Friday, October 01, 2004

Last Night

Although I wasn't physically ducking my head and covering my ears like some people, I was pretty nervous for our boy John. I feared he would meander and pontificate, and come off like a tool, and try to overcompensate by adopting a phony "aw shucks" attitude, and thus seem like an even bigger tool. Especially next to Mr. Likable.

But that was perhaps the biggest shocker of the evening. Mr Likable was, well, pretty unlikable. Whither the fabled charm? The folksy plain-speaking confidence that disarms his opponents' over-earnest agitation? Who would have guessed that Kerry, who is supposedly running for his life, hanging on by a thread, would be the one comfortable in his skin, collected and confident. That's not a man who thinks he's losing.

I'm so biased that it was very difficult for me to try to judge objectively. But some things were clear, such as how Kerry was armed with facts, figures, details, examples; Bush was left flapping in the wind about freedom. If I had touched down from Mars, I would have been convinced that Kerry was the sitting President, and that this other joker was some doomed challenger who had only a tenuous grasp on serious issues.

Like I said, I'm already biased, and I know it didn't play out quite so starkly for everyone. But this was a triumph for Kerry. In the debate that will probably reap the largest audience and create impressions that are hard to shake, Kerry dispelled the only defense the Bush administration has made for itself: Kerry is a man of weak will who is not up to the task. Well done.


Post a Comment

<< Home