If you watched the same debate I watched last night then two words are imprinted on your brain: Ass Kicking.
Bush got his ass KICKED. Particularly during the first half hour when, as many have noted, he struggled to retain some semblance of composure.
Here’s a debate tip for the Chimp, free of charge: don’t yell at the moderator.
Sure, there were opportunities that Kerry missed. When Bush made his silly denial regarding his stake in a timber company it would have been helpful if Kerry, who had obviously done his homework, had named the company. But Olberman tracked it down, so it’s no big deal.
When Bush repeatedly claimed to have created 1.9 million jobs over the past thirteen months, Kerry could have said, “You’ve been in office for forty-five months, Mr. President, not thirteen.”
When the debate turned to healthcare, Kerry could have more explicitly reminded us that Mr. Bush has done nothing – nada – zip on health care during his term.
Finally, when Bush said:
So I tried diplomacy, went to the United Nations. But as we learned in the same report I quoted, Saddam Hussein was gaming the oil-for-food program to get rid of sanctions. He was trying to get rid of sanctions for a reason: He wanted to restart his weapons programs.
I would have liked Kerry to say something like, “So today you are saying we invaded Iraq because Saddam was gaming the Oil for Food program. Is that your final answer, Mr. President?”
That could have been the soundbite all the pundits were looking for.
In the final analysis, a very good showing by Mr. Kerry. He demonstrated mastery of the issues, connected directly with the audience, was tough on Bush without appearing to be a bully, and showed that he is indeed presidential.
He’s two for two.