|October 13, 2004|
Third Presidential Debate: Kerry and Edwards Take the Four Game Series Against the Barbary Pirates
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
In the second debate, Bush made some inane comment asking if anyone wanted to buy some wood. Well, we know the answer now: Kerry's the one with the presidential timber.
If you didn't know who was president and you landed in front of a television set tonight, you surely would have come away thinking Kerry was the Commander in Chief. Bush was alternately babbling, snide, smirking, and, we think, drooling.
But more importantly, Bush was on the defensive. The first ten minutes of the "debate" was perhaps a draw, but then Kerry took off and left Bush in the dust. It's not so much that Kerry was dynamic (no one has accused him of that characteristic), but he spoke with clarity, integrity, competence, and authority to the American people. In the first two debates, Kerry talked to the moderator. Tonight he addressed the American people, particularly the working class and the poor, by directly looking into the camera.
Kerry co-opted what was Bush's strong suit in the 2000 debate, building a direct relationship with the viewer. Bush, in contrast, looked like some long-term congressional staffer who was called into play the role of president so that Kerry could practice on him. Bush appeared vulnerable, lacking in confidence, repetitive, cliché ridden, and always defensive.
If Bush was listening to Karen Hughes in the first debate and on speed in the second debate, Wednesday it appeared he was on downers. It was hard to know what he was talking about half the time, even when he was coherent. You just got the sense that he was a wind-up doll who mouthed pre-programmed platitudes no matter what the question was from Bob Schieffer.
Here was a guy [Bush] who would hog more time, in violation of the debate rules, and dig a deeper hole for himself!
Meanwhile, Kerry concentrated on repeating key messages that we have heard before. He also singled out swing states by displaying knowledge about their needs -- and addressed core Democratic constituency groups. He was going directly for the battleground state vote -- and we believe succeeded in conveying sincerity and credibility.
Bush looked a bit confused, disdainful and irritated, as if he was unsure how "a Bush" had fallen so low that a "Massachusetts Liberal" was getting the best of him. You kept getting the feeling that George wanted to roll out a keg, hoist a few steins, and make it all better.
In recent BuzzFlashes we have reported on a national epidemic of how the Republicans are trying to already steal the vote by suppressing the Democratic turnout and registration in states across America, including Nevada, Oregon, Florida, Colorado and Ohio.
You get the feeling after the third presidential debate that the only way Bush will get another four years in the White House is the same way he got the first four years: Daddy's friends will have to steal if for Junior. Uncle Dick and Jim Baker will do the heavy lifting.
The embarrassment is all over now. Bush can return to his anti-democracy Republican-only rallies where the Secret Service arrest people wearing Kerry T-shirts and betray the Constitution in the process.
Now, Bush just has to go through the motions through election day -- and hope that the family loyalists will once again carry off a daylight robbery of democracy.
Because the only way he can win the election now is by stealing it.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL