05 October 2004

Edwards winner

The consensus seems already to be that Edwards scored an advantage for the Democratic campaign. He remained on message and made appeals to what matters to most people, whereas Cheney stuck to a message of fear and tried to play games with numbers to make Edwards seem like a liar, and it just didn't work. Cheney looked tired and, although he is obviously quicker and better able to match wits than W., he failed to advance the desired impression of "strength."

Some impressions:

Cheney was unconvincing in making the case that Iraq is "progressing." Edwards's point that the war is being badly managed came across relatively well.

Cheney had no real answers for Edwards's domestic points; just to deny that the Bush administration is cutting programs and failing to create jobs or do anything about declining health coverage and real wages.

I think people are tired of being told that they should vote on the basis of fear. They want to hear what will be done for them, not that they "better vote for us, or bad things might happen." Cheney seemed testy, and even a little bit disengaged, which creates a quite negative impression.

At worst, this debate will not help Bush and will not hurt Kerry.

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