The Big Debate (II)
Just finished watching the debate, I made some notes, and I'll try and give my brief opinion before hitting the sack.
Overall, I think the debate was won by President Bush, not so much perhaps on the eloquence of his answers, but on the substance of them. I think the debating rules, forcing Senator Kerry to give to the point answers, benefitted Kerry greatly.
As to the points raised, I just have a couple of thoughts. First, it seemed Kerry was trying to be everything to everyone at the same time, with remarks on going into Iraq so Halliburton could reap the spoils of war (which I thought was the moral low point of the debate), to his tough-talking on fighting a 'smarter' War on Terror.
Then, and this in my opinion is scary --this man wants to be President of the United States after all, in the middle of a very complex shooting war-- I have sincerely come to the conclusion that John F. Kerry has absolutely no clue of what is happening outside the US. Seriously, anybody claiming tonight that Kerry won the debate, purely on account of his semantics, style or whatever (and yes, both commentators at the Spanish channel TeleCinco inmediately agreed that Kerry won, since he 'got President Bush on the defensive'), does not or will not see it.
His denigrating of allies like Poland ('He forgot Poland!'), the United Kingdom and Australia, insisting that we should have turned to Kofi Annan for help right after the fall of Baghdad (who pulled out himself immediately after the UN compound was targeted), and somehow insisting (twice I believe) that because US forces --visibly-- guarded the Iraqi Oil Ministry after the fall of Baghdad, and not (again, 'visibly' is key) its nuclear sites, Iraqis would think the US is making plans to annex the place, all very irate.
But the worst thing to come out of this debate is his insistance on bilateral talks with North Korea. In fact, bilateral talks with the Norks, and a repeat of the failed Clinton approach to Pyong Yang, instead now towards Iran. Fool me once, et cetera.
President Bush was consistent in his message, clear and decisive as a wartime leader. He refuted all of Kerry's claims, and gave a couple of good counters (in fact, you'd think he spends a lot of time reading blogs).
To me, his most interesting moment came when he emphatically insisted, '
You may not see it yourself, or think he could do it differently, but you would still trust him to spend it wisely and not squander it.