tonight’s debate

by Nathan Hamm on 10/8/2004 · 1 comment

You can find my blow-by-blow over there.

Needless to say, I’m much more impressed with Bush tonight, but Kerry did a fine job as well. Bush hammered Kerry on some good points, but didn’t run with those points like he could have. I still think Kerry is weak on specifics–opting for the “I have a plan” message without talking about the plan.

That being said, I don’t think the President was terribly specific this evening either, but the format didn’t seem to demand that as much. I also don’t think people are going to latch on to any specific attacks as I didn’t notice any particularly memorable or devastating ones. Also, I don’t think most people were paying incredibly close attention to the intricacies of domestic policy that was thrown out there.

The case for Bush having won was that he exceeded expectations and established a connection with the audience, even if it was towards the end. He got three or four laughs out of the crowd. I remember Kerry getting no such reactions, which kind of speaks for how damned serious and disconnected he was. Even so, he asked questions about Bush policies that, even though I find them simplistic, misleading, and wrong-headed, will resonate with the audience at large.

I’m calling it a draw or the slightest of Bush victories. If it has any effect, I think this debate will pull people where they’re leaning or increase Bush’s likeability.

UPDATE: Roundup here

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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