08 October 2004

More post-debate analysis

The Edge has a nice analysis of Bush's response to the question "what are three mistakes you've made during your administration?"

Bush TOTALLY dodged the question as to what he thought his mistakes were and I think that's very revealing to his character. The one thing he sort of came up with were some 'appointments' which is basically saying he made a mistake because some other people screwed up their jobs. If I were President and I was asked that, I would at least give a straight answer to appear the bigger man in this debate. Honestly, he had a real opening on that question and his stubbornness took hold of him and screwed it up."
I thought Bush could have scored points with undecided voters by showing some humility here.

The same site also has part of the debate video on line via BitTorrent. Video here, BitTorrent client here.

Update: The American Prospect has a similar take on Bush's answer:

MISTAKES. I think George W. Bush's dodge on the mistakes question is even more revealing, and unflattering, than at first glance. Think about the only thing he pointed to as a mistake: appointments. That is to say, the only mistake he made is some other folks screwing up their jobs. Even his single mistake is someone else's fault. And then, the way he tried to tell the audience member that he knew the real reason she was asking her question -- that he knew the insinuation she was trying to make: "When people ask that question, they're really talking about Iraq". Who the hell is he to explain to an ordinary citizen what she meant by her own question? (And let's remember, the lady went out of her way to say explicitly to Bush that "you've made thousands of decisions as president that have affected millions of people," and then ask out of all those thousands of decisions what are three that were mistakes; how was that obviously a question about Iraq?) Bush's arrogance, his defensiveness, the insularity, the delusions -- it's all nicely encapsulated in that one answer.

I think Kerry missed a big opportunity in his follow-up by actually taking up the question itself and rehashing all the mistakes the president actually has made over the war. He should have simply stood up, pointed to the president, and said "Look at that. You asked him directly, and he answered sincerely, he doesn't think he's made a single mistake."

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