Open Thread: Debate is On
Update 5 8:35 closings: Kerry's is good. Concrete plans. He's presidential. Articulate. Engaged.
Bush: Soft-speaking, mealy. Touting his economic successes. He still doesn't get it. Instead of a plan, he announces goals. "We will be safe."
8:30: Bush is asked to name three of his mistakes. He bobs and weaves, trying not to say he didn't make any but not acknowledging any specific ones. Kerry has Bush's mistakes down pat. Gets in another shot at Bush for going to war.
"Saddam was a risk to our country, man." Man?
Update #4: 8:20 pm Kerry is good on the Patriot Act abuses. He opposes sneak and peek's. He opposes detentions where people can't challenge their confinement. But he says he supports the Act. Which portions?
The stem cell questioner has to be a plant. Could anyone who is that much against embryonic stem cells not be a pro-lifer whose mind is made up? Bush's relaxed answer shows he knows he has this questioner, there's no threat. Nonetheless, Kerry is great on his second shot at the answer.
Onto the Supreme Court: Bush says he hasn't decided who to put on the Supreme Court yet. He wouldn't pick a judge who ruled against the Pledge of Allegiance or the one who decided Dred Scott. How timely. He would pick strict constructionists. No litmus test except for how they interpret the Constitution. Kerry blows Bush out of the water on this one.
Another pro-lifer question. Uncommitted, please. I'm surprised Charlie Gibson allowed these questions to be posed in such a partisan manner.
Update #3 8:07 pm: Bush says he's been a good steward of the land. Now we know we can't believe a word he says. Kerry is becoming more confident and natural as the debate goes on. He's in his stride now, and Bush seems angry and petulant.
Update #2 7:50 pm.
This debate is kind of a snooze. The audience is about as homogenous as you can get. Very little diversity. Too many are keeping their arms folded across their chests when one or the other talks, hardly the sign of an uncommitted voter.
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