Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Emperor Has No Clue

When the New York Times’ resident Bush apologist David Brooks calls the debate a tie, you know John Kerry cleaned the President’s clock! Every online media Instant-poll gives Kerry a lopsided victory in tonight’s debate. However, conspicuously absent from the on the spot, Gallup Poll model, pulse taking of the American electorate? Maybe, a certain biased cable news network, none to happy about a poor performance from President Resolute?

The pre-debate spin from the White House was that Bush would explain and clarify his Iraq policy and how it fits as central to the war on terror. He would then attack Kerry’s supposed shifting views – none of that happened. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough was wrong (again), when he declared Bush won the first half-hour. Kerry won it, and became visibly and oratorically more confidant, as a result.

Bush’s performance, made clear the ‘plain spoken’ appeal to me. Who else but a bunch of ignorant trash that sits in the hot sun all day watching cars circle a track, could be happy with such a dimwit as President? Seeing that, four years later, the stakes and dangers are much higher for this country, should we now opt for the guy with a firmer grasp of the details?

News Hour’s Jim Lehrer asked the right questions, just as Bush should’ve demanded a 30-minute debate limit. It was very clear that with his enormously limited capacity for retaining information, he would always be at the mercy of the boys from RoveVision to anticipate the moderator’s questions. He obviously had stated, somewhat detailed bullet points prepared for emphasis, custom-made per general topic. In addition, he had ‘emphatic mantras’ (for example, ‘hard work’ he repeated 11 times), to show toughness and give the networks multiple shots at a useful soundbite.

And, what does it say about your debating prowess, when you regurgitate copy from your own campaign commercials? I never thought Will Ferrell’s impression of Bush #43, was close as Dana Carvey’s impression of Bush #41, yet it was nonetheless, always hilarious. But, after Bush’s performance tonight, I need to rethink that. Here are some of the things I wrote down about Bush’s presentation: redundant; tenuous grasp of facts; glibly incredulous; vapid empathy, and disingenuously shrill.

At times, Bush didn’t even fill his suit, let alone the armor fit for the Commander In Chief. Plus, the lighting beaming off the front of his podium, produced a noticeable (and annoying) bright glint, in contrast to the solid, dark hue camera shot, of Senator Kerry. This passage is from a pre-debate post I never finished:


Media Matters has done the usual thorough job of accurately handicapping the first Presidential Debate, while putting it in its proper context. While I confidently rely foremost, on the personal impressions I gleamed from John Kerry’s appearance on Meet The Press, and George Bush’s appearance with Tim Russert.


The Kerry camp was so concerned that the media get it right, that post-debate, I was emailed this link from Mary Beth Cahill.


These were the kind of performances I expected, hoped for, and believe will have an enormous impact on this election.

Posted by Bert M. Caradine at October 1, 2004 1:08 AM