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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|Final Debate Thoughts
I, like my brother, am a little more optimistic about the outcome of last night's debate. Here's why: the 4 o'clock news.
I was watching with great curiosity the 4 o'clock broadcast of 9News. Not only was the debate NOT the lead story, but it only got about 45 seconds of play. And at that, those 45 seconds were of today's stump speeches, not last night. My conclusion based on this is that the MSM could not come up with a great moment to show today, so it skipped it altogether.
Now, I know I didn't see every broadcast on every channel--there's no way I possibly could. So I chose the 4 o'clock on Friday because I figured people (unlike me) tend to have lives, and have other things to do Friday night than watch the news; so if they do try to catch the news, they catch the 4 o'clock. And since that broadcast was noncommital, I'm thinking the MSM coverage will be unable to paint it as a clear Kerry victory.
So, given that, you have to ask "what's the next step?" And that is, clearly, the upcoming ad blitz. The Dems are planning on running out video of Bush making faces. The problem here is that nobody expects this President to be smooth in a debate, and they've spent five years mocking him, so this will have almost no effect at all on the electorate. In fact, it may have the opposite effect: I think people are tired of the condescension, and it may garner sympathy for the President. And that seems to be the best the Dems can manage.
The GOP, on the other hand, has enough material for several commercials. Here's a sample:
Global Test Kinda obvious, here.
The Role of Allies/Flip-Flop So it was wrong to go into Iraq without the international community; but it's wrong to engage North Korea with an international community; wrong to denigrate our old alliances, but it was okay to call Challabi a "puppet" and in "fantasy land"
Understanding the World (see if you can follow the chain of logic here) It was wrong to abandon the policy of the 90's vis-a-vis North Korea, because now they have nuclear weapons; it was our bilateral talks with NKorea led to us providing them the technology which led to their nuclear weapons program, so we need to return to those bilateral talks; and in a related story, we need to begin to provide nuclear fuel to Iran, assumedly because teh results of those actions with NKorea were so successful.
American Power We should immediately abandon a new weapons program which provides us with bunker-busting nukes, because it sends a bad message to the world. In much the same way as the military buildup of Ronald Reagan set a bad example for the Russians--like, give up. And, oh, by the way--just how far underground are those North Korean nuclear labs?
That is the territory of the next round, and I think the President has a clear advantage in this respect.
Could the President have scored the knockout and ended the campaign? Yes. Did he? No. So, in that respect, it was a missed opportunity. On the other hand, the field hasn't moved, and Kerry's internals aren't any better today than they were before.
Why else am I comforted? The Gallup poll shows Kerry won, but didn't gain any ground in the election.
Not a knockout. Call it a 12-round decision. Advantage Bush.