Debate Take

From Holden:

Obviously, Edwards is the more likable of the two candidates. He looks bright and cheerful yet serious about the job ahead. Cheney looks old and broken, and more than a bit snarly.

Edwards, while hitting a few weak spots with tremendous skill, missed several golden opportunities (granted, Cheney has so many weak spots it’s hard to hit them all in 90 minutes).

Mentioning Halliburton’s business ties to Iran and Libya on Cheney’s watch, as well as the fraud conviction and bribery allegations, was great. I noticed Cheney’s ire rising during that bit. But he should have pressed on and mentioned that a European subsidiary of Halliburton sold oil field equipment to Saddam while Cheney was CEO. And what about Halliburton taking their headquarters to the Cayman Islands while Dick was the boss? What, no mention that Cheney still receives a paycheck from his old corporation, or those 200,000+ stock options?

When asked by the horrid Gwen Ifill if he posessed enough experience for the job he missed the opportunity to say that he has more experience at this stage in his life than the Bushboy did when he was selected.

And how can you debate Cheney and not throw his “welcomed with open arms” and “we know Iraq has a nuclear weapon” quotes back in his face?

Of course, Edwards won because the facts are on his side. I suppose I shouldn’t complain, but the opportunities were many. And the jabs? Fewer than I had hoped.

On Gwen Ifill: Worst Modrator Ever. She asked some really lame questions, many straight out of Ken “Please Don’t Out Me” Mehlman’s playbook. She lost track of who should receive the next question twice, and flubbed by giving Cheney both the first and last questions of the debate. She favored Cheney by giving him the extra 30 seconds for a response after Edwards’ rebuttal more often than she did so for John, and complained childishly when Edwards failed to address a question, a tactic Cheney used throughout the debate. She was horrible.