Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Debate III: It's Bush!

It's all over but the crying...

The President was very good tonight. John Kerry was John Kerry. If there is one thing that sets these men apart it's the realness of George W. Bush. He is no idiot and despite what the Bush haters think this is a man with a great big heart. John Kerry may have a human heart (and he almost showed it tonight) but he so damn full of himself (and his "plans") that he is really not a likable person; you might say he comes off as a know-it-all.

On the substance, I think Bush really scored big on the more personal questions. One can credit Senator Kerry with having all those facts and figures at his fingertips but we are not just judging the man on his command of statistics we are trying to see what kind of man he is on the inside. President Bush is actually quite humble and suprizingly optomistic. Deep inside Kerry is a know-it-all... Did I say that already?

Senator Kerry really struggled on the "man of faith question" which was a gift to President Bush from Bob Schieffer, the moderator. Bush literally ducked the question on the assault weapons ban and the minimum wage. Clearly these were the low points for the President. One, raising the minimum wage question, is a complicated issue that while seeming only fair actually backfires on the people it's supposed to help out there in the real world. Everyone who knows anything about Washington economics knows it's bone for the labor unions who use it as the base for their contracts. Still, that being said, the President should have said something. On the assult weapons ban he gave a weak answer - something about "it wasn't going anywhere in congress".

Senator Kerry threw a really uncalled for jab at the Vice President regarding the fact that Cheney's daughter is homosexual. Ms. Cheney never made her sexual orientation an issue in this campaign and it was shameful the way both John Edwards and John Kerry used it to perhaps try to hurt the President with the far right of the party. Senator Kerry, again failed to answer how his health care "plan" could be anything other than a govenment run health plan. Bush hammered him on the very real fact that when the government starts offering plans more and more employers will stop offering healthcare coverage. Bush also correctly pointed out that with the government funding for healthcare that government control will not be far behind. He made references to how other nations with governement controlled healthcare offered poor quality and eventually rationing. Kerry was on the defensive more than once, assuring the American people it wasn't a government takeover of healthcare. Bush asked, why after 20 years in the Senate that Kerry never put up a bill on the healthcare issue, not one. Kerry had no answer. The President, again offered some real ideas on how to lower healthcare costs.

Bob Schieffer held Kerry to account on the Social Security reform question. The Senator said he wouldn't touch it (he actually said taxing the rich would take care of it) while the President emphatically said that the cost of doing nothing would be far greater. The President said it would be a major focus in his second term and that he is willing to take on the issue.

I realize as a Bush supporter I have a biased take on the debate, but honestly I don't see how it could be anything less than a draw if not a clear Bush win. Whatever... November 2nd is the only poll that will matter. The next few weeks should very interesting.