A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Debate

My first impression is that it was a forgettable debate, but that Kerry did better than I thought he would, and blended well with the carpet. I thoroughly expected him to come across as a pompous know-it-all, just like he always has. But, I have to admit he seemed more comfortable in the setting than I ever expected him to be.

Still, he did very little to help himself, other than to give a sigh of relief to his supporters. At no particular point in the debate did he say anything that would lead a leaning-toward-Bush voter to suddenly lean the other way. His overall performance might have given him a two-point bump in the polls among undecideds, but not nearly enough to give him a lead.

If most people are anything like me (which I'll grant is improbable), they don't remember much of anything that was said, save for a few soundbites. Kerry's soundbite du jour appears to be either "collossal misjudgment" or "summit". Bush's -- I'm not sure. But, if I had to pick one, it would be "Please join us for a grand diversion. . ."

Bush stuck to Kerry's ever-changing positions as an issue, and that will probably begin to show up in the polls once immediate impressions start to fade in a day, or so. Kerry might gain a few points in his favorability rating, but that will most likely fade as the little video montage of the President's reactions to Kerry's statements during the debate begins to make the rounds on the gabfests. (This is truly a childish and ultimately foolish decision by the Democrats -- mark my word.)

In the end, Bush highlighted one of the attributes people seem to like about him -- that he is decisive. And that's an area where he as an undeniable advantage over Kerry. Kerry attempted to turn that decisiveness into a negative for Bush, saying that it cost the US some important allies in the War on Terror. I don't see that taking hold among the public, and what Kerry needs to do in order to make a respectable showing on election day is to shake things up to an extent that people no longer see the President as a decisive leader -- not try to convince the public that decisiveness isn't a virtue. The public's mind is made up on that.

Final call: a draw, tie goes to the President.

More on the aftermath a little later -- possibly tomorrow. I'm still doing laundry and have three tests tomorrow, for which I should be studying.


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