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October 01, 2004
A Frank Analysis of the First Presidential Debate of 2004
Posted by Frank J. at 12:19 PM | View blog reactions | Comments (62)

Wow! Wasn't that hella boring? I feel like I should get a purple heart just for watching it.

Let's recap it for all those fortunate enough not to watch. It was a Jim Lehrer style debate (the most popular style) where Jim Lehrer made all the questions. There were two minutes for an answer, ninety seconds for a rebuttal, and there could be one minute overtime with thirty seconds for each.

And there were lights! Green lights means thirty seconds left, 15 seconds for yellow, and five seconds for red. Plus, the audience was instructed to be as silent as the grave.

Now, I did watch the entire debate, but ADD made sure I didn't quite listen to it all. So, when I got super bored, I made some observations on their body language. Kerry would make big motions like placing one hand or both hands folded over his chest. Then he'd do ninja chops in the air to make a point. Sometimes, he'd lift one hand and hold it up like he was pinching something? What was he thinking he was pinching? A wad of his wife's money? A new purple heart? I dunno.

Bush made smaller motions, except when he was making a big point about freedom. Then he'd pound the podium like it was an evil terrorist. He also stumbled in speech more than Kerry, but he'd always be solid when making his main point. And then he'd pound the hell out of that podium!

Also, I noticed how each would make notes while the other was speaking. What were they writing! Well, I have some contacts (the less said the better) and obtained copies of some of those notes.

Kerry Notes
Bush Notes

Anyway, on to the debate!

Question 1 to Kerry: Do you believe you can do a better job than Bush about preventing terror?

Kerry started out by wasting time thanking everyone including Jim and Florida. He then admitted Bush loves his country - something a lot of left-wing crazies would dispute. He then said he wants strong alliances, and at that point I noticed he was not so orange. He said he has a better plan to strengthen everything and will isolate bad people.

He did not share with us that plan. What's your plan, jack?

He also said he would have summit in Iraq. Summits must be important. Why aren't you summiting, Bush?

Bush responded by saying that 9/11 changed the world (like, duh). He also said 75% of al Qaeda leaders were brought to justice (read "killed). Also, 10 million registered to vote in Afghanistan (but if they're anything like us, that means about 300 will actually vote).

Question 2 to Bush: Do you believe the election of Kerry will increase terrorism?

Bush just said that Kerry won't win (artful dodge). He said it was his duty to stop evil. And he wouldn't waver (implying that Kerry is a bad flip flop man). He then said he would spread liberty like creamy Skippy peanut butter (was he paid for a product placement). Then he said we must not lose our will to fight (which implicitly would happen with French-looking man).

Kerry responded saying he will hunt down and kill terrorists (now that is presidential sounding). He then said Iraq diverts attention - fighting words! Listed everyone who is in the military who supports him (everyone except who served with him in 'nam).

Question 3 to Kerry: What colossal misjudgments did Bush makes?

Kerry starts with a phony laugh. Not true alliance, he said. Didn't exhaust U.N.’s endless ability to talk about things. At this point, he seemed to get more orange, but that may have just been my TV. He now mentions being in combat! (start your "I served in Vietnam" counters) Claimed Bush didn't use war as last resort. Keeps saying 90%, but I keep missing about what. Kerry then said prescription drugs for seniors are in Iraq. Then he complains about too much opium (for drugs, then against drugs - flip flop!).

Bush said he agrees with what Kerry said before (Ha! You flip-flopper!). Bush said he went to the U.N. all by himself because he's a bug boy. He hoped free world wouldn't be a bunch of douches (my words). He then said Kerry has a September 10th mentality (fighting words!). Ended with saying the world is safer without Saddam.

Questions 4 to Bush: What about priorities of Saddam versus Osama?

Bush talked about how strong his alliances are. Not just one focus to war on terror (both kept mixing up Saddam and Osama and then correcting themselves). Pounded his podium when he said Saddam is important to war on terror. Take than, podium! He said the biggest disaster is not succeeding in Iraq. He said Allawi doesn't want mixed signals and there will be elections in January. More pounding.

Kerry responded by saying Iraq was not close to center of terror until invaded (more fighting words!). Said Bush had no plan to win peace (yawn; only heard that a million times). He complains about lack of equipment he voted against. Keeps saying how more troops are killed each month, and he will send more troops (to be killed?).

One minute extension!

Bush said Kerry voted for war and then said wrong war, wrong time, wrong place.

Kerry responded with, "I am steadfast!"

One minute extensions are exciting!

Questions 5 to Kerry: I missed this questions because my attention faded while Kerry was speaking.

Kerry's answer to whatever the question was that it was a mixed message to help Iraq but not help homeland (changing subject to domestic front). Said we need more inspections at home (what's with him and extensions?). He said Bush thought it more important give wealthy tax cut than secure people. Then he started talking about... Soviet Union?!

Bush responded by saying that what Kerry wants will mean more taxes (people hate more taxes). Bush said he tripled homeland budget. Bush said best way to protect is to stay on the offense (good podium pounding line).

One minute extension!

Kerry said there are thousands of hours unlistened to tapes at FBI! (maybe they're Hootie and the Blowfish tapes)

Bush responded with saying of course I do everything I can for homeland (he does live there). He again mentions offense.

Question 6 to Bush: When will you bring troops home from Iraq?

Bush said we must train Iraqis (sit, heel, stay!). They must want to take matters in their own hands. Will not bring troops home for sake of bringing them home. Will bring them home when generals and ambassador says Iraqis are ready to do stuff themselves. Won't put artificial deadline. Claims Kerry said six months. Said free Iraq help secures Israel (and jooos!). He said its essential for security of country.

Kerry thanks troops, promises tp help them (but troops hate him). Said something about a rope line? Claims some troops told Kerry they needed his help (Who? They better not let other troops find out) Kerry said something about not guarding some place to find WMD's (there were WMD's?). Mentions serving again in oblique way ("I served in Vietnam count" now 2).

One minute extension!

Bush said sending bad message no help. Now mentions Kerry voting against $87 billion (take that!).

Kerry said he made mistake in talking about war while the president made mistake in invading Iraq (touché!). Now mentions Vietnam specifically (count at 3).

Question 7 for Kerry: Are Americans dying for a mistake? (Lehrer mentions Vietnam; don't know if you want to do a count for him)

Kerry said it was no mistake (just a diversion and created more terror, but not a mistake?) Now he claims he wants to win this war. Says we didn't plan or go with allies (what's he smoking?). He had trouble saying terrorism during this answer; don't know what to think about that. Then he was real boring until he mentioned evil evil Halliburton getting spoils of war.

Bush said that was all totally absurd. Said we can't build alliance and denigrate our friends... then he imitates Kerry: "Please join us in Iraq for a grand diversion. It's a wrong war, wrong place, wrong time, so hop in!" He then says Kerry's core convictions change (hitting him hard now - almost as hard as podium!). He then says lots of names I can't spell (Kerry was doing it too).

One minute extension!

Kerry said, "Blah blah blah!" (okay, I was formatting my notes and missed what was said)

Bush then gets angry at Kerry denigrating allies. Bush says coalition remains strong when he is president (Kerry weak!).

Question 8 to Bush: Was it all a miscalculation?

Bush said that enemies were such pansies they laid down arms too quickly. Didn't stay and fight like we thought. Mentions how he knows about all the casualties from morning briefings and from... watching TV? (he actually watches this crap?) Said we can't give mixed signals (now both used that phrase). Then claimed our friends the Muslims in the Middle East are helping.

Kerry would do things different way (what way, he won't say?). Says coalition not genuine. Now I notice he's wearing a flag pin, but that won't fool us! He then mentions North Korea has nuclear weapons. Claims he'll change that some how (with ketchup money, maybe).

Question 9 to Kerry: Did Bush not tell truth about Iraq?

Kerry says he never said Bush lied... he only implied. Not "candid" is Kerry's nuanced way of saying it. Mentions that whole Nigeria nuclear material mess, Says our coalition is not good enough (needs France!). Mentions again we didn't go to war as last resort. He says knows how to bring people back to table (by coercing and bribing them, maybe?). Says we need to be smarter about war on terror. He then invokes the name of Ronald Reagan!

Bush says Osama doesn't get to decided what we do, and we can't have not attacked Iraq to keep Osama off them. Says Kerry wasn't misleading, so he wasn't (flip-flopper). Says ss politics change, Kerry's positions change (super flip flopper!). Then says how they both saw same intelligence.

One minute extension!

Kerry demands stronger alliance. Kerry claims he had only one position on Iraq (pause for laughter). Said there is a right way to disarm him and wrong... but doesn't explain.

Bush says, "Kerry is only consistent at being inconsistent" but totally botched the line which should be a soundbite.

Questions 10 to Bush: Was it worth 1052 lives?

Bush talks about telling a widow that her husband's sacrifice was noble and worthy. Then said Must deal with threats before they materialize. Mentions spreading freedom (must be his catch phrase). Says Iraq will set a powerful example.

Kerry mentions losing people in combat (4). Reminds him of his thinking when coming back from Vietnam (5). Has one more sentence about Vietnam (6), but my eyes glazed over. Says outcome of wrong war at wrong place at wrong time must honor nobility. Mentions summits again - he sure likes his summits. Now he tells us where all his plans are - at his website! You're not fooling me, Kerry! It's going to give me spyware and load by bookmarks with porn sites!

One minute extension!

Bush keeps mentioning how Kerry said wrong war, wrong place, wrong time. Says Iraq not diversion. Blah blah.

I'm really getting bored at this point.

Kerry mentions Powell and talks about the Pottery Barn rule (now we know where he shops). Says Iraq is a mistake, but we must fix it. Claims soldiers know the war is not right. I thought soldiers shunned him.

Question 11 to Kerry: What are your specifics for ending military involvement in Iraq? (can't just mention webpage)

Kerry says he didn't say would bring troops out in six months, and then goes on about his plan to bring troops out in six months. Now he makes wacky left implication that Bush is only interested in oil? Doesn't want permanent bases in Iraq and wants rapid training of Iraqis (no special classes).

Bush says we already trained like 100,000 troops, and it is hard work because people keep trying to blow us up. Then he got all on Kerry for his "Change dynamics on the ground" line. Mentions how Kerry questioned credibility of Allawi. Said he's like puppet. Then says we must have a consistent messages. (I'm noticing a theme)

One minute extension!

Kerry says Bush hasn't shown how to do it right way. Quotes Allawi (now he listens to him!).

Bush says free Iraq is major defeat for terrorists. Says he will win war in Iraq (which implies mission not accomplished).

Question 12 for Bush: Does Iraq make more like or less likely another preemptive war?

Bush says it's a solemn (not happy-fun) duty to protect American people. Says the president must "Speak clearly," which really opens himself up for a joke. Said we would "Rue the day!" if we just kept up U.N. inspections. Says president must send message that we mean what we say (Kerry no mean what he say!). Says Libya made good example of how other countries should cower in fear.

Kerry says Saddam didn't attack us; Osama attacked us (well, duh). Says we outsourced finding Osama to Afghan warlords (there the Democrats go on about outsourcing again; I wonder if we can have India find Osama?). Says al Qaeda now has stronger recruits. Said Saddam would not be stronger even if we didn't do war.

One minute extension!

Bush, "I know who to attacked us!" Said no sanctions would help and that's a significance difference of opinion.

Kerry says everyone else is more dangerous than Saddam; why we no attack them (why not?).

Question 13 to Kerry: Would you do a preemptive war?

Kerry said he would, but we must pass "global test" (what the f...). Must prove to world we did it for legitimate reasons (screw the world, I say!). Then he mentions how Kennedy was trusted by some French guy. Kerry says he will watch ball (not good at catching it though). He mentions the global warming treaty, which is totally far from the ball, dingus.

Bush is like, "Pass global test? What does that mean, bitch?" Bush says he wouldn't join international criminal court just to be popular... unlike a certain French-looking senator.

Question 14 to Bush: Do you believe sanctions can take on Norks and Iran?

Bush is like, yeah, sure it can. Says how he got China in on talks and China has more influence on Norks (they're also Commie). Says he hopes to work with world to make Iranian mullahs abandon nukes. Mentions the IEA, but I don't know what that is.

Kerry said Brits, Frogs, and Krauts are handling Iran themselves. Need to check if Iran was looking into nuclear stuff for peaceful purposes (yeah, right). For Norks, said we had people in North Korea and knew where fuel rods were (he kept mentioning Powell; are they friends).

One minute extension!

Kerry says he wants both multi and uni talks! He wants it all!

Bush doesn't want to talk to poofy air himself.

Question 15 to Kerry: What about Sudan?

Kerry talks about Iran again. Blah blah. Wants to press for action! Go through African union! Says are troops are overextended and there is a backdoor draft! (close backdoor, then no draft) Says he will add two active duty something or other to army. Says he may use forces so there is not another Rwanda.

Bush also talks about Iran. Agrees Sudan is genocide. Won't commit troops. Says same as Liberia. Use African Union (what is that?).

Quesiont 16 to Bush: Are there major character differences between him and Kerry?

Bush says that's a, "Loaded question." Only laughter of night. Says he admires Kerry's service to country, and that he's a great dad (but have you seen what his daughter wears?). Admires how Kerry served for 20 years in Senate.. but not his record there. Now he mentions Kerry's changing positions on war in Iraq (but Kerry said he only had one view). Mentions mixed messages and need for certainty again.

Kerry returns the personal comments. They have a little friendly banter. He mentions Bush's wife (Bush didn't mention his freak show). On the issue of certainty, Kerry says you can be certain and wrong! Certainty is evil! "I use new facts!" Now mentions stem cells and global warming (dingus).

One minute extension!

Bush says he will change tactics, but not core values. Can't wilt under pressure.

Kerry said he never wilted or wavered in his life (just some SOB secret service agent made it look that way). Says we need to disarm Osama (Osama does always have an AK-47 near him in his videos). Says we need to go to U.N. (to poop on it! - that's me).

Question 17 to Kerry: Single something or other - I couldn't pay attention again. Hell, I'm getting bored recounting all this.

Kerry saus nuclear proliferation is bad. Can't say stop nukes and we make new ones (but the difference is we are good and Iran is bad!).

Bush says he increased funding for dealing with nuke proliferation. Agrees WMD's in terrorists hands is biggest threat. Says missile defense needed... and opponent opposed!

One minute extension!

Kerry says Norks have made more weapons under Bush. Mentions Russia again for some reason.

Bush says bilateral talks very bad. Won't do.

Question 18 to Bush: Did you misjudge Putin?

Bush says he doesn't like all Putin is doing and needs to remind him of democracy (tap him on shoulder and say, "Uh... you know you're supposed to be a democracy.")

Kerry said he watched transition of Russia up close and personal (must have shed a tear when Communism fell). Said he saw reams of files with names on them or something or other. Then he quotes George Will. Goes back to China and talks with Norks. Says president wrong about WMD's and bilateral talks.

One minute extension!

Bush said he has nothing to add (didn't want an extension). Says both looked at same intelligence and came to same conclusion. Won't say Kerry is a liar for coming to same conclusion as him (Ha!).

Kerry says not true coalition... blah blah blah... incredible mess.... blah blah blah... $200 billion dollars... blah blah blah. Says this wasn't what the American people voted for (the American people got to vote for war?).

Closing Comments (hooray! over!)

Kerry says nothing notable, but adds one more to Vietnam counter (7).

Bush says "No uncertainty or weakness!" Pounds podium again when talking about offense. Uses the spread freedom line again.

Wow. It ended on time. The Oscars could learn from these people.

Well, I still don't know Kerry's plan or what the hell he thinks about Iraq, but it was so long and boring that probably no one paid attention to notice that. I think it was a draw... which means Kerry won says this was supposed to be Bush's strong point.

What do you think?

Rating: 2.3/5 (13 votes cast)

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