October 1, 2004
The First Debate: Blinky sputters +
Well, this time I'm glad that Krugman was wrong: everybody agrees that Kerry won last night's debate. An unidentified friend of Tom Shales called the debate "Andy Griffith meets Barney Fife". This debate might have been the first time that most Americans saw the two candidates speak for extended periods in complete sentences, instead of the little 10 second snippets on the evening news, so it's a good thing that Kerry came off as more knowledgeable and sensible than Bush. For his part, Bush blinked more during those 90 minutes than any other period in his life to date, and likely has a nasty stye this morning. He also actually defended invading Iraq and the disaster that it has become by saying that his decision to invade was "hard" and that the work we are doing there is also "hard". Well boo-fucking-hoo, Bush! You're the President, and guess what? YOUR JOB IS HARD. Now quit your whining. Here's a transcript of the debate.
One person who thought that Bush won the debate is our own favorite insane politico with an ever weaker grip on reality, Rudy Giuliani. On The Daily Show's post-debate coverage, Rudy said he thought that Kerry made no sense, and was still inconsistent in his views on Iraq. Jon Stewart meekly suggested that he thought Kerry made strong, clear statements in his position on Iraq, and that perhaps for the first time, there could be no confusion on his views. What Kerry said last night was, "I've had one position, one consistent position, that Saddam Hussein was a threat. There was a right way to disarm him and a wrong way. And the president chose the wrong way." Apparently, Rudy still didn't get it.
At least when the Daily Show staff defend Bush's performance, they're kidding. As Rob Corddry (one of the more recent additions to the show, and definitely one of the funniest) said, Kerry is the smartest man in the entire world, and Bush, "according to certain standardized tests, is technically retarded." - Amy
Bush-Kerry Debate by the Numbers:
First actual debating words out of Bush's mouth (after thanking host University of Miami): September the 11th
Number of times candidates mentioned:
"hard work": Bush, 11
great/grand diversion: Bush, 5
Kerry's wrong war/wrong place/wrong time comment: Bush, 7
"Saddam Hussein": Bush, 14; Kerry, 12
"Osama bin Laden": Bush, 4; Kerry, 9
"North Korea": Bush, 8; Kerry 13
"Iraq": Bush, 40; Kerry 33
"Afghanistan": Bush, 9; Kerry 5
"alliances": Bush, 5; Kerry, 9
"strong": Bush, 11; Kerry, 17
free/freedom: Bush, 39; Kerry, 4
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