08 October 2004

Bush vs Kerry, Round Two

I missed the first 30 minutes of the debate, but based on the last hour and the news coverage between the end of the debate and now, this one was pretty close. Bush gave a much better performance than in Round One, while Kerry gave about as good as the previous outing. The two politicians seemed to be in their element, striking fairly strongly at each other while making statements that should have pleased their core constituents.

In the end, I'd say Kerry came out slightly better because he seemed to be more in control of himself and more connected with the audience. There were only a few times where I felt Bush was speaking from the heart, saying something he truly believed in. One of those was his response to the question about the Patriot Act. Here, he sounded like he genuinely believed it was the right thing. The rest of the time, he seemed peeved, unhappy, and somewhat unfriendly. At best, he sounded pleased to be able to score a point, rather than someone who believed in what he was saying (for example, he didn't sound genuine when speaking against stem-cell research). He sounded like a guy under pressure.

In the end, Bush supporters are happy, Kerry supporters are happy, and I suspect a few more undecided voters will lean towards Kerry than Bush.

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