Bush is leading in the Electoral College, 274-264. That ain’t good for Kerry, because Bush will almost certainly get a bounce from the RNC next week. I’m wondering if the election is going to come down to the debate. If so, that ain’t good for Kerry either.
BTW, just read a really good column on Kerry’s foundering in this week’s Time. Joe Klein really slams him for a poorly organized campaign without any central message. He says Kerry is running a bland “feel good” campaign that isn’t really addressing any issues. I couldn’t agree more. As I’ve been saying since the DNC, I think Kerry’s been incredibly dull and almost uninterested in engaging the people.
What’s most interesting here is that Klein has always seemed like a Democrat in the past. This column could have been written by Charles Krauthammer. I think a lot of people are disappointed in Kerry’s campaign, and have a good idea that it’s headed for the crapper unless major changes are made.
Weird. Tom Chick linked to a site a few days ago that tracks the electoral votes on a day-by-day basis, and I could have sworn when I looked at it then, it had Kerry leading by almost 70, with 130 undecided (PNOOMA, but close). Anyone know that site?
Why would you say this? Bush doesn’t seem very adept at debate, or is Kerry that bad, too? I can’t wait to see Edwards and Cheney, to be honest. That ought to be good.[/quote]
People have very low expectations for Bush in a debate. Stumbling over sentences, mangling grammar, and repeating himself won’t hurt him; it’s just what people expect. As long as he doesn’t do anything bizarre, he’s going to do “better than expected”, which the press will paint as a win.
In contrast, it’s going to be just about impossible for Kerry to come out better than expected. Everyone knows he’s a wonk, so it won’t matter if he argues circles around Bush based on the facts. In fact, long complicated answers may turn people off – even when they are regarding complicated issues.
Didn’t Kerry say on The Daily Show something like, “Bush has won every single debate he’s been in”? I’m pretty sure he was only referring to Ann Richards and Al Gore, but his strategery here seems to be to start building in higher expectations for GWB for their debates.
I doubt Bush is going to do well in this debate. He’s never had to defend his record, his performance in a debate, it’s much easier to be the outsider making promises, being optimistic, and saying he could do it better. Or in Bush’s case outright lying by promising a stronger, more humble, America and no nation-building.
Now the roles are reversed. Bush will be out there, alone, and trying to defend his policies. And Kerry has the easier job of poking holes in his performance and smashing him in terms of policy knowledge. Oh, Kerry is going to benefit from lower expectations too, I think.
I mean, unless Kerry does that creepy “sidle up behind Bush” thing Al Gore did, I don’t see how he could lose the debates on any level. He’s boring, he’s too complex in his answers, but I know Al Gore, and John Kerry is no Al Gore.
Surprised the hell out of Bush? Well, yeah, I guess you could characterize it that way, but Bush recovered really well. As I remember it, Bush turned and sort of nonchalantly said “Hi” or something. It was a terrible moment for Gore (who I think was told to do it to emphasize the height difference or something) because it made him look like a weirdo caught in the act of sneaking up on the good ol’boy. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.
It was a terrible moment for Gore (who I think was told to do it to emphasize the height difference or something) because it made him look like a weirdo caught in the act of sneaking up on the good ol’boy.
Naw, it rocked. It make me think Gore would be the kind of guy who would pull the chair out from behind Bush when Bush stood up to make an announcement. Then, when Bush would go to sit back down, he would totally bust his ass! Just like Tom Cruise in Collateral. Then the camera would zoom in on Gore smugly stifling a snicker while Bush cussed and picked himself up off the floor, looking foolish. Presidential politics needs more frat boy pranks, less dirty Rove tricks.
BTW, do you have a source on the idea that Gore was told to sidle up to Bush or is that just speculation? I’d love to read more about that moment.
I do not. That was my guess really, based on the often spouted idea that the taller candidate usually wins and that Gore himself has said he took too much advice during that campaign. I did read an article somewhere that mentioned that as a particularly bad moment for Gore (and a good one for Bush), but I can’t remember where. New Yorker or New Republic is likely. I find your take on it interesting. Maybe Gore should have just smacked him upside the head. I can’t remember what Bush was saying just before that moment, but odds are it was utter bullshit.
Amanpour is right that it’s also easy to remember SNL parody as the real thing. I’ve heard that a lot of people believe Bush really said “Strategery.”