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Thursday, October 14, 2004

ROUND THREE: DOMESTIC ABUSE
Last night's domestic issues debate? One word: Boringgggggggg. Sorry, but this one was a yawner. Nobody brought any lumber, nobody remembered Poland, and the president seemed bulge-free. It seemed as though both candidates were playing it safe, content to ride into the final three weeks of this campaign all knotted up. Therefore, no fireworks. Bush, who finally found the middle ground between disinterested and peevish (round 1) and disrespectful and angry (round 2), seemed to speak more from his heart, while Kerry seemed to speak more from his spreadsheet. The president was most impressive while speaking about abstract concepts like God and family, while Kerry sought to confuse the president with a litany of facts and figures. But nobody delivered a knockout blow, and nobody shot themselves in the foot. Damn.

As 10:30 drew near, all I could think was 'I missed six innings of the Yanks/Sox game for this?' In short, nothing changed, nothing happened. But that doesn't mean I won't spin bullshit and nit-pick the candidates peculiar peccadilloes to make it seem more exciting than it actually was. Let's try and make something of this, shall we?

Osama? Who He?
Early in the debate, Kerry brought attention to a statement the president made previously about not really caring about Osama bin Laden, you know, the guy that attacked us. Bush scoffed at this assertion: "Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama Bin Laden. That's kind of one of those - exaggerations." Well, actually Mr. President, you did. This, from March 2002: "I don't know where he [Osama] is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him. ... I truly am not that concerned about him." Kerry may exaggerate sometimes, but you sir, are the clear winner in this game. I mean, why exaggerate when you can just flat out lie? Check out the video here.

The L Word
As expected, the president rolled out that evil, evil word to slam Kerry: Liberal. I can't quite understand how this has become such a dirty word, I guess rigidity and closed-mindedness is a more valued quality among the American electorate, but, whatever. Bush's attempt to paint Kerry as a dirty liberal was no surprise. Kerry however did surprise us when he pulled an 'L' word out of the closet himself: Lesbian. Can you believe it? The vice president's daughter is apparently gay. *gasp!* I had no idea! Next thing you'll be telling me that Bill O'Reilly is some sort of sex offender... oh, wait. Sorry senator, but that was a bit unnecessary.

Bada Bing Bush
Perhaps Kerry's best line of the night was a nod to pop culture... and the mob: "Being lectured by the President on fiscal responsibility is a little bit like Tony Soprano talking to me about law and order in this country." The president as mob boss? I don't see it. A wiseguy maybe, but not a boss. I think Kerry was just going after the Jersey vote with that one.

Spittle, Ceiling Fans and Armies of Compassion: Debate Miscellany

Thank god this was the last one of these things, now we can judge the candidates fairly through the completely trustworthy medium of advertising. That'll be refreshing, I was really getting tired of the spin.

MORE
For those who just can't get enough, here's the Full Transcript.
For those who enjoy sardonic wit and potty humor, here's Wonkette's take.
And for those who believe everything the candidates said, shame on you. Fact Check!

Comments:
I actually thought the third debate was stymied on purpose by Bob Schieffer, a Bush family friend and golfing buddy of G-Dub.

He steered clear of the issues that would have backed Bush into a corner. Don't you think?
 
Liked your recap of debate moments. Remimded me of why Kerry won. Good job.
 
Thanks for the comments. I think Bush is pretty good at backing himself into a corner frankly, so Bob didn't need to help him along much. But I was definitely a little irked that Schieffer didn't ask one question about the environment. I nearly choked on my pretzel when I heard W. say in debate two that he was "a good steward of the land." Instead of an environment question, Shieffer gives us this hardball: "Do you like women?" I'm paraphrasing of course, but that's essentially what the last question was. Come on Bob!
 
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