October 02, 2004


Al Gore’s advisors thought their man won the first debate in 2000:

Says Stuart Stevens, a Bush adviser then and now: "The Gore people were totally convinced they had won overwhelmingly. We were in a room next to them and we could hear them yelling and chanting."

Democrats charge that Bush was later perceived to have won due to better management of post-debate spin. They’re determined to avoid a repeat of that this year (by stacking online polls, among other things). Trouble for Kerry is, although many believe he won on the night --including right-wingers Damian Penny and Jay Nordlinger -- the post-debate battle may be fought (especially online) on what was actually said.

Bush is a stumbly, stalling speaker. He’ll lose any contest in which ease of communcation and style of presentation are paramount. But Kerry can’t win on content. No matter what position he takes, he’s bound to contradict one of his myriad prior positions. On Kyoto, for example, Kerry had this to say:

"You don't help yourself with other nations when you turn away from the global warming treaty."

But in 1997 Kerry voted for a resolution that would not approve a protocol that exempted developing nations or would do harm to the U.S. economy. During the debate, Kerry claimed that "nobody's talking about leaving [Iraq], nobody's talking about wilting and wavering, we're talking about winning and getting the job done right." But on September 6, Kerry had a different view:

"We want those troops home and my goal would be to try to get them home in my first term and I believe that can be done."

Kerry also denied an earlier line about lying:

LEHRER: You just -- you've repeatedly accused President Bush -- not here tonight, but elsewhere before -- of not telling the truth about Iraq, essentially of lying to the American people about Iraq. Give us some examples of what you consider to be his not telling the truth.

KERRY: Well, I've never, ever used the harshest word, as you did just then.

Yes, he has. All of this feeds into and builds on the established view of Kerry as a flip-floppin’ freak. Democrat yelling and chanting may again be premature.

UPDATE. A Kerry-supporting anti-war poli-sci class (big shock, I know) gives it to Bush:

Despite their left-leaning preferences, the students — to a person — admitted Thursday night that President George Bush, and not Kerry, came out the victor in the first presidential debate of the election season.

UPDATE II. Bush is also winning the crucial Halloween vote:

Since President Ronald Reagan's first victory, sales of rubber Halloween masks caricaturing the Republican and Democratic candidates have predicted the next president, according to an Internet costume seller. President Bush is leading this year.

UPDATE III. Mega-scandal alert! Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron typed up some lame Kerry gags that were mistakenly published at the Fox website. Within hours, a correction and apology was issued:

Earlier Friday, FOXNews.com posted an item purporting to contain quotations from Kerry. The item was based on a reporter’s partial script that had been written in jest and should not have been posted or broadcast. We regret the error, which occurred because of fatigue and bad judgment, not malice.

Joshua Myoolah Marshall apparently thinks this amounts to a right-wing version of Rathergate. Check out all the posts!

(Via Instapundit)

Posted by Tim Blair at October 2, 2004 06:51 PM

I'm trying to think of something nice to say about you Tim, but...

"Wanker Extraordinaire" will have to do.

You and your "He's a good friend of mine" faux connectedness. What a joke! They don't know you exist, Baby. And if you think they do, you're even more deluded than I thought possible.

You possess a healthy set of tonsils, no doubt: all the better to shout your opposition down. Don't mistake this for intellect.

As I said, "Wanker."


Posted by: Alcheringa at October 2, 2004 at 07:07 PM

Not you again Al,groan.
On topic,I wonder if this election will change the way future candidates view their a chances of bullshitting the electorate.Maybe Kerry will become an object lesson in Political Science classes "You can't treat people like dummies,because everthing you say will be recycled quickly"
In Australia Latham hasn't submitted his grand vision for costing by Treasury and the press is more interested in his wife and him giving up use of Kirribilli House.I don't get it.

Posted by: gubbaboy at October 2, 2004 at 07:29 PM

Tonsils? Mine were removed in 1974. Check your facts, Alchy!

Posted by: tim at October 2, 2004 at 07:48 PM


a) All this person "no.email@please.com" is telling us is something about his or her own character.

b) What Kerry's flip-floppery tells us relates to his own character. Either he takes as his principles whatever happens to be currently popular and therefore he actually has no principles or he wants to deceive us about what his real principles are. Either way he is a dangerously poor candidate for what is probably the most important job in the world.

I would be astonished that in a country of so many hundreds of millions of people there was no one else the Democrats could put forward as their candidate but I know that advancement often goes to amoral self-promoters, particularly when what they say and do is not subject to much scrutiny. But the lights are on Kerry now just as they are on Mark Latham, a man who seems to suffer from the same kind of character flaws.

They won't do the right thing. I doubt that either of them believes there is such a thing as the right thing. There is only what is expedient for them. They'll do whatever they think it takes to get them what they want. Thank goodness they can't get it unless we give it to them.

"Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked." Proverbs 25:26

Posted by: Janice at October 2, 2004 at 07:57 PM

You know who Alcheringa reminds me of?

Imagine you're having a great party, lots of friends, drinks, congenial chats with members of the opposite sex.

Unfortunately there's some git staggering around the room yelling obscenities and generally getting in the way of everyone else having a good time. You and your housemates look at each other and ask simultaneously, "Is he your friend?"

Eventually he has to be manhandled out to a taxi, all the while saying, "Fuck you dickhead, it was a shit party anyway!"

Posted by: Quentin George at October 2, 2004 at 08:13 PM

Alchy, what a rude tone to take with your host.


MSM says John Kerry wins all three debates.

History says W. wins 2004 Presidential election.

Posted by: Thomas at October 2, 2004 at 08:17 PM

I've heard the term before of course, but just what does wanker mean?

Forgive my ignorance, but I am an American and as I'm sure you've heard we cant be bothered to understand other cultures.

If I had to guess I would say its someone who compulsively maturbates, am I right?

Posted by: Thomas at October 2, 2004 at 08:23 PM

"If I had to guess I would say its someone who compulsively masturbates, am I right?"
Technically correct Thomas, but here in Oz the term is frequently misused by the illiterate, the ignorant and the inarticulate who mistakenly believe it to be a term of affection.

Posted by: Boss Hog at October 2, 2004 at 08:31 PM

Thanks Boss, mystery solved.

Posted by: Thomas at October 2, 2004 at 08:34 PM

I think Kerry won the debate, if winning is defined as "seemed presidential, confident, like a character on West Wing" as opposed to "seemed irritable, seemed prematurely aged by his experience as president, ran hot and cold, a couple of times openly scoffed at the clueless shit he was hearing."

The problem for Kerry is that he laid himself a couple of depth charges. "Global test" is one but it's not the only one. After the Bush folks run commercials with a few of these lines in them, it's very possible that the final "winner" of this debate will change.

Posted by: Mike G at October 2, 2004 at 11:23 PM

You're mistaken in calling Damien Penny a "right winger" Tim. In his blog he has spoken out in support of Canada's gun registration, unfettered access to abortion and even !SHARIAH LAW! in Canada. That last one turned me off his blog forever. I'm not surprised to hear Damien thinks Kerry won the debate, style-over-substance is political reality in Canada.

Posted by: Arty at October 2, 2004 at 11:42 PM

My daughter just informed me that her history teacher is anti-Bush, yet he felt that Bush won the debate. The teacher could actually understand what Bush stood for, but could not identify Kerry's ideas or positions. People who think see the problem. People who don't, don't. What does this tell us about the Democratic base?

Posted by: Chris Hunt at October 2, 2004 at 11:57 PM

Did anyone else notice this?

"My fellow Americans, as I've said at the very beginning of this debate, both President Bush and I love this country very much. There's no doubt, I think, about that."

If it was intentional it was stupid and shameful. If it wasn't it means Kerry's qualifiers are entirely internalized. Essentially he's incapable of saying things flatly without dissembling. I think that is hilarious. What a schmuck.

Also, Bush won big because Kerry fed the flip-flop theme and took positions on Kyoto, North Korea, Iran and other things that are political losers.

Posted by: Kerry Is Unelectable at October 3, 2004 at 12:39 AM

A person who qualifies himself is much better than some megalomaniac on a "God speaks through me" trip who is so sure of himself being right on everything that he takes the whole country down the toilet.

Posted by: DigitalDjigit at October 3, 2004 at 04:22 AM

Bush was very clear about what he wants:

In Iraq, no doubt about it, it's tough. It's hard work. It's incredibly hard.

It's hard work. But, again, I want to tell the American people, we're doing everything we can at home

And now we're fighting them now. And it's hard work. I understand how hard it is. I get the casualty reports every day. I see on the TV screens how hard it is. But it's necessary work.

The plan says we'll train Iraqi soldiers so they can do the hard work, and we are.

It is hard work. It is hard work to go from a tyranny to a democracy.

You know, it's hard work to try to love her as best as I can, knowing full well that the decision I made caused her loved one to be in harm's way.

Yes, we're getting the job done. It's hard work.

We've done a lot of hard work together over the last three and a half years.

Clearly he wants to retire.

Posted by: bitter mastermind at October 3, 2004 at 04:44 AM

Fox did not issue a correction. They said the story was posted as a reault of "fatigue."

Fatigue? What? If you believe that is the truth, you are seriously in need of therapy.

Camerongate!!!!!!!! The cover-up is worse than the crime!

Posted by: mkultra at October 3, 2004 at 07:38 AM

Fox did not issue a correction.

What, pulling the story off the website, publicly regretting the error and admitting that it "should not have been posted or broadcast" in the first place don't count? Go back to Marshall's place, please.

(Before anyone thinks I'm just missing the sarcasm, google some of mkultra's other posts around the blogosphere...)

Posted by: PW at October 3, 2004 at 08:59 AM

Great to see that buffoon sheridan call the debate a draw yesterday.
Every poll in the US called it a decisive win for kerry-still what would 65 million US viewers know,compared to our national treasure?
And what a surprise that a debate on Iraq and national security would be a downer for bush,after all the war on Iraq is going so well.

Posted by: marklatham at October 3, 2004 at 09:21 AM

Digital Digit-

I have NEVER heard Mr Bush ever say he speks through God or vice versa
If he draws strength from his religious beliefs thats fine by me, beacuse at least he thinks before speaks and people who think as they speak tend to be a litle slower than people who orate throught their ass. In fact Kerry remindeds me of one of those adds for condoms wher the condom runs around waving its hands-and he even has excited us more by being a coloured condom. When you remove your digit you too can orate like Kerry

Posted by: Rose at October 3, 2004 at 07:08 PM

Digital Digit-

I have NEVER heard Mr Bush ever say he speaks through God or vice versa.
If he draws strength from his religious beliefs thats fine by me, beacause at least he thinks before speaks, and people who think as they speak tend to be a little slower than people who orate throught their ass. In fact Kerry remindeded me of one of those adds for condoms where the condom runs around waving its hands-and he even has excited us more by being a coloured condom. When you remove your digit you too can orate like Kerry

Posted by: Rose at October 3, 2004 at 07:11 PM

Beazley won the 2001 Election Debate.

Kim Beazley is presently sitting on the Opposition Front Bench, he is not, nor has he ever been PM.

Perhaps this indicates how influential a debate is?

Posted by: Sheriff at October 3, 2004 at 11:34 PM

Here's another good site to watch the video
kerry's busted! :-)


The Daily Recycler: Winners Never Cheat

Right click on video while it's playing and select
ZOOM > Full Screen

Posted by: Linda at October 4, 2004 at 07:18 AM