Other post-debate comments of note:
Sully gives it to Kerry. His observation on Bush:
That he has to concede the complete absence of WMDs in Iraq is inevitably brutal on him and his argument about the war. The facts are simply against him, and it shows. He had absolutely no answer on his spending spree. None. If you’re a one-issue voter on fiscal responsiblity, Kerry is obviously your man; and this debate rammed that point home. And then there were some simply bizarre moments. Does anyone in America ever use the term “internets”? Plural? I’ve never heard anyone in my life use this formulation. The mandatory malapropism: Bush promised at one point that he’d be more “facile” in future. That’s going to be a hard promise to keep. After four years of defending the homeland, the president should also not be giving soundbites like “I’m worried. I’m worried about our country.” Hey, Mr president. Join the gang. And then ythere was the hilarious answer on the judicial appointments. Bush won’t appoint anyone who still believes in the Dredd Scott decision. That’s a relief. But, to be honest, it’s the kind of question a high-school president might give, not the president of the United States. Bush’s biggest failure was to detail Kerry’s record, rather than just describing it as “liberal”. “Show, not tell” is a good rule of thumb for effective criticism. And then there was the inevitable “mistakes” question. Bush didn’t answer it – except to say he wish he hadn’t hired Paul O’Neill. You’d think by now he’d have some kind of answer. But he seems to think he is incapable of error. That, in fact, is an obvious part of the problem.
Oliver Willis, not surprisingly, though it wasn’t close:
Dude, This Debate Was A Walk: With Bush running around, defensive, yellin’ off the top of his lungs, how could you not consider Kerry the more presidential? Please, little George, you ain’t worthy of playing on Kerry’s ballpark. And Lord, man, can’t you stop smirkin’ for 90 minutes?
BUSH FLIPS OUT: Click here to watch your President flip out of his gourd. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Other punditry, ripped from DKos…
Ron Forunier, AP: “As he fought to keep his emotions in check in a testy, personal debate with Sen. John Kerry, the president asserted ‘That answer almost made me scowl.’… Several answers brought Bush’s emotions to the surface, for better or worse, as he sought to curb Kerry’s momentum…. Bush was the most aggressive, at one point overrunning moderator Charles Gibson’s attempt to pose a question..”
David Niven, political science professor at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton (from the above article):”Bush seemed wound a bit too tight. He was a little like Nixon sort of jumping out of his suit… He looked bad on the TV close-ups.””
Jonah Goldberg, National Review: “WHY DOES BUSH…
Sound like he’s angry at the guy asking about making drugs cheaper?
Paul Begala, CNN: “Good debate. The press will say it’s a draw, but I think Kerry bested Bush — or rather Bush made a few errors. Two words for President Bush: anger management. He spent much of the debate nearly yelling at the audience.”
John Whitesides, Reuters: “An angry Bush at one point cut off moderator Charles Gibson to upbraid Kerry for criticising the size of the coalition backing the United States in Iraq, saying it denigrated allies like Britain and Poland.”
Beth Gorham, CBC News: “It all added up to a major challenge for the president, who appeared angry and defensive during attacks from Kerry in a tense sparring match on Sept. 30 that was watched by some 62 million Americans.”
Billmon (back from the dead): “If Kerry and the Dems can’t make an issue out of the fact that the president of the United States is utterly incapable of controlling his hairtrigger temper, they don’t deserve to win this election… I mean, the man is a walking time bomb.”
David Paul Kuhn, CBSNews.com: “BUSH MAD, KERRY COMPOSED… Though Mr. Bush was more composed than in last week’s first presidential debate, all agreed his tone was sometimes antagonistic and he again appeared uncomfortable being challenged. Kerry, on the other hand, was viewed as measured and articulate. ”