gibson, "You wanna buy some wood?"

Definitely weird. (What THE... ?)

Kerry hits on 'Orwellian' language
Posted: 10:08 p.m. ET

Kerry's giving you the sense he's the Man with the Plan. He just ripped through his 3-point jobs plan. Now he's into his health care plan. If voters want a plan, he's there for them. It'll be interesting to see if voters come away with the sense that he's got good ideas.

Kerry clearly cares a lot about the environment, but hasn't talked about it much in the campaign. He nailed Bush for the Orwellian language Bush uses on the environment, education, etc.

In the middle of his answer, Kerry pointed to "Nicki" in the audience and brought her back in. Nice touch.

'Off-road diesel engines?'
Posted: 10:06 p.m. ET

Environment: Bush began by simply saying, "Off-road diesel engines." Huh? Where's the verb, sir? He's throwing out a lot of jargon and Orwellian language, like "Healthy Forest Initiative."

The question was about air and water, and he's talking about how chopping down trees is the answer.

Kerry gets honest laugh
Posted: 10:01 p.m. ET

Kerry just got the first honest laugh -- and it was not an attack line. It was an affectionate reference to Charlie Gibson, saying Charlie would be the only person other than Bush and Kerry who'd pay the higher tax rate under Kerry.

Remember when Bush jumped ugly with Charlie? I said the audience wouldn't like it -- the audience identifies with Charlie. Now Kerry has shared a laugh with Charlie -- much more human, much more pleasant.

Kerry soothes voters on spending
Posted: 9:59 p.m. ET

Kerry was asked a very direct question. A guy asked him to look into the camera and promise he won't raise taxes on people making less than $200,000. He said yes. Unequivocally. Can't get any clearer than that.

He also said he's trimmed back on some of his favorite spending programs, which should be soothing to voters worried that he's a big spender.

Bush challenged on spending
Posted: 9:57 p.m. ET

Bush's response to Charlie Gibson's question about how he would cut the deficit in half. He said he'd control Congressional spending. But wait a minute, isn't that the guy who hasn't ever vetoed a single spending bill?

Bush was asked a tough question about why he hasn't vetoed a single spending bill. This is a direct challenge to Bush's vote with his base. Bush is nothing if not in tune with his conservative base. He's blaming everyone but himself for his deficit.

Kerry defended his health care plan against the attack that it was big government by saying, with a chuckle, that it's totally voluntary. He was conversational.

Bush hits the 'L-word'
Posted: 9:52 p.m. ET

Bush is clearly programmed to get on the L-word. Kerry's response is to say Bush isn't a compassionate conservative.

You can bet you will hear Bush repeat the L-Word again and again tonight -- and through November 2.

Bush just said, "The National Journal has rated Sen. Kennedy the number one most liberal senator."

Mr. President, you're not running against Ted Kennedy. You're running against John Kerry.

A woman just put Kerry on the spot over Edwards being a trial lawyer. Kerry's ready for it. Says he has a plan for tort reform, but more important, a plan to lower the health care costs for folks in the audience.

Bush is licking his chops. He truly hates trial lawyers.

This is a strikingly negative debate. I'm very surprised.

Bush just ripped into Kerry, then finished with a wink. He's clearly feeling like a cocky frat-boy.

First domestic question
Posted: 9:47 p.m. ET

Kerry again cited a Bush broken promise from the 2000 campaign, reminding people that he said in 2000 that importing drugs from Canada made sense. Kerry is strong on this one -- it's much more a Democratic issue.

Kerry's on offense. Bush is on defense.

First domestic question: Why, Mr. President, did you ban importation of prescription drugs from Canada?

Bush's answer raised the lame defense that they're not safe. Sure, that's why all those Canadians are dropping like flies every time they pop a Xanax.

Bush calms down
Posted: 9:42 p.m. ET

Bush has finally gotten control of himself. He cited his Homeland Security budget in response to Kerry's criticism that Bush preferred a tax cut to homeland security. And he's doing it in a conversational way. Maybe his outburst a moment ago got it out of his system.

Kerry not speaking 'Senate-ese'
Posted: 9:41 p.m. ET

Did Kerry just say "we got a whole buncha countries" and, "Lookit..."

He's actually speaking American, not Senate-ese.

Kerry launched a guided missile, saying that if Missouri were a nation, it'd be the third largest country in our coalition. Beautiful. Clintonian. Instead of burying us in facts and figures, he had one telling, killer anecdote.

Relax, Mr. President
Posted: 9:40 p.m. ET

Wow. The first moment of the debate.

Charlie Gibson tried to ask Bush a follow-up question, but Bush jumped him, almost yelling. He went right up to the edge of losing it. (How rude! [- Kate]) People do not like it when politicians hammer nice, pleasant moderators like Charlie Gibson.

Bush needs to switch to decaf. His answer on the draft was desperate and rambling. Relax, Mr. President. Enjoy yourself.

Kerry's response seems much calmer, more reasoned. He ran through a list of generals and admirals who support him.

The 'Internets?' (When I actually heard him say it, I thought it was an error in the live streamming of the video... but it turns out that he really really said it. OMG!!! What a &*^%#* moron. He doesn't even know what internet is! What planet is he from? [- Kate])
Posted: 9:37 p.m. ET

Bush just said: "I hear there's rumors on the Internets." Is there some secret second Internet I don't know about? Perhaps that's where Bush gets the information that tells him things are so peachy in Iraq and the economy's strong. He's living in his own Private Idaho, apparently reading things on his own private Internet.

Kerry is walking closer to the audience than Bush is. There's a piece of red tape that the candidates are not supposed to cross. You can't see it on TV, but if Kerry's ignoring it in order to get closer to the audience, good for him.

The town hall format requires the candidates to actually have a conversation -- not with each other, but rather with the audience members.

Bush pleased with himself
Posted: 9:31 p.m.

Bush seemed extremely pleased with himself to be able to tell you about how the generals said, "Yes, sir Mr. President." But he didn't respond to Kerry's point that Bush ignored the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Shinseki, who said they'd need 200,000 troops to successfully occupy Iraq. Because the truth is, he ignored Gen Shinseki, despite his comment that he always listens to his generals.

Lower your voice
Posted: 9:28 p.m. ET

Bush really needs to lower the register of his voice. He's pleading, trying to hard, almost yelling. He bit off and spat out the name of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi like it was a stale piece of garlic bread.

Kerry's counter was more calm than he was a few minutes ago. And a lot more calm than Bush. All over America people are asking, "Who is this angry man, and what have they done with that pleasant Mr. Bush?"

Kerry on fire
Posted: 9:22 p.m. ET

Kerry's using comments from GOP Senators Lugar and Hagel against Bush. His quotes are accurate, and they hurt Bush. What do you suppose Bush is thinking? Whatever it is, you can imagine it's not publishable on a family blog.

Kerry is on fire. He's putting the wood to Bush like a wayward pledge at the Deke house. Bush just said the Iraqi finance minister was optimistic, but then he turned on the TV and it made him pessimistic. Huh? If he's that big a weenie, what's he doing in Baghdad?

Angry responses
Posted: 9:17 p.m. ET

The first question to Bush was, like the one to Kerry, right at his vulnerability. Bush, too, has his answer down pat. But he's too angry, he's speechifying, his voice is rising. He shouldn't be hectoring and yelling at these people. Why isn't Bush connecting like the genial governor I knew in Texas?

Kerry's response to Bush is just about as angry as Bush's. Both of these guys need to be more conversational. They're jacked up on adrenaline and, to tell you the truth, looks like they just don't like each other.

Kerry prepared for flip-flop question
Posted: 9:12 p.m. ET

The first question went right to Kerry's greatest weakness: Are you wishy-washy? Kerry seems to want it -- he obviously has prepared this one many times. He's going through issues quickly: Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind. Even more than the specifics, he's trying to project a sense of strength and certainty. He doesn't seem at all nervous.

Bush, too, wants this question. He's gone through his litany of Kerry flip-flops. But there's great risk in being too negative. I think he'd be better off doing fewer specifics on Kerry's flip-flops and instead telling the questioner what he stands for.

He said his tax cut is "right up the middle class." If I were a more scatological person I might take it the wrong way.

Sox win a good omen
Posted: 8:33 p.m. ET

We're 30 minutes before the debate, and I can tell you, John Kerry is one happy man. No, not because the latest Time magazine poll shows the race tied. Not even because the latest Associated Press poll shows Kerry up by 4. No, Kerry's happy because his beloved Red Sox just defeated the Anaheim Angels with a dramatic, 10th inning walk-off home run by David Ortiz.

Both Kerry and Bush are huge baseball fans, and baseball fans are superstitious. I'm sure Kerry sees the Sox win as a good omen.

Source: CNN.com

More laughs: http://edition.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLIT...08/klein.blog/

Last edited by Kate; 09-10-2004 at 04:38.
 
Old 09-10-2004, 05:29   #2
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I think americans have some sort of disfunction. After such humiliating, vague, cynical answers from Bush, they say "it's a tie"!!! WHAT?! You know, I live in a small european country where people have less access to information, and still everytime our president or prime-minister lie or explain things vaguely or contradict themselves, they are immediately kicked out of their position as soon as the nation votes! And we only have 30 years of democracy! So America must have some serious problems, its citizens are obviously very easily manipulated.
And what was up with the audience watching the debate on location? Were they paid not to show any emotions? They all looked like rocks, and even when the candidates were talking about controversial issues, they just sat there like they were hipnotized.
 
Old 09-10-2004, 06:10   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staringelf
And what was up with the audience watching the debate on location? Were they paid not to show any emotions? They all looked like rocks, and even when the candidates were talking about controversial issues, they just sat there like they were hipnotized.
Exactly my opinion, too! I expected them to clap for Kerry, cuz he was brilliant most of the time, and to "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" Bush who's answers were bullsh1t (excuse my French).

How can anyone support Bush is beyond my understanding.
 
Old 09-10-2004, 08:02   #4
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tskk tskk, you're obviously too biased. Didn't watch a minute of the debate but I'm sure the president did fine. And if it's a tie then Bush is still ahead.
 
Old 09-10-2004, 10:23   #5
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spyretto, are you kiddin'? Bush sucked. Just read the blog above! Jeez. The ignorance is what will get Bush re-elected.
 
Old 09-10-2004, 11:00   #6
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Well, honestly, I watched half the debate just a while ago and I didn't see that much of a difference. Bush didn't stagger much and wasn't exactly incoherent when answering the stem cells question. He just said that he wants to balance ethics with scientific research and that was it.
Not to mention that for the most important aspect of the debate - the Iraqui war, and the war on terrorism - the viewers in America were swayed towards Bush. ( according to CNN ).
So basically Kerry has to cover a lot of ground before he can emerge as favourite. There's of course the argument that Bush is a dumbass who is not liked by anybody; Well, for a dumbass he did pretty good. Nobody would ever sustain that Kerry is dumber than Bush; it's just a matter of convincing some of the conservative voters to stray from the path and vote for Kerry on the grounds of being a better choice for a president... and, so far, he hasn't been that convincing...
 
Old 09-10-2004, 17:26   #7
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Yeah, yeah, yeah

spyretto do you have any personal saddistic pleasure that Bush wins?

Just because he raises his voice tone and acts like he's the saviour of America, sure that gets him more votes from dumb people that are easily manipulated
 
Old 09-10-2004, 17:39   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staringelf
Yeah, yeah, yeah

spyretto do you have any personal saddistic pleasure that Bush wins?

Just because he raises his voice tone and acts like he's the saviour of America, sure that gets him more votes from dumb people that are easily manipulated
In short: 1) yes I do 2) maybe, we'll have to wait and see how dumb Americans can really be.
 
Old 09-10-2004, 20:38   #9
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In my opinion, any intelligent person can see through Bush - he went to Iraq for oil and other personal benefits, he put all his good "friends" to lead Iraq so that they will come visit him in America everyday and drink tea in the White House while people in Iraq are being slaughtered, he always sides with big companies to make sure they get all the profit, he doesn't care about the Americans, he cheats, he plays dirty, he's stupid, he can't carry himself like a president.
 
Old 09-10-2004, 20:51   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staringelf
They all looked like rocks, and even when the candidates were talking about controversial issues, they just sat there like they were hipnotized.
hehehe, most of the time that i watched the debate, i just sat there and made fun of how bored the people were.... i was rather impressed with Kerry during this debate, especially with how well he handled the abortion and stem cell questions.... but I honestly don't know how you decide who "Wins" these thingers
 
Old 09-10-2004, 20:57   #11
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I think that the audience was specially trained not to show any emotion...
 
Old 10-10-2004, 17:00   #12
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I think you're all missing the point...Bush is so bad he just has to be re-elected...that's how life goes...

And when he does i'll enjoy it with a nice port.
 
Old 10-10-2004, 17:42   #13
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hello...

Well first, that article Kate gave is obviously biased. Which is fine, most everything is, but you have to recognize it.
Second, staringelf, you need to think before you speak. I've seen a few of your previous posts; what you say often makes you look arrogant, and worse, ignorant.

As for the debate, I will go with a slight win for Kerry. He can speak, and maybe knows a thing or two. That always helps. As for the elections, I believe Bush will win, but it will be a close one, similar to the 2000 elections. The American people, on the most part, have taken to Bush, for how he lead the nation after 9/11. Bush still wins the vast majority of security polls. And in a time like this, security is crucial.
 
Old 10-10-2004, 17:58   #14
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The article only had opinions from the left-wing perspective. Kate never bothered to show us the opinions from the other side.
Bush wins the security polls because the war on Iraq was his own thing, so it's obvious voters would believe he's better equipped to get the US out of this mess . How Kerry will deal with this issue is a mystery, we'll see after he's elected ( if he ever ).
As for my prediction, I hear that Kerry might just clinch it - although I close my ears and stand by my initial prediction of a landslide victory for Bush - maybe by a few thousand votes.
 
Old 10-10-2004, 18:22   #15
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by the way, I'm sure yahoo.com is a Democrats endorsing website, so don't take what they write for granted. ( I have no problem with that at all though; nor with the fact that the Sisters of Mercy is a "left-wing institution" )
 
Old 10-10-2004, 18:51   #16
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all i have to say is:

the voting system in USA is f*cked up yo!

Here i found a bbc page on how the USA elections work, presented in a very 'american' way ... anyways... the whole thing is so weird, but the last - #4 step - when they count the votes, if a state has voted 51% to 49% for one of the candidates, he/she gets ALL the electorial points. Each state has different number of electorial points ...and the others get NONE, even though it was so close! funny I just found out from that article that the CONSERVATIVE state i live in - Nebraska - awards additional votes to candidates who win the states' House of Representatives Districts. Wonder how true that is....

here is the article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/h...ml/default.stm
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oh... o!
 
Old 10-10-2004, 19:24   #17
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it's the exact opposite of the "direct proportional" system, and let me tell you, it's anything but democratic. But it's in line with the American motto "the first is first, the second is nothing"
 
Old 10-10-2004, 19:48   #18
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If Bush will win, it'll only be by cheating. I don't believe American people are that stupid to re-elect him again. But a lot of big companies benefit from Bush being the president, and that will probably make him win.
 
Old 11-10-2004, 20:46   #19
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Can people participating in this debate who are actually entitled to vote in this elections (or at least Americans) raise their hands? Thank you.

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Old 11-10-2004, 21:06   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luxxi
Can people participating in this debate who are actually entitled to vote in this elections (or at least Americans) raise their hands? Thank you.
eh, what do you mean 'at least Americans'? Only... and only americans can vote, not even permanent residents of the country

oh, and about you people commenting about the audience.. the whole thing was very strictly moderated.... what did you expect? jungle yelling and screeming? couldnt you see that 90% of the people asking questions had trembling voices and couldnt speak right out of embarrasment/worrying/whatever else... and were reading from a piece of paper... in the worst possible way ....besides if you ask me.. some of them did show emotions while asking the questions, as much as the situation permited. I think they said those were ramdomly selected by the Gallup organization.

My favourite one was the White Trash Woman with the AMERICAN FLAG Sweater!
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