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This article provides details. Anyone know what the format will be?

I hope it will not be as freewheeling as the Canadian federal debate. But since there will only be the two of them on stage, and because the stakes are so much higher, I can't believe either would be so foolish as to interject constantly.

US debates are sometimes good.

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If what I have seen about the negotiations is correct, I do not think the debates will tell us much. The number of constraints and forbidden areas is a mockery as far as telling the people where the candidates' platforms are heading.

I understand why Presidential rivals are reluctant to allow debates to be "free-wheeling; after the Kennedy using classified information to attack Nixon. However, the format is a gift to Bush who could not hold a candle to Kerry in open debate.

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Dear August1991,

I am personally hoping for 'pistolas at 20 paces' but I don't seriously think GW Bush can hold his own without pre-scripted 'help'. After seeing a few 'behind the scenes' or 'after the take is thought to be over' looks (some admittedly from Fahrenheit911) at Bush, I don't think the administration would welcome any sort of deviation from what his speechwriters provide.

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You gotta love the States:

President Bush yesterday labeled rival Sen. John Kerry a political opportunist whose ever-changing positions undercut the Democrat’s aspirations to be the nation’s leader.

“He probably could spend 90 minutes debating himself,” Bush said with a chuckle as he addressed supporters inside a cavernous structure typically used for agriculture shows.

US Paper

Whatta country!

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What a friggin' disaster of a candidate Kerry has turned out to be. Why can't someone light a fire under his ass so he comes out swinging in the upcoming debates? I mean folks, what does this clown got to lose?

That's why I always thought all that talk about Nader's candidacy damaging the Democrats is absolute BS.

The Democrats have destroyed themselves by choosing such a dickhead to carry their colours into the arena. Kerry acts like he is in love with Bush. :rolleyes:

At least Dean was a bloddy contrast to Bush:

The Myth of Corporate Accountability

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What a friggin' disaster of a candidate Kerry has turned out to be. Why can't someone light a fire under his ass so he comes out swinging in the upcoming debates? I mean folks, what does this clown got to lose?

Well, given that Kerry is still within a few points of Bush in the polls (most polls have him withing 3 points), I don't see what the fuss is about.

Still, Bush wil be declared the winner of the debate, whethe rhe wins it or not.

So sayeth Krugman.

Let's face it: whatever happens in Thursday's debate, cable news will proclaim President Bush the winner. This will reflect the political bias so evident during the party conventions. It will also reflect the undoubted fact that Mr. Bush does a pretty good Clint Eastwood imitation.
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At least Dean was a bloddy contrast to Bush:

Dean was the only decent candidate they had. Not very articulate I think, but at least he had an alternative point of view.

I would agree with Bush on his views of Kerry and I would go even further. I would say that the Democrats were very opportunistic when they elected Kerry. IMO, the ONLY reason he won was because of polls indicating he could challenge Bush. They are gonna pay for it now because it is better to go with the devil you know than...

Bush will win these debates if he is aggressive. He was actually pretty well spoken right after 911 in NY when he said something like "I hear you and pretty soon the people who did this will hear you too". He is not that bad at debating when he is on the offensive but he absolutely sucks when he tries to be extra compassionate and caring. Simply put, it is just not him. IMO, that is when he tends to really screw up.

He is no good with scripts either. When he strictly follows these speeches, he looks like he had a lobotomy.

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I was amazed how well everything went considering all of the regulations that they were fighting about. I do not think anyone scored a knockout blow. Anyone think that they demonstrated huge differences in their approaches?

Overall, not a bad debate but the domestic policy debate should be better.

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Among a random sample of 531 registered voters who watched the debate, 45 percent called Kerry the winner, 36 percent said it was Bush, and 17 percent called it a tie. It was a clean win for Kerry: Independents by a 20-point margin said he prevailed.

Instant reaction ABC News

I haven't paid much attention to the US election so I was happy to listen to the two candidates. If I were an American, I'd feel the debate was informative.

It made me even more embarrassed about the debate circus we had.

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At least Dean was a bloddy contrast to Bush:

He sure was. YEARGH!

Dean was the only decent candidate they had.  Not very articulate I think,

Says you. YEARGH!

but at least he had an alternative point of view. 

...can't argue with that. YEARGH!

Bush will win these debates if he is aggressive.  He was actually pretty well spoken right after 911 in NY when he said something like "I hear you and pretty soon the people who did this will hear you too".  He is not that bad at debating when he is on the offensive but he absolutely sucks when he tries to be extra compassionate and caring.  Simply put, it is just not him.  IMO, that is when he tends to really screw up.

He is no good with scripts either.  When he strictly follows these speeches, he looks like he had a lobotomy.

I actually disagree with most of what you said here. Bush is at his best when he's talking about caring and compassion-- the segment tonight when he was talking about his meeting with the soldier's widow during his response to the "is it worth it?" question was probably his strongest point of the whole evening. Likely, it was thoroughly rehearsed, but I do think he came across as sincere. Likewise, his speeches in the wake of 9/11 were probably the high point of his career, and again he came across with great sincerity. And a few weeks ago during the Republican convention, I could actually see a glimmer of what his supporters see in him. He does have some charm, and in that environment, full of supporters and with no hostile questions anywhere in sight, he was in his comfort zone and his connection with the live audience was almost tangiable.

Bush's weak spot, and it was obvious tonight, is in thinking on his feet. He's just not good at thinking and talking at the same time. (many would suggest he's not good at thinking, period; that's another debate. :) ) There were a number of instances tonight where it seemed like Bush was struggling to remember which catch-phrase his handlers had prepared for that topic.

Kerry, on the other hand, seemed extremely assured throughout; I agree with the poll that says he won the debate, although whether it has much impact on the election is kind of doubtful.

-kimmy

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I was amazed how well everything went considering all of the regulations that they were fighting about.

I'd say that the format was a help and not a hinderance.

I haven't paid much attention to the US election so I was happy to listen to the two candidates. If I were an American, I'd feel the debate was informative.

It made me even more embarrassed about the debate circus we had.

Indeed. Although, if Bush and Kerry had a clown like Layton on stage with them, this would have probably turned into a zoo too.

-kimmy

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Guest eureka

I think that the debate was farcical if it is looked at as a debate on issues. The format allowed only the repetition of the positions taken by the candidates in their camoaigns. There was realy no debate, only snippets of speeches.

However, that allowed Kerry to be heard and, showed him to be far superior to Bush. Bush was the incoherent, inflexible autamaton we have come to know. Kerry should have done better though. Theopportunities to be more direct were there and Bush could have been taken apart at many points. The format was too consrictive for a proper destruction.

That said, I also believe that the debate may not have too great an impact on the campaign. The American people are frightened and are likely to stick with the one who assures them that he will remain on the offensive and give them more of the Patriot Act. They are in no mood for flexibility or for thinking about world affairs.

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think both Kerry and Bush came off well. I haven't seen a US presdiential debate as good as this one. Both were calm and expressed themselves well.

I'm not sure you were watching the same debate I was. Kerry came off as confident and assurred in contrast to Bush's hunched, stammering delivery.

My favorite moment was just before the closing statements when Bush completely zoned out and had to be guided back to the topic by the moderator.

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I thought it was great. It showed Bush as the unthinking buffoon that he is, if he had said "It's gonna be hard work" one more time.... He speaks only in sound bites that his handlers come up with, completely incapable of free thought......

By contrast, it showed Sen. Kerry as a real statesman that would lead the US with courage, resolve and a conscience.

I can only hope that the US population saw it that way as well.

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LOL I can just imagine you sitting on your couch watching the debate shakey. Sitting there, your hands shaking with rage, thinking "I hate him, I hate him, I hate him". lol You and Michael Moore.

Anyway I think Kerry came off better, looked more Presidential, more articulate. I was surprised that Bush wasn't more comfortable like in 2000 when he beat Gore. We'll see how it affects the polls. Paul Martin got creamed in our debates but still won. However, Americans are more open minded so we'll see.

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I caught the tail end of the debate.

Position Status:

So you see Kerry was “inconsistent with his inconsistencies” and doesn’t seem have an intimate relationship with his libido.

Bush to Kerry: on Iraq

So like now we both saw all the information and you voted to align with measures taken, and now you decided you really did not like how we both proceeded.

Analysis:

So now Kerry inordinately clings to Bush’s I-raq, you broke, pocketing the wrong ball i.e. guarding the oil ministry instead of the nuclear sites etc.

Discrepancies unravel:

So yes if Kerry still has this gaping love hunger for powers then Bush present a strong presence and a determination of who will stick around to finish a fight.

General Conclusion:

Sorry to the psychology folks but when normal eroticism emerges, the people will go toward Bush.

Well thats what I saw

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I listened on the radio to the first hour of the Friday, 8 October debate in Missouri.

IMHO, Kerry did best. There were many instances where I thought Bush could have better responded. He didn't.

At times, I thought Kerry was too slick. "I have a plan" Kerry always said. I was expecting Bush to respond that Kerry has a "Five Year Plan, like the Soviets". Bush never said that. Instead, Kerry kept talking about his "plan".

In the American context, on foreign issues, I don't know if Bush lost votes by seeming to be uncooperative. Kerry said he would work better with allies. Is Kerry's line a vote winner?

And in the States, who has better credibility on taxes? Is Kerry "tax and spend"? Is Bush "tax cuts for the rich"?

Overall, I think Kerry bested Bush. Ordinary Americans are looking for an alternative and the debate showed that Kerry doesn't seem to be a dangerous choice.

[Note: My election choices are always wrong.]

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Guest eureka

I would have just about the same assessment. I was surprised at Bush, though. I was not at all impressed with his "facts", but I was surprised at the command of them he displayed.

I think that, as in the last debate, Kerry did not push home scoring blows.

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Early polling says it was a virtual draw.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/10/09/...main/index.html

I thought Kerry clobbered him again; but of course I'm not the average US voter.

One interesting point was made during the post-debate analysis. The newsman noted that Bush came out more feisty, more combative, more energetic. His comment was that if you were already behind him, you probably liked that... but those traits might not play as well to the undecided.

People look for different things in a debate. Trying to determine who "won" is difficult because different things will score with different viewers. Whether the debate has an impact in the election depends on what the undecided voters thought... and it also depends on how it played in different states. From the last election we know that the US Electoral College system comes into play... Kerry winning undecided voters isn't enough unless the undecided voters are distributed so as to swing some of the states that went Bush in the 2000 election.

I also (and this is painful for me) have to admit this: I am a snob. I am often unconvinced if Joe Average Voter is going to think critically about things as many of us on these message boards do. Many of the lines used in these debates and these campaigns seem crafted to appeal to dumb people. I tend to wonder how much impact this sort of thing has with real voters.

-kimmy

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I think this one goes to Bush. He finally came out swinging and hit Kerry on his record. Bush needed to get his butt kicked in the first one to make him mad but this time he wasn't so nice. Bush even slammed Kerry in domestic policies. But I think you're right Kimmy, Joe Average goes more for the smile and polish so who knows. I'm not sure the polls can be correctly relyed on. Aparently Terry McAuliffe and the 527's are encourageing all the Bush haters to vote in all these on line polls and linking their web sites too them. Although there's always the disclaimmer that they're "not scientific" people buy into them.

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Guest eureka

That is why, Kimmy, I feel that Kerry is squandering his opportunity. His expressions need to be dumbed down a little. Sometimes, I think his language and nuances - though not cerebral in the debates, are just a little above the Average head.

He needs to call a lie a fib, not a decaption.

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