The Vice Presidential Debate

Some off the cuff remarks about what we just watched.

1. It became stunningly clear that John Kerry’s global test comments last week were a terrible strategic move. John Edwards was backed into an indefensible corner on those remarks. They were dumb comments that Edwards looked foolish trying to defend.

2. George Bush clearly needs to learn the art of image from VP Cheney. The side shots of Cheney showed him in control and almost eager to respond, not irked and jumpy. Edwards spent way too much time writing, one of the reasons I had to switch from C-Span to another channel. There was not that much going on that notes needed to be taken.

3. The shot of the night was definately Cheney's reference to Edwards as Senator Gone. The mentioning that the first time they met was on stage tonight was a massive blow witnessed by millions. Very effective. The second biggest was when Cheney put Edwards on the run by exposing his use of a loophole that saved Edwards $ 600,000 from Medicare. Edwards looked panicked when that was mentioned. Again very effective. More on that story here.

4. Cheney made a few tactical mistakes. He should have nailed Kerry more on the Iraq comments although he was pretty effective by pointing out that Kerry's campaign did nothing but mock people that would be critical to Kerry should he win in November. Cheney also should have hit Edwards harder on the $200 billion lie about the cost of the war.

5. Edwards made the Michael Moore mistake by blaming everything possible on President Bush and Halliburton. After the first 30 references the point was lost. They will never learn that less is more. It was less of a reasoning as to why to vote for us then pointing out that they are not the evil President Bush.

6. When the moderator asked Edwards why people should be confident in him should he have to assume the presidency, the proper response should have been: " Everyone should know by now that I should have been the nominee instead of John Kerry." Edwards is a decent guy, he is just falling into the Joe Lieberman trap and losing part of his credibility by having to defend a seriously flawed nominee.

7. Overall, Cheney did exactly what he needed to do. John Kerry was able to avoid completely last week his record in the Senate. Cheney put the issue right back on the table. The fight will be whether Kerry can convince the public that he is the "real deal' as he charges or if he is the Great Pretender that some have called him. Edwards came off decently, but people are going to see the stark contrast between the veteran and the rookie. Rookies may grow into great leaders down the line, but with a war on terror being the number one issue, there is a real need for a strong figure for a president to rely on.

Advantage Cheney.

Posted by Timothy Perry at October 5, 2004 11:31 PM