Very, very solid. Decent questions and decent answers. I’m more favorably disposed towards both of them.

Agreed - having heard the rules, I was expecting a pathetic shadow of a debate. I’ve been very impressed with the quality of this event, and incredibly pleased with how Kerry has come off in it.

Not bad at all. Wasn’t expecting the focus on South Korea and the idea of bilateral vs. coalition talks. Does the average swing voter care that much about the Illin’ villian?

Good debate. I thought Kerry handled himself very well throughout, making his cases clear and complete without overextending them like Gore or failing to take a hard enough line against Bush.

I was very impressed by the President’s lucidity early on. Toward the middle he started repeating himself and there was a note of…whiny insistence in his non-rebuttals, but he pulled it together for a pious finish of the kind that annoys me but inspires many.

Looking forward to the rest of the debates.

I thought it was an excellent showing by both, and Bush contained his stumbling very well. It was interesting without them being snide about each other and both provided surprisingly good answers on both subjects.

I think Kerry won, but I don’t think he won with American audiences. I can’t help but believe that Americans want to hear very, very simple answers for complex questions. Personally, I don’t think Americans wanted to hear about how thinly stretched US Armed Forces are and how incapable America would be with dealing with Iran or North Korea at the moment. I also think Kerry was too soft on this and should have hammered Bush on this point.

Oh and man am I pissed at CBC Newsworld for hosting two partisan fuckwads as the post-discussion pundits. I’d rather have heard comments from bums on the street than these two predictable morons.

I thought the debates were interesting to watch and both man got a few good shots in on each other (with Bush practically reciting a mantra). But one thing really bothered me about these debates, and most high level political discussion actually, and thats when the response to a question is spoken as fact and then completely disagreed with by the other side.
For example, Kerry says they have cut funding to police spending, and then Bush says they have actually increased it.
What does that mean? Is either one telling the truth? Gah… its frustrating.

Funkman, what it usually means is that Bush DID increase police spending, but not at the rate required/expected/requested. Note that this last part leaves a LOT of room for interpretation.

It’s sort of like how Democrats claim that Republicans cut Veteran Affairs funding, when in fact all that happened was that VA wasn’t getting as much as it requested.

Jakub, that’s a bit disingenous - VA funding was, as I understand it, effectively cut, as in, not keeping pace with either inflation or radically increased demand.

I’ll agree with the above, but remember that Kerry has a different job here than Bush does. With Bush’s wrong track numbers so high Kerry needed to show that he’s a credible alternative. He’s not going to change the minds of the partisan, but he can create an opportunity for those who are looking for a reason to switch.

It’ll be interesting to see if there’s movement in the polls over the next few days.

I would think Kerry can close on Bush after his performance, he was more polished and persuasive than the President, imo. Kerry also countered some of the charges against him, such as “wrong war” affects the troops–by his claim, the troops know it is wrong. Not sure I agree with that but it is an effective rebuttal.

I noted Kerry’s body language while Bush was speaking, very positive and respectful to the President, at times nodding as if acknowledging the President’s position, while Bush looked smirk-ish.

As I’ve said to friends on both sides all year, I prefer a Republican but it’s not the end of the world or the country if either man is elected.

Looking forward to the next debate.

I see what you are saying, but it just sounds like an absurd way to present arguments especially in a TV format. People just tuning in will hear one fact and then another fact that disproves it. So then, whats the point of even debating as both participants can just go back and forth saying ‘he did… he did not’.

I’m pretty sure VA funding has exceeded inflation. I seem to remember some budget charts and projections being shown in a debate about this very matter. I’m too lazy to find the thread though.

I thought Bush’s frequent brain locks were very disturbing. There was one where I thought they were going to have to call the paramedics. Then his lips started moving again. Maybe Cheney had to scratch an itch or something at that moment.

Thought Kerry missed a real chance for a damaging blow in his followup to the question to Bush about what is needed to occur to start getting the troops out of Iraq, and Bush said something to the effect that “it will depend when the mission is acomplished”.

Kerry should have jabbed him with “I thought you told the American people that the mission was ALREADY accomplished…”

Honestly, the one time I actually want to see the ridiculousness of a Jerry Springer episode, and its all structured!

Kerry kicked ass and took names.

quatoria- We had this thread, and spending has gone up something like 40% since 2000. Both sides can invariably claim truth whenever talking about funding because as Jakub noted the government usually increases funding but not as much as was requested.

Kerry came off as a better speaker than I thought he would be, but I still disagree with most of his points. I agree with him on the newk-you-lear (both did it) proliferation being a very high priority. He missed a couple of points to hammer Bush on, though.

Bush came off as a better speaker than I thought he would be, and he articulated those points better than normal, too. I think, for him, it was an above-average performance.

Overall: A tie, but if I had to call it either way, I’d say Kerry. I’d imagine, however, that it wouldn’t be enough to swing the poll numbers outside their margin of error, however. Bush will still be in the lead, and the VP debate I’m REALLY looking forward to.

Wow. I just saw Giuliani on The Daily Show. He’s become such a spinster, its very unsettling.

Yeah, that was disappointing. I guess he really wants that nomination.