Thursday, September 30

The Debates are Coming!

And along with them I expect most of our common sense will be leaving.

My predictions.

Bush will state that:

- "The World is Safer without Sadam Hussein"

- "The hope of democracy is better than the rule of and an evil-doer"

- "How can you tell what my opponent will do, he's had so many different positions on this he could pratically debate himself"

Kerry will state that:

- "I've had only one position on this subject Mr President. I wanted Sadam Hussein gone and I'm glad he's gone - but we entered this war in the wrong way"

- "We need to utilize our allies more effectively, to help cut the spiralling costs of the war, help ensure the legitimacy of the new Iraqi government and effectively fight the insurgency in order to bring security and a true democracy to the region"

- "How can you continue to trust this President, when he's been wrong so many times so far and has lead us down the wrong path time and time again?"


And this will all probably happen in the first five minutes.

The real quesion is what happens after that? Most pundits agree that Kerry needs to land a devestating knock-out punch in order to bring himself out of the poll slump he's been in since the Republican Convention. He needs to answer and frankly bury the character question, if possible he needs to the throw the President off message by clearly and concisely pointing out the absurdities of that message.

Somehow, even without WMD's, Nuclear Weapons or actual ties to al Qaeda - Sadam Hussein became the most dangerous man in the world, and needed to be removed from power - not at some later date using deplomacy and negotiation as other despots such as Pinoche or Marcos were removed, but right now using force - even more urgently than Osama Bin Laden needed to be caught and his terrorist network dismantled?

That seems a tough sell to me, but that is exactly what this President has been successfully selling to the American public.

Kerry on the other hand has the problem of having a career almost entirely as a legislator, not an administrator. Other than his Vietnam experience, exactly how he would lead this nation as the chief executive, as opposed to how he might vote or argue within a body of equally powerful fellow lawmakers remains a serious question. Is he all talk and no action?

They say that a strong showing in a debate can "reset the clock" on a campaign erasing all past mis-steps and illuminating either a bright new path or a bleak and dreary trail for the future of the candidate.

Will this happen for either President Bush or Candidate Kerry?

We'll all find out tonight.

Let the games begin!!



Vyan said...

Raw Post Debate Numbers:

A clear winner
We're scouring the Net for online polls, and so far, we haven't found a single poll that says Bush did a better job in this debate. It isn't even close. John Kerry was the clear winner tonight.

Here's a sample of what we're seeing: Kerry 87%, Bush 10%

MSNBC: Kerry 70%, Bush 30%

Houston Chronicle: Kerry 87%, Bush 11%

Wall Street Journal: Kerry 60%, Bush 33%

Florida Sun-Sentinel: Kerry 71%, Bush 16%

LA Times: Kerry:89% Kerry, Bush 8%

CNN: Kerry 79%, Bush 18%

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Kerry 62%, Bush 30%

Vyan said...

My own opinion:

Although I think Kerry made a strong showing on the facts and most importantly on having a strong Presidential bearing, the real test will be the survival of the spin-doctor attack.

Bush, although at times sputtering and stammering with apparent frustration did manage to make some salient points and soundbytes:

How do you effectively fight for a war that you called a Diversion?What message does that send to the troops and the allies, when you call this the "wrong" war?Both Candidates made mistakes - Kerry overstate the amount of money that has currently been spent on Iraq ($120 not $200 Billion sited which also includes funds spent on Afghanistan), while Bush greatly overstated the number of Iraqi Security forces that have been effectively trained.

Repeatedly Bush tried to hammer home his "He's inconsistent" charge, but I think had trouble making the charge stick, and factually John Kerry's position has remained the same since his vote for the authorization to use force:

Kerry (Oct. 9, 2002) Let there be no doubt or confusion about where we stand on this. I will support a multilateral effort to disarm him (Saddam) by force, if we ever exhaust those other options, as the President has promised, but I will not support a unilateral U.S. war against Iraq unless that threat is imminent and the multilateral effort has not proven possible under any circumstances.One compelling argument made by Bush is that a free and democratic Iraq and Afghanistan will be a devestating blow to the forces of terrorism and shine as a "beacon of hope and freedom" for the rest of the islamic world. Having failed to prove WMD's, Nuclear Buildup or al Qaeda sponsorship on the part of Sadam Hussein, Bush has taken this final final-back position on his decision to pursue the war in Iraq - and I think most would feel that he is correct in his assesment of the potential for such a change on the thinking of the Arab world.

Yet, the potential for disaster, unrest, civil war and further destabilization in both these countries remains equally great and a grave danger to America and freedom. We can not afford to fail in either Iraq or Afghanistan - we MUST stay the course and greatly redouble our efforts.

The question is: which of these men truly understands how difficult the challenge ahead of us remains, how the dangers are growing - and which is willing and able to roll up his sleeves and get the job done right?

I think Kerry just might have shown that he is that man.