October 04, 2004
On to the next debate
So Kerry appears to have won the post-debate spin as well as the debate, and it's showing in the polls. Of course, as Steve Casburn reminds us, Walter Mondale did pretty well in the first debate of 1984, too, so this is no time to relax. With Johnny Sunshine going against Dick Effing Cheney tomorrow and Bush-Kerry II - Electric Boogaloo later on, I expect to exhale again sometime around Saturday.
You want to know why exactly Kerry kicked Bush's tuchus in the first debate? Check out this DCCC video and see.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 04, 2004 to The making of the President
Thank ya kindly, Charles.
Remember also that Kerry beat Bush in the one debate that could be said to occur on "Bush's ground." Despite his godawful mismanagement of our defenses, he still holds (held?) strong leads on issues of national security and defense- yet Kerry handed it to him. How's Bush going to handle himself when it comes to debates over things that Kerry has a clear advantage on- health care, education, social issues and the like? I think that Kerry could go 3 for 3 and close this out pretty quickly.
The VP debate is of limited importance. Bush 41 fucked up against Ferraro in 84 and Reagan trounced Mondale, Bentsen famously bitchslapped Quayle in 88 and Bush returned the favor to Dukakis in November of that year. In the end, we are the campaign that has the most to gain from making this a referendum on the VP (IMHO) but it is unlikely to happen. Let's just hope Edwards doesn't sell the farm and we'll be fine.
Since Bush seemed so unprepared for what should have been his strongest topic, I wonder if he fell victim to what I, in graduate school, used to call "Qualifying Exam syndrome."
In the UT English program, before we were allowed to enter the Doctoral phase, we each had to pass an oral exam on a set reading list of literary works (uaually about 100). If you were, say, an Americanist, the temptation was to let your preparation slide on the American works and concentrate more of your attention on 17th century British stuff--your weaker area. After all, you should be pretty solid on American works because they were, after all, your specialty.
So, what would happen was the examiners would ask at least one question from your specialty and would expect a superb answer on it, but you couldn't give them that answer because you had spent all your time swotting up The Anatomy of Melancholy.
Call me a nervous nelly, but that's been eating at me this week.