Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Post Debate

No big gaffes, no great moments from either candidate. Both got stronger as the debate went on. All of that means that Bush won by not losing, although, foreign policy being Bush's strongest issue his campaign was no doubt hoping for a big win. That didn't happen.

Bush was Bush, not a great public speaker, a few times stumbling over his words, but he stayed on message and re-articulated his policy on Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. That's really all he had to do.

Like the challenger in a boxing match, Kerry needed to land a knockout punch to win this. He did not do it, though he did come across as stronger on terror than I had expected. Unfortunately, I don't know what he'll say tomorrow so it is hard to get too excited about that. Obviously Kerry was trying to walk a fine line in criticizing the President on Iraq but also having to acknowledge that he voted to authorize force and that he himself had characterized Saddam Hussein as a grave threat. I asked the question below, which part of his base will Kerry risk offending? The answer pretty clearly was the anti-war crowd, which I think was the best decision he could make - as long as he keeps the race close they will probably stick by him because they very badly want Bush out. If Bush has a big lead though going into the final couple of weeks, many of those on the fringe left will jump to Nader's camp.

Two criticisms of Kerry. He is still sticking with the "magic solution" meme. He is going to get our allies back with a summit (were they - French and Germans - ever really on board with us anyway?) and fix Iraq's problems, but never explains specifically what he would do differently. Second, he criticized Bush several times for "outsourcing" the job of catching bin Laden in Afghanistan but wants to outsource the job of Iraq to the U.N., French, Germans, or whoever.

One thing I did like was the general friendliness, respect, and lack of snarkiness that each candidate afforded the other. It was nice for each man to acknowledge that the other wasn't an evil obnoxious jerk and that they were both looking to achieve similar goals, but favored different processes. Perhaps that will tone down some of the hateful partisan rhetoric out there... okay it probably won't, but it does make me slightly less cynical about politicians... at least for a few minutes.


                                                                                                                                                                             Meter Weblog Commenting and Trackback by This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?