This being a wartime prezdint thing is just so darn frustratin'
George is frustrated. See it here.
He Held His Own
Sen. John Kerry held his own against President Bush in last night's foreign policy debate in Florida. Kerry held a commanding presence on that stage, coming across as authoritative and (most importantly) presidential. I, personally, would have gone after Bush a little more...calling him on his failure to fight this war competently, having squandered any credibility he has as U.S. President. But still, I think Kerry succeeded in undermining Bush's attempts to paint the Democrat as weak. In fact, as CBS, ABC, and CNN report, an overwhelming number of undecided voters seem to favor Kerry's performance last night. NBC gathered six undecided voters and at the end of the night every single one of them said Kerry had the strongest night.
President Bush on the other hand...well...could he have been more smug? My gawd! The cut away shots showed him rolling his eyes, grimacing, and looking exasperated that he had to be there to answer questions. His performance was very similar to Al Gore's in the first debate four years ago when the then-Vice President rolled his eyes and sighed heavily at then-Gov. Bush.
The President seemed out of it at times as well, getting caught up in major pauses and glaring syntax problems (what is a "mexxed missage," anyway?).
If I were an undecided voter, waiting to hear what the candidates had to say about the most important issue in this most important election, I honestly don't know how I'd be able to cast a vote for the incumbent after last night.
Is this where things turn around for John Kerry? We won't know until after the weekend. But one thing is for sure: Kerry should enjoy the glow and then get right back out there and give it every last ounce of energy he has between now and November 2nd. There is still work to do, and with a little luck he'll reach the magic 270 threshold in the Electoral College, sending George W. Bush back to Crawford.
More eloquent analysis of the debate from some of my favorite bloggers: Andrew Sullivan, Mathew Gross, and - of course - Kos.
I'll close with Ezra Klein's take on last night's showdown:
Tonight, for the first time in a number of years, George Bush the individual -- a wholly different creature from the stage-managed president -- was forced to face his times. And the truth is that George isn't cut out for these times. He's not a capable war leader. His moral clarity is a kind term for simplicity, not a synonym for vision. His straight talk is all there is, he's not obscuring a capacity for complexity that he chooses to obscure for the sake of uninformed audiences. Tonight, George Bush was by turns petulant and belligerent, and by all accounts lacking. But the truth is that this is how George always was, the lie will be the conservatives who attempt to spin this into a single bad night. That Bush has turned in better performances before is all part of the problem. The Emperor, after all, has a coterie of very fine tailors. It's just that they insist on making clothes that are far, far, too big for him.Amen, Ezra!
It's Hard Work
Bush said it at least seven times tonight. Seven times he mentioned how hard it is to be President and, gosh darn, all the hard work they've done.
Is that why you need a month off in August?
More vacation than any other President? Ever.
Why do you want the job?
It is hard work. And you certainly haven't done much of that in your life.
Real Moms, Real Voices...Real Votes
If this doesn't throw the "security mom" vote to John Kerry, then I am at a loss as to what will. Another link here.
Another Republican for Kerry
John Eisenhower, son of President Dwight Eisenhower, is endorsing John Kerry for the presidency. It is his first Democratic vote for president. The link and some commentary here.
The Hapless, Hopeless Kerry
Good GOD, man!
This morning on ABC's Good Morning America, John Kerry blamed his "I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it" soundbite on fatigue after a long day of campaigning.
"It was a very inarticulate way of saying something and I had one of those moments late in the evening when I was tired in the primaries and didn't say something clearly."Only thing is...the rally in which he said was held in the middle of the freekin' day!
It's time for the Senator to make his "come from behind" run for victory. The polling numbers will make their final shifts and then start to cement following Thursday's foreign policy debate.
This is a debate that Sen. Kerry should win going away. He needs to stand toe-to-toe with the President and call Mr. Bush on his failings. But when Kerry keeps making gaffes like the one this morning on GMA (and thus handing the Rove-Bush machine free material), I wonder if he really has it in him.