Debate: Blogger Reaction

Update: Digby on "America's Ex-Husband." Michael Tomasky, writing for American Prospect, says, Hello Gender Gap.

Oliver Willis has the video of Bush flipping out at Charlie Gibson.

Billmon returns from hiatus to say:

If Kerry and the Dems can't make an issue out of the fact that the president of the United States is utterly incapable of controlling his hairtrigger temper, they don't deserve to win this election. I mean, the man is a walking time bomb.

Markos of Daily Kos:

Sh*t, this isn't even close. This is worse than last Tuesday's debate for Bush. He's rude, loud, arrogant, angry, and has been outmaneouvered by Kerry on question after question. This one isn't even close. Not even close.

Kevin Drum:

OFF HIS MEDS?....I've been surfing around TV a little bit, and the one thing that surprises me is that there's very little comment about George Bush's demeanor, especially during the first half hour. His voice was several notches above presidential, he was interrupting both Charlie Gibson and the questioners, he was leaping to his feet, he was jabbing the air with Ross Perot-like abandon, and there were at least a couple of times when he looked like he was about to leap into the audience and throttle someone. It's one thing to be passionate, but it's quite another to look like you're off your meds and need to be restrained.


Kerry Rocked. It's a bit of a habit to judge these things on the basis of how Bush did. But, in this debate it's fair to say that Bush was a bit better than he was in the last one, but more importantly... Kerry was a lot better than he was last time..

and he calls his sixth open thread the

Mrs. Atrios gets to go to an inaugural ball edition.

Wonkette is is top form.

The other side:

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit:

SUM UP: Overall, a pretty good performance by both guys, neither of whom is a stellar orator. ...it looks to me like a pretty solid Bush win here for two reasons. First, the expectations were low, and he was drastically better than the previous debate, especially in the closing statement. Talk about beating the point spread. Second, he stayed focused and on-message, and looked firm instead of exasperated. As some talking head said, Bush came to play tonight. He wins the comeback prize, and the momentum shifts.

Robert Prather over at Protein Wisdom:

Conclusion: Bush won. It was an unambiguous win. I wish he hadn’t waited until tonight to sound this articulate. Well done.

Bill at INDC:

Overall, a great debate, but I have trouble picking a winner. Kerry was solid, even good, throughout, whereas Bush started a little defensive and reactionary, but then closed with comfort, humor and great talking points. He really beat Kerry up around the mid-point. Given Kerry's demoralizing incompetence on the stump, this second strong debate performance will further energize the Dem base and keep the race tight. Perhaps it's an effective tie, perhaps a slight win for Kerry based on his more consistent delivery.

N.Z. Bear (on drugs?)

Bush connected with the audience with humor (self-deprecating and otherwise), while Kerry utterly failed to do the same. It was Bush's room: Kerry was just visiting. Combining that with solid answers which hammered Kerry on his weakest points made tonight a clear win for Bush on points, if not an utter knockout.

The full debate transcript is here.

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