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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Final Debate Open Thread

Posted by DavidNYC

I don't have a TV where I am right now, so I'm perusing the blogs for coverage. What do you think so far?

UPDATE: Okay, I've got it on an NPR Internet feed. Did you just catch that weird moment where Bush said something like, "I don't think it's appropriate to quote major news organizations... well, nevermind." What was that all about?

Posted at 09:14 PM in General | Technorati


So far I'd say Kerry is doing a better job. He has been making a point to talk into the camera and give the impression that he is actually talking to us. Bush on the other hand seems to be only talking to the moderator.

Bush seems to be getting flustered a bit.

Posted by: Mathew at October 13, 2004 09:29 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I agree with everything Mathew writes. Kerry is more poised and definitely more focused in his responses. "Flustered" is a good adjective to describe Bush in this debate.

Posted by: pepe at October 13, 2004 09:43 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

At this point, Bush can't possibly be declared anything like a winner of this debate. And with no wins in three debates, that's a bad narrative for him.

Posted by: DavidNYC at October 13, 2004 09:46 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't think I've heard Bush say anything new. He keeps tossing out the same rhetoric regarding Kerry's voting record. Even when Kerry rebutts with different statistics. Granted, Kerry also says the same stuff he has based his platform on, but he seems to have the ability to apply it to each new question in a way that seems to fit better than Bush has done.

Posted by: Mathew at October 13, 2004 09:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Neither candidate is saying anything new. It's basically like two parrots repeating the same old tired phrases. But the Kerry parrot is doing a better job of articulation, and he just seems more composed and relaxed than the Bush parrot. Unless something happens to spice things up before its conclusion, this will wind up as by far the dullest of the three debates. My guess is it will have by far the smallest number of viewers, too.

Posted by: pepe at October 13, 2004 10:06 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Bush's closing statement was weak. Kerry's seemed a bit more inspiring.

Posted by: Mathew at October 13, 2004 10:30 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

This goes to Kerry because he says what he means. Kerry has a plan for everything, because that's what the president is supposed to do. I wish Bush would have a plan, but I guess that's too much hard work.

Posted by: Randy at October 13, 2004 10:39 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

From what I heard, I think Kerry did quite well. Bush did better than his previous debates - no yelling, at least, though without a TV, I couldn't see the scowling. But again I say, without a single clear-cut win, this is only good news for Kerry. And we haven't gotten Gored - not yet, anyway.

Posted by: DavidNYC at October 13, 2004 10:41 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Its not just the leaders that make and break a country. I feel the Democrats and republicns have a moral responsibilty to bring this country out of the current mess. Whoever leads this country next will need to lead even his opposition.
May the best man win!

Posted by: Sreekesh Menon at October 13, 2004 10:41 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The "major news organization" smart*ss remark was a dig at CBS over the memo fiasco.

I find it notable that W couldn't resist a dig at the moderator's employer.

Posted by: David in N.C. at October 13, 2004 11:03 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

KERRY WINS 52 TO 39 in the CNN poll.

Posted by: Randy at October 13, 2004 11:18 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

On points, Kerry takes the debate hands down. Bitch was essentially lying in probably a majority of his answers.

However, at this point in the election cycle, probably the most either candidate could have hoped for from this debate was to dampen the opposition to his candidacy. I think Kerry didn't do very well at this.

Kerry is the type of candidate that I personally prefer -- he knows his stuff and he makes reasoned decisions about things. But I suspect that for a lot of voters, they worry about him being a raw meat-eater with regard to looking out for them: they don't want justice; they want vengence; they don't want fairness; they want advantage. If Kerry could have shown some passion about any topic at all in the debate, I think it would have worked well for him.

Bitch (without difficulty, after his first two performances) raised his appearance of competence, and he did pretty well in spinning his response on the matter of religion into a statement of his "abiding faith in liberty." Looking under the hood, his whole line on this was just a re-iteration of his claim of presidential infallibility, but it probably did go to relieve people who were wondering where his religiosity might lead him.

Because I suspect that most voters will not be informed enough to know the extent of Bitch's miss-statements, and because Kerry didn't nail him to the wall over the very many issues over which he ought to have been nailed to the wall, I expect that Bitch helped himself very marginally more in this debate than did Kerry. It will be imperative on the Kerry campaign to make sure that people get out to vote and that they don't forget that, however well-meaning he may be, Bitch has been an abject failure as a president.

Posted by: Marsden at October 13, 2004 11:22 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I caught the CBS dig, and noticed Bush tried to crack several jokes.

I sure hope they outsource his idea of comedy.

Posted by: pollwatcher at October 13, 2004 11:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

You can all thank President Bush you're able to use this site. If it was up to you bunch of weenies we'd be writing in Arabic. Wake up! I can't beleive how stupid you Bush haters are.

Posted by: keith at October 13, 2004 11:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Bush's half-joke about not trusting two major news networks was a play to his base, which believe in "liberal media bias."

The fact that he couldn't eloquently deliver a one-liner ... oh well.

Posted by: David R. Mark at October 13, 2004 11:44 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Bush's base is as confused as he is right now.

He he really say he was pround that he worked with Ted Kennedy on funding education? This from the leader of a party that wanted to eliminate the Dept of Ed in the '90's?

Bush just wants to 'reduce' (not eliminate) abortion?

Bush thinks the borders are secure from immigrants and has a plan to give them jobs in the US?

Bush's base was given nothing tonight. They gotta be scratching their heads.

Posted by: Night Owl at October 13, 2004 11:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Kerry won 42-41 in the ABC poll, but Peter Jennings noted that, because of who they were able to get on the phone, Republicans represented 38% of those surveyed, vs. 30% Dems. Extrapolating, that would give Kerry a healthy margin of victory.

Posted by: David R. Mark at October 13, 2004 11:46 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

"You can all thank President Bush you're able to use this site. If it was up to you bunch of weenies we'd be writing in Arabic."

Oh yea, Gore and Kerry who both had the guts to go to Vietnam would have just rolled over to Bin Laden. The greatest liberal of all time FDR sure won the hell out of WW2, we won the cold war following the Truman Doctorine, Kennedy had nerves of steel dealing with the Soviet Bloc. What weenie party was saying "No war for Monica" when Clinton was attacking Al Queda? Guess the republicans didn't get the importance of fighting Bin Laden until afer 9-11. We need to get a democrat in office so we can prevent the next disaster instead of learn from it.

Posted by: Jocko at October 13, 2004 11:46 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Another debate win for Kerry. Bush seemed razed and confused at the start. He was making a bunch of weird faces. Bush basically kept spiting out false numbers and was focused on the past. Kerry was focused on the future.

Debate 1 - Kerry landslide
Debate 3 - Kerry strong win.
Debate 2 - Barely Kerry.
VP Debate - Tied.

Posted by: DFuller at October 13, 2004 11:47 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


This is a Democratic blog. No one told you to bring that nonsense over here. We would all be speaking Arabic if it wasn't for Bush? Give me a break. This country was never in danger of being conquered. I could go into more, but it is a waste of time.

A CBS poll of undecided voters had the following results:

Kerry 39
Bush 25
Tied 36

Posted by: matt at October 13, 2004 11:50 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think what keith was refering to was that, had Bitch not been president, education would be so much better in this country that we'd all be able to write proficiently in a foreign language such as Arabic.

Posted by: Marsden at October 13, 2004 11:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

HAHA Marsden. That was right on. Maybe Arabic is Bush's first language, which is why he can't speak english.

Posted by: matt at October 14, 2004 12:03 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

It is sad that Bush is using the state that ranks 48th in the nation in education as a model for the nation. All the teachers I have talked to in Texas hate the standardized testing system. Teachers are forced to teach test taking skills and not educate our youth.

I thought Kerry missed a golden opportunity at the start of the debate. Bush mentioned the possibility of importing some flu vaccinations from Canada. Kerry should have said ���I am confused. You are now trying to import flu vaccinations from the Canadians who have the dangerous drugs that you refuse to allow Americans to take.���

Posted by: DFuller at October 14, 2004 12:06 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Bush might speak Arabic. He has sure been in bed with the Saudi Royal Family all his life. Bush paid back the favors of all the millions that he lost from the Saudi Royal Family on September 13, 2001 by getting them out of the United States.

Posted by: DFuller at October 14, 2004 12:09 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

About this "writing in Arabic" - I'm just wondering what chars for numbers Keith might be using, if he insists on using nothing that came over from Arabia... ;-)

Ancient Roman ones? Like in: "Come on, theses are modern times, this ain't the dark age any more, we're now in the year of Our Lord And His Son, Our Savior Jesus Christ, MMIV A.D."? ;-)

Posted by: Bornheimer at October 14, 2004 12:11 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I am getting worried. Kerry is getting hit hard on the Cheney Daughter thing. I didn't think anything of it but god the way they are hitting it...This is not good. Kerry needs to say, no offense was meant. I apologize for using her...and then make a speech on gay rights or something...

Posted by: Michael at October 14, 2004 12:16 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Wow, you'd think we fought a full scale invasion versus a terrorist attack...

Actually, Keith I thank Thomas Jefferson who was one of the leading fighters for free speech in the constitution and supported the bill of rights. But hey, facts and history are on my side...All you have is irrationality and rhetoric.

Posted by: Michael at October 14, 2004 12:18 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think Kerry did awesome tonight.

I love how Bush kept trying the ol' education instead of jobs tactic.Typical of Bush, he is blaming the poor economy on someone else i.e. the stupid Americans. Sadly I think he is right to a certain extent. We let an incompetent run the country.

What saddens me most about the debates is that people judge them not on facts or content or message, but style. I was never on debate team, but is that how it is traditionally scored? Is there no scoring points for not lying?

Posted by: Mike at October 14, 2004 12:36 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Matt thanks for setting Keith strait. Did anyone catch the spit on the side of Bush's mouth? Guy's there are signs that Bush is in trouble. He did not have a response for raising the minimum wage. Bush responded to outsourcing with talk about education. Ohio doesnt want to here THAT!!!!

Posted by: godfrey at October 14, 2004 01:01 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Gallup poll results of the three debates.


Bush just drives me crazy with all his blatant lies.

1) The global test.
2) Kerry thinks War of Terror is just a nuisance.
3) I did not say that I no longer cared about where bin Laden is. That is a lie.
4) Strong supporter of Department of Homeland Security, 9-11 probe. (He fought both of them.)

Posted by: DFuller at October 14, 2004 01:11 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I missed the first half of the debate, but I thought that Bush did a bit better than in the other 2 [I'm in the minority that did not think the 2nd debate was any closer than the 1st one]. However, I also thought Kerry did his best job yet! He was more balanced, saying some nice things about Bush (not TOO many). The fact that he didn't take every possible opportuniaty to hammer the Pres. made him appear more likable and, more important, made his criticisms all the more credible.

Maybe it's wishful thinking, but unless something shocking happens in the next 3 weeks, I can see Kerry winning by a pretty good margin, with ALL the Gore states going his way PLUS Ohio, Missouri, Colorado (or part of it), Nevada, NH, . . . and MAYBE even Virginia, West Virginia, Arkansas and Florida. These states are all within striking range, so a moderate turn in the national tide toward Kerry could do it.

Posted by: Jason at October 14, 2004 01:33 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

As far as Kerry's mention of Mary Cheney, the attacks about this are just stupid. I can say that as a gay lefty independent (voting for Kerry). She is an openly gay activist in the GLBT movement. If she was closeted or this was only a rumor it would have been inappropriate, but in this context Kerry was making a point in a respectful manner. The attacks over this are just bullshit, and reveal a soft homophobia on the part of those objecting (it has to be a hush-hush subject, because it is a shameful thing to talk about).

Posted by: oddofme at October 14, 2004 04:14 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well, I've heard from nearly a dozen of my cyber opera friends on the final debate. They are all strong Kerry supporters, and they are well-educated, mostly living in large urban areas like NYC and Chicago, and they are mostly gay. Without exception they felt that last night's debate was either a draw or a win too small to have much significance for Kerry. I am in complete agreement with them.

Kerry clearly won the first debate, but the last two were a tie, as was the vice-presidential debate. That said, Kerry has proved that he can act presidential, and that is what has boosted his standing in the polls. Factor all of this together and Kerry comes out the "winner," though he wasn't able to deliver a KO after having Bush on the ropes after the first debate. On the heels of the debates the race looks as tight as ever with no clear outcome.

Posted by: pepe at October 14, 2004 07:03 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Obviously, I think that Kerry won. But Bush would have done a lot better if he had done two things. One, stop interupting the moderator. He did it again with Schieffer on a question about Roe v. Wade. And two, he should have wiped that stupid grin off his face. It didn't make him look personable and humble, it made him look like the Cheshire Cat. So I give Kerry the advantage here.

Posted by: Dale at October 14, 2004 08:13 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

obviously kerry won all the debates ,but this last one wash pretty much
a wash. he probably shouldn`t have made the lesbian remark, it didn`t go over well.the election will probably be a dead heat until election day and i get the feeling that this election will be stolen somehow.just feel that the republicans won`t allow kerry victory even if they have to steal it!

Posted by: joel at October 14, 2004 08:57 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Kerry definitely bested Bush in this debate. No question about it. I felt Kerry squandered many good opportunities in the second debate, given all the new information on jobs numbers and the Duelfer report that he chose to ignore or minimalize. This time, he was back to top form while Bush was missing opportunities to hit back hard. Kerry still missed a couple chances, including the "Canadian flu vaccines are safe but not their prescriptions" remark that someone else mentioned. I also think Kerry should have pointed out that the geographical warfare Bush is waging with his juvenile "Massachusetts liberal" remarks are emblematic of why this country has become so divided in this administration.

I did think the Mary Cheney remark was out-of-bounds. I cringed when it heard it, believing it was overkill and had the potential to come across as mean-spiritied. Is Kerry getting raked over the coals for this? The only place I'm hearing people cry foul is on the right-wing blogosphere. However, I think it was shrewd of Kerry to counter Bush's misleading "global test" and "my opponent thinks terrorism should be handled like prostitution" remarks with the big gun...that Bush said he wasn't that concerned with capturing bin Laden back in 2002. I would love to see that remark played over and over in a Kerry ad, because honestly Bush is gonna scare some Kerry-leaners if he sticks on his "Kerry's more liberal than Ted Kennedy" message, and every indication is that he will.

Nonetheless, I give Kerry a solid A- for his debate performance and most polls seem to confirm my reaction. Even Dick Morris thought Kerry won the debate. That's a big win!

Posted by: Mark at October 14, 2004 10:13 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Kerry probably should not have made the comment about Mary Cheney simply because the Republicans would mis-interpret it. I didnt' see anything wrong or nasty about it, although it would probably have been just as effective to point out that Cheney opposes the Constitutional Ammendment on this issue.

The ones who really made it a meme were MSNBC. Those 2 great defenders of gay rights, Scarboro and Buchanan were going on about it for half an hour. They asked every guest on what he or she thought about it. Naturally, they wanted to diver attention from the far more important Bush flap over Bin laden.

In any case, Mary Cheney is an activist. She's not in the closet. She's campaigning actively. She's not a young girl who needs protection.

Also, Lynn Cheney promptly came out and claimed outrage. So much for not using this for political reasons. Its as tawdry as anything Kerry might have said. I suspect the Republican counterattack on this topic is meant to appeal to swing voters who feel uncomfortable about anti-gay bigotry, and suggest that Kerry may be as bad.

[Andrew Sullivan, gay and fence-sitter, seemed to think the remark was perfectly OK, incidentally]

Posted by: erg at October 14, 2004 10:14 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I believe President Bush was referring to the Dan Rather, falsified documents issue.

UPDATE: Okay, I've got it on an NPR Internet feed. Did you just catch that weird moment where Bush said something like, "I don't think it's appropriate to quote major news organizations... well, nevermind." What was that all about?

Posted by: Chris Johnston at October 14, 2004 10:19 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

about Mary Cheney -- 'The only place I'm hearing people cry foul is on the right-wing blogosphere'

We do have right wing pundits crying foul as well. The New York Post played it on its front page today (as a side banner). Nothing else was important about the debate to them. Bush's lie about Bin Laden was not important, just this was important enough to put it on the front page. I wonder if these great defenders of gay rights will be equally forthright the next time Bush indulges in anti-gay bigotry.

Also, I think Kerry did get a good answer on guns in, saying he supports the 2nd Amendment, he's a hunter since 12 etc. The best way to defuse a bad issue for him. I believe that Al Gore would have won easily in 2000 if he had made a similar statement.

Posted by: erg at October 14, 2004 10:23 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Why do you all think Kerry won the debates? I will concede that in the first one Bush looked horrible. He scowled and that turns people off. Do any of you really believe the "stilish" verbal diarhea? Look at the guys record. You all would say Bush lost the debates no matter who he was debating. Democrats don't have there own platform. It's a anything but Bush platform. That scares the hell out of me. You all need to grow up.

But that's just my opinion.

Posted by: Tom at October 14, 2004 10:24 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

erg, you mention Pat Buchanan as a commentator criticizing Kerry's remark about Mary Cheney. Being a regular viewer of the McLaughlin Group, I'm not entirely convinced that Buchanan is even supporting Bush this time. The only way I could see PB voting for Bush is by hanging on the unlikely possibility that Roe v. Wade could be overturned. He regularly agrees with Kerry's positions on Iraq and on meat-and-potatoes economic policy. While I would never vote for Buchanan, I would honestly be more comfortable with him in the White House right now than George Bush, or most other current Republican power players for that matter.

Tom, as for the anybody-but-Bush comment, it's a proven fact that before you can start the rehabilitation process, you have to cut out the cancer. I actually am fairly impressed with John Kerry after watching him in the debates and will be enthusiastic in my vote for him...much more than I was for Al Gore four years ago, who was much more deserving of the flip-flopper label Kerry has been unjustly tagged with.

Posted by: Mark at October 14, 2004 10:40 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The Mary Cheney remark was pretty direct but I think it helps point out the Bush admin's hypocrisy on the subject.

Remember that it is THEIR base that claims homosexuality is an abomination before God ... let Bush explain to Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell why a lesbian activist is working on his campaign.

If Mary Cheney wishes to join a party that does NOT consider her to be an abomination, she is welcome to join our party.

Posted by: The Other Rob at October 14, 2004 10:45 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Another thing to consider about Mary Cheney is that Edward made an almost identical comment in his debate.

I don't think Kerry decided to take up the issue without getting some feedback on how Edward's comments played in Peoria ... I think they had a focus group or poll or something showing that Edward's comments were well-received by a targeted audience.

Posted by: The Other Rob at October 14, 2004 10:57 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Group, I'm not entirely convinced that Buchanan is even supporting Bush this time. The only way I could see PB voting for Bush is by hanging on the unlikely possibility that Roe v. Wade could be overturned. He regularly agrees with Kerry's positions on Iraq and on meat-and-potatoes economic policy.'

Mark -- I've read a number of Buchanan's articles over the last year. He was strongly anti-Iraq war, and he did write anti-Bush columns. After Kerry was nominated though, he seemed to have closed ranks behind Bush. For one, a Vietnam war protester probably rubs this old Nixonite the wrong way. A Catholic who supports abortion, at least some gun control, gay rights is anathema.

Also, on the IRaq war, Buchanan may have opposed it, but from a different perspective. Buchanan is an isolationist, Kerry an internationalist. Buchanan would also argue the Kerry positon is not that much different from Bush on Iraq.

On meat-and-potatoes-issues, Buchanan would probably support Kerry on outsourcing. But on taxes, he supports Bush.

Posted by: erg at October 14, 2004 11:03 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Are there really a significant number of people so bigoted that they would not vote for Cheney simply because he has a gay daughter ? I don't see that. I cant' see how the reference to Mary Cheney would get Kerry votes. I think it was risky. Kerry might have needed to say that in the first debate, when he was trailing, but now its a dead heat, he doesn't need to be risky.

Posted by: erg at October 14, 2004 11:15 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


This is why I know that Kerry won all three debates:

1) Is your opinion ��� more favorable, less favorable, or has it not changed much?

Debate 1 Kerry 46%/13%; Bush 21%/17%
Debate 2 Kerry 38%/20%; Bush 31%/20%
Debate 3 Kerry 42%/15%; Bush 27%/17%

2) Agreed with more of the issues you care about:
After Debate 1 Kerry 46%/Bush 49%
After Debate 2 Kerry 49%/Bush 50%
After Debate 3 Kerry 53%/Bush 46%


Posted by: DFuller at October 14, 2004 11:17 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Unless Mary Cheney is an embarassment to her family, what is the harm in anyone mentioning her?

And Lynne Cheney -- an absolute nut-job, by the way -- is really making an ass of herself by her bitching and moaning: if it was inappropriate, why draw so much attention to it? I guess she wants to be able to say that John Kerry is "not a good man" -- well, I'm beginning to wonder if someone else is not a good mother.

If the Bitch/Canine campaign had any sense, they'd have let the comment go, as indeed Dick "Potty-Mouth" Cheney had the sense to do in the Veep debate. If it's damaging, why repeat it? If it's not damaging, why complain about it?

It's as if people think that Mary Cheney doesn't realize that she's a lesbian, or is ashamed of it.

Posted by: Marsden at October 14, 2004 11:28 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I am an open minded, objective person. There is no way Bush won that debate last night. I can see an argument being made for a draw, but Bush simply did not win. Bush made a feeble (at best) attempt to explain job losses. Coming from a blue collar family, education is NOT going to help them accept the loss of their jobs. Not to mention a lot of those people see people like me, one with a college education, who has been forced to switch jobs four times in five years due to cut-backs, mergers, and downright criminal employers. Bush makes the argument that ownership is a way help the economy and healthcare. US citizens can't/won't save for their own retirement, how are they going to save for healthcare too. Not to mention that costs are up and salaries are down which should lead you to the conclusion that most families have less money to save. Yes, Bush is correct that homeownership is up sharply, but foreclosures are up even higher. That tells me that people are buying houses but still can't afford them.

His immigration policy is a joke. The whole we'll keep immigrants out of the US by giving the jobs and permission to enter the country is ridculous.

Posted by: Jason - Charlotte at October 14, 2004 11:53 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm gay, and I have to say that I find the right wing's sudden concern for the feelings of gay people and our families is very gratifying.

However, they changed direction so completely and suddenly that I think I've sustained a serious case of whiplash.

But before I head for the chiropracter, I'd just like to say that the remark is only a "low-blow" if:

1. You feel that it is shameful that Mary Cheney is a unashamed out lesbian.

2. You feel it is shameful that Republicans should have to actually confront the idea that their endless antigay rhetoric and policies actually has an impact on real people - perhaps even some real *Republicans*! (gasp).

I suspect that #1 may apply to Lynne Cheney (and not, oddly, to Dick Cheney), and both #1 and #2 apply to all the other right wing commentators about this issue.

Anyway, I'm off to the chiropracter safe in the knowledge that the Republican Party will be looking out for my interests in the future.

Posted by: Jim at October 14, 2004 12:11 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

"Look at the guys record. You all would say Bush lost the debates no matter who he was debating."

I wouldn't.

We're big boys over here; we know the difference between substance and rhetoric, and when we talk about a winning we are talking, primarily, about who had the better rhetoric.

The story of these debates, for me, was that Kerry was well prepared and controlled his rhetorical weak points -- verbosity, lack of coherence, blandness -- and Bush did not, showing us the same arrogance, shallowness and tongue-tied canadiate Kerry has wanted to run against from the beginning.

Also, as a seperate issue from the substance of his policies, the failure of his policies, and their habit of hemmorahaging high-level supporters who spill the beans (most recently Paul Bremer) create an enviroment that is very difficult for the incumbent to spin.

I think when we analyze this election in retrospect, the decision of the Bush people to expose their man only to closed, friendly audiences will be seen to have been a colossal mistake. Public speaking is one of those things you have to train your intuition for. Bush's performance -- especially all of those laugh lines that simply hung in the air and died -- reveals a lack of preparation for the task of speaking to uncommitted or skepitical votes. He needed practice at that, and he didn't get it.

Posted by: Robert Farrell at October 14, 2004 01:07 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Bush was obviously wired for all three debates and should be disqualified. As for the Mary Cheney comment, it was brilliant strategy by the Kerry campaign.

Posted by: Shar at October 14, 2004 01:27 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I disagree that the Mary Cheney comment was brilliant strategy. What we wanted the news to be today was videos comparing Bush lies about Bin laden about his original statement, not this non-issue.

Swing voters may think the comments about Mary are a low blow. Especially if they think she's a child (not a 31 year old), or if they think Kerry outed her (not true). Now its not clear to me why a generally solid comment about someone's family should sway a voter more than a President whose lies have cost us 1000+ lives, but it does.

Lynn's counter-attack may have hurt the Repubs more than it helped though. Lynn wants to play the angry mom, but her statement seems as political as Kerry's. [ Plus, someone will play her old clip denying her daughter's sexuality].

I think this meme will be gone by tomorrow, but we need to focus. Iraq, the economy, health care -- Kerry is better on every issue, thats where we need to focus.

Incidentally, if the Republicans indulge in any gay bashing at all in the remaining weeks and Lynn doesn't was indignant, it'll confirm in my mind that she's a witch (or something that rhymes with it).

Posted by: erg at October 14, 2004 01:48 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Jim, you are 100% right in your assessment of the Mary Cheney remark.

Posted by: DavidNYC at October 14, 2004 01:56 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I didn���t see anything offensive in either Mary Cheney remark.

Edwards 10/5/04: ���Now, as to this question, let me say first that I think the vice president and his wife love their daughter. I think they love her very much. And you can't have anything but respect for the fact that they're willing to talk about the fact that they have a gay daughter, the fact that they embrace her. It's a wonderful thing. And there are millions of parents like that who love their children, who want their children to be happy. ���

Kerry 10/13/04: ���We're all God's children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as.���

Posted by: DFuller at October 14, 2004 02:22 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Dfuller -- the issue is not whether its remotely offensive (of course, the Rethugs aren't going to play the whole remark), but whether Rethugs can play it as so. Thats why Kerry should not have said it.

Posted by: erg at October 14, 2004 02:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Getting down to terms:

By my reckoning, Kerry has 238 ECVs that he can be pretty sure of; Bush has 222 (including only 5 from CO, which is what I think he'd get if the ballot initiative there is passes and the SCOTUS doesn't invent some reason to reject it). The swing states, I think, are FL (27), OH (20), WI (10), IA (7), NM (5), and NV (5), NH (4), with 4 additional ECVs potentially in play in CO.

I think Kerry gets IA and NM with high likelihood, which means either FL or OH puts him over. I think Bitch gets NV with high likelihood, although outrage over the voter registration shenanigans might change this. Bitch mildly more likely to get WI, I think, although WI is one where very ephemeral issues could turn the election. The horrorshow outcome would be Bitch winning both FL and OH, with Kerry taking everything else and having 269 with CO still to be sorted out, and the CO ballot initiative passing. Then the SCOTUS decides the election, again, and it's pretty clear what they'll do even without getting into what the applicable laws are.

FL's most recent polls are by Strategic Visions and Mason-Dixon, both of which I think are strongly biased toward Bitch. Strategic Visions shows a 49/44 split in favor of Bitch over 10/4-10/6, which to me indicates pretty nearly a dead heat. Mason-Dixon shows a 48/44 split for Bitch over 10/4-10/5, with 3% for Nader. I think, though I've seen fewer Mason-Dison polls to get an idea of what the magnitude of their bias might be, that this is pretty nearly a dead heat indication as well. Bitch does seem to have picked up some support in FL through abandoning his "you're on your own" attitude long enough to seem friendly in the hurricane ravaged state, and we all know pretty well that the state election officials will do whatever they can for his cause. Still, 200,000 additional African Americans have been registered in FL in the last four years, and presumably not more than a few percent of their registrations have been deemed invalid for lack of the required redundancy requirement; and if only half of the 2000 Nader voters come to their senses, the Democratic Party should be starting from a position of advantage there, particularly given that a lot of Democratic voters are probably hopping angry about their prior disenfranchisement. Anyway, a lot of uncertainties in FL -- it could go either way, and probably will be ugly if the election turns on it.

OH has only recently begun to show a few poll results in favor of Kerry, and these by slim margins. Survey USA showed 49/48 for Kerry over 10/2-10/4, and ARG showed 48/47 for Kerry over 10/4-10/6. These, I think, are fairly unbiased polling operations. The Chicago Tribune showed 49/45 for Kerry over 10/8-10/11, but they don't have much of a track record. Strategic Visions give Bitch OH by 51/43 from 10/9-10/11, and this is even a bigger margin than I'm comfortable attributing to their bias, although it may be that they crank up their bias as the election gets closer. OH could go either way, which is why I'm going there this weekend to help canvass for Kerry/Edwards.

The best result for America would be for Kerry to take both OH and FL, and protect Messrs. Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, and Mme. O'Connor from disgracing themselves a second time.

Posted by: Marsden at October 14, 2004 02:47 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The biggest nightmare would be:

1) Kerry wins all "Gore" states but WI.
2) Kerry wins OH.
3) Bush gets North ME EV and Kerry gets 3 ME EV's.

Result 269-269

Posted by: DFuller at October 14, 2004 03:32 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

We haven't seen any Florida numbers for awhile. Hopefully, there will be some new polls from the state to help us figure out where Kerry stands after three debate victories. Expect anger in FL to rise in the next month as hurricane-ravaged homeowners start dealing with difficult insurance companies. Perhaps this is a longshot, but I could see this working to Kerry's advantage.

From the beginning, I've had a good feeling about Kerry's chances in Ohio. I wavered a couple weeks ago when it appeared the debate was gonna shift exclusively to Iraq, a boon to Bush in pro-war OH. Surprisingly, Kerry seems to have gotten a boost in the state anyway. I continue to like Kerry's odds in OH better than in FL.

I agree with another poster who said Colorado almost always disappoints, so I'm trying not to get myself too excited about a Kerry victory there. At this point, I'd be more than happy with a Ken Salazar victory, even though I find Salazar's ad invoking Osama bin Laden images to attack Pete Coors is as sleazy as when it was done to Max Cleland and Tim Johnson.

Wisconsin is a tough one. I'd say it's advantage Bush right now, but not outside the realm of possibilities for Kerry. It's curious that Wisconsin is still considered a battleground considering Kerry has seen several poll deficits worse than anything he's seen in Arkansas, which Kerry surrendered six weeks ago.

Posted by: Mark at October 14, 2004 03:51 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Quinnipiac had Bush by 8 in Florida a week back (after the first debate). Q is non-partisan, and generally good. Thats why I think FL may be trending away.

Posted by: erg at October 14, 2004 04:03 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

FL - Rasmussen shows Bush up by 3 points on their October 11th poll. ARG puts Kerry up by 2 points.

WI - Kerry has strengthened since the debates here. Gallup & Rasmussen has Bush up 3 points. Chicago Tribute has Kerry up 4 points.

Posted by: DFuller at October 14, 2004 04:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Quinnipiac's October poll of Florida had Bush ahead only 46-42 among registered voters.

46 percent does not seem like a lot of support at this stage.

Posted by: Jerome at October 14, 2004 08:24 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm not optimistic about OH, regardless of what the polls are saying. What the polls cannot show is how many religious and social conservatives who stayed home in 2000 are going to come out primarily to vote against gay marriage. OH is full of such people, and they will come out in huge numbers to discriminate against gays (just as they did in MO). And you can be sure that these same homophobic voters will also be casting a vote for Dubya, too. I was born and raised in OH, and in many ways it's the northern-most Southern state. By the way, similar amendments will be on the November 2nd ballots in the swing states of AR and OR--and maybe MI, too, based on the last news I heard from that state. No matter how one looks at this, this cannot be welcomed news for Kerry in those states.

Posted by: pepe at October 14, 2004 09:07 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I wrote "amendments" but I really meant "referenda" on gay marriage.

Posted by: pepe at October 14, 2004 09:10 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm new here and wanted to add some info regarding the Mary Cheney thing:

Lynne Cheney is an author who wrote a book called "Sisters" in 1981 that apparently has a feminist theme and lesbian subplot. Book is not currently is print and used copies start at $500 on Amazon!

Perhaps Lynne's reaction has more to do with sensitivity to her past and related conflict with the GOP's use of homophobia as a wedge issue??

Posted by: Rich at October 14, 2004 11:52 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

kerry was stupid for that mary comment in retrospect, hardly one word about bush lying about osl.one question i have is how does bush win unless he gets a massive born again vote he has lost almost all arab votes
most gay voters
less hispanic votes than 2000 and probably no more black votes.if it`s a big turnout he has to lose.the only thing that worries me is kerry opening his trap again and republicans cheating!!!

Posted by: JOEL at October 15, 2004 08:38 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

If the Cheneys were truly offended by the comment and wanted to keep the matter private, then they wouldn't be screaming about it in the public. They would call Kerry and tell him not to mention it again. It is a shame that the Cheneys are going to such extremities to exploit their daughter.

Posted by: DFuller at October 15, 2004 08:57 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

... and the liberals played the the fiddle while Kerry's campaign burned.

Face it, the election is over. You think Kerry won all three debates but he still trails and is falling farther behind in the polls.

Posted by: MARKAF at October 15, 2004 12:08 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Get a grip on reality, troll. Kerry is closer in the polls than Gore was right before the 2000 election. Nothing is over, nobody knows what will happen until Nov. 2.

Posted by: Brett at October 15, 2004 02:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The fact that the Cheneys have an openly gay daughter with a partner has to put a damper on getting out the evangelical vote. The Bush-Cheney campaign's screaming foul is merely outrage at the Kerry campaign's brilliant strategy. The media attention to the Cheney's complaints just puts the issue front and center in the campaign.

Posted by: Shar at October 15, 2004 02:30 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The Kerry campaign's "brilliant strategy?" Lord have mercy, what kind of spin is that?? Any more such brilliant strategy from the Kerry campaign and we might as well just give the election to Bush. I don't think Kerry's careless remarks will cost him in the long run, but they did manage to dampen the fact that Kerry out-performed Bush overall in the three debates. Now, Kerry is again on the defensive. He needs to weigh his words much more carefully between now and November.

Posted by: Pepe at October 15, 2004 02:48 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I agree with Pepe -- this is not brilliant strategy at all. But I think that one comment, brlliantly exploited by the Rethugs has robbed Kerry of the momentum he had after the first debate. I think he still has a good shot at winning, but I would have been far more pleased if the news cycle were about the Nightline story last night, Bush's UBL comment, Bush's comments about jobs, how Kerry had momemntum and kicked Bush's sorry ass thrice. It was mistake, an unnecessary one. I don't think it'll hurt him that much, but this is a very close election.

And again -- its not the gay voters (we have them). Its not the homophobes (the Rethugs haev them). Its the swing moms who think 'attacking' someone's daugther (although Kerry did no such thing) is below the belt.

Posted by: erg at October 15, 2004 02:55 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think the Mary Cheney meme is dying out. Its a little hard to pretend phony outrage, pretend you;re not being exploitative if you bring the same topic up 10 times in a day. A little negatie for Kerry, but he can recover.

The Log Cabin Republicans were mildly negative about Kerry's comments, but really blasted anti-gay bigotry from the Republican party in a statement today. Great.

Posted by: Charles at October 15, 2004 03:17 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

erg, agreed. Uncommitted mothers in suburban Philadelphia will relate with Lynn Cheney's outrage at hearing Kerry talk about their daughter on national television. I apologize for my negative tone earlier, but I believe the gravity of this blunder is underestimated by most Democrats and is the sort of bad press that can create a political death spiral when coupled with something like the latest anti-Kerry screed running on primetime television on Sinclair networks. I don't see this dying down before the Sunday talk shows, meaning egg on Kerry's face right up until the Swift Boat vet hit pieces air. I maintain that that's a lethal situation 18 days before the election, and although I may be overstating its significance, I would not want to be involved in the Kerry campaign today.

Posted by: Mark at October 15, 2004 03:24 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mark - stories don't last unless there's new information. Thats why I hope to see it die before Sunday, with no new news. Good management by the Kerry administration could have spiked this Wednesday night or early Thursday, but its too late now.

I agree that a lot of Democrats, especially liberals, don't realize how serious this is, whcih is why they didnt spike it. We criticize Bush (rightly) for his viewpoint distorting bubble, but this is an example of a liberal bubble. Liberals dont think theres anything wrong with being gay, so mentioning this is OK. Uncommited women, who don;t think of themselves as bigoted, still feel uncomfortable with the idea of their daughter's preference being mentioned. That vague discomfort is what could hurt Kerry.

Posted by: erg at October 15, 2004 03:40 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

As a mostly-foreign dual national, I don't pretend to understand the US mainstream's strange approach to gay and abortion issues, so I won't continue the present discussion.

I wanted to raise a more general question regarding the last debate. Admittedly, Kerry did not do as well as in the first one. But most pundits claim Bush 'had it together' this time, even though apparently the public (via opinion polls) disagrees with them!

I have an explanation. In the first debate Bush blundered, looked confused and lost or overly aggressive, alternatingly. Well, this is human and can happen to anyone.
Now he was supposedly self-confident throughout. But what was he talking about? All he was doing the entire night was street-level slander, of the lowest possible quality. And regarding his own 4-year record, he showed perhaps the worst lack of ability to explain and defend it on this debate, or to even know what it was.
This is a position of hysteria. It's as if Bush's operators know that the undecided voter has given up on him. The undecideds hate Bush's guts and can't be bought back. All polls show that. The only thing the Bushies have left to do is smear the opponent and smokescreen the whole thing, to make undecideds get sick of the whole thing and decide to stay at home.

I think it backfired. I think Wednesday was Bush's worst debate. the way he appeared in the debate makes one (regardless of politics, I think) be ashamed to see this guy as, say, a high-school class president - not to mention a US president. He came out as a sleazeball, a guy you wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole.
With the cumulative effect of 3 debates more-or-less along this style, there's reason to believe Bush caused enough disgust in enough undecideds (and Kerry was seen as different enough from him) to make them rush to the polls and vote. And perhaps he even succeeded in disgusting some middle-of-the-road republicans from voting for him as well.

Well, in 20 days we'll all know. But there's reason for optimism.

Posted by: Assaf Oron at October 15, 2004 04:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The most bizarre thing I heard was that a group of 20 or so undecided voters in I believe IA watched the last debate together, with a reporter who videoed their reactions and then questioned them afterwards. Most felt Kerry won the debate. The reporter asked how many would now vote for Kerry as a result. Only about 3 hands went up--the same number for Bush. Yet when the reporter asked who was most likely to win the election, about 15 of them believed it would be Bush! I would love to know the logic behind why they believe this to be the case.

Posted by: pepe at October 15, 2004 04:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

before you quote history maybe you should check your facts. The Truman Doctorine was a good source, but the USSR fell because of the SDI program with Ronald Reagan. Any of you mutual political science majors can attest also that the democratic party had a platform switch after the carter administration. So you can quote democrats for going to war great. I can say that most of south in the 1860s were democrats, but that is completly irrelevant

Posted by: jason at December 8, 2004 01:36 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment