Kerry just kicked Bush's behind. My unofficial tally of good points (minus the 6 1/2 minute trip to the laundry room):
TKO, in my opinion.
Bush was very defensive and repetitive. Oh so, repetitive. I'm pretty sure he thinks the war on terror is "hard work" and that Kerry sends "mixed messages." Kerry talked circles around him. If you scored this purely on debating skills Kerry whupped behind.
Major kudos for John Kerry mentioning our insane desire for bunker busting nuclear weapons. That news almost gave me a stroke the first time I read that. Did Bush's supporters notice that he thinks nuclear proliferation is bad and that his administration wants to start new research on bunker busting nukes? Talk about your mixed messages.
One thing that chaps my hide is Bush's assertion that to even debate his decisions sends the wrong messages to our troops and the world. Hey, fellow American, it's called a fucking election and your decisions are being questioned. Defend them without looking so...defensive. I mean, Kerry could say to Bush "you shouldn't be so hard on me because if I win then it would look bad to the world that my opponent said such harsh things about me."
I was amazed by how directly Kerry called the Iraq war a "colossal mistake" and Bush didn't react as strongly as he should have if he believed in his policy. Has such strong language been used about such an important issue before in a presidential debate before? Probably, but it felt good.
I also thought it was good that Kerry was able to point out that he voted for the authorization to use force and did not vote for the war as Bush stated. I was hoping he would get that point out there. I think that Bush making that statement is very misleading. Not truthful. Not a lie, of course, just not within the full confines of a true statement. Of course if Kerry had more balls and had opposed the war from the start like he should have he would have a stronger leg to stand on. And since we're doing a Truth Watch here the cost of the Iraq war is right now around $120 billion, and not as Kerry stated, $200 billion. But I guess $200 billion is right around the corner. Why would you do that? Isn't $120 billion a big enough number? According to the Guardian UK, both candidates did a little fudging of facts tonight.
One thing I found curious, if I heard this right, is Kerry asserted that we should begin bilateral discussions with North Korea. Bush said we couldn't because it would disrupt the discussions between N. Korea and China and others. I think Kerry said we could and should do that because we have a treaty with North Korea from the Korean War and we have that right. Did I hear that right? Walt, do you know? You're a history guy, you should have the goods on that.
I thought tonight's debate was really important and I think Kerry's performance should help close any gap there is between Bush and Kerry. If there is a gap. Polls are crap.