Who won the U.S. Presidential Debate? (Sept. 30)

It’s got to be asked. We might as well let a Canadian do the asking.

Bush or Kerry? Why?

Bush was pretty pitiful, if im not mistaken he said something about not using force in Iraq. Isnt involving troops in attacks force?

Kerry wasnt too impressive however, although he did give more solid choices and did not flipflop, his speech was still dull. Bush however paused wayy too much and studdered alot, most of the time repeating himself.

Id have to go with Kerry winning though, for having better Iraq plans and just keeping strong with decisions.

I didn’t really hear many Iraq plans on Kerry’s part. He kept refering to them, but there was little elaboration on what they are.

I thought the debate was fairly balanced on each side. I really liked the format of this debate compared to the 2000 debates.

I grew sich of hearing talk about how kerry had these great iraq war plans. All he said was that he had them…what are they you might ask. He hasn’t revealed these to anyone…typical politics. I also question someone who’s not sure if he’s sure we should be in the war has any good plans for it.

Did anyone else notice what happened when the two candidates made eye contact? Kerry was always the first to look away. He couldn’t stare Bush down. Bush made Kerry look like a wet noodle.

I think Bush won. Of course he won the foreign policy debate. We’ll see what happens as the topics turn more towards domestic issues, where I tend to side with Kerry more.

For a “champion debater” who has been compared to Cicero(1) in skill (and spent the last many years debating in the Senate Chamber) I thought he was pretty pathetic. Bush didn’t do as well as he could of, but comparing the
“initial skill level” and all the hype from these people, I wasn’t impressed at all. Sure Bush could have done a better job, but Kerry really turned his debate into trying to rip bush over and over and sometimes ended up contradicting himself. In fact at one point on a question about the War on Terror, Kerry ended up going off topic and telling how Bush’s tax cut for the upper 2% was a bad idea for most of the quest ion…Bush took a second to defend himself, but he then said to the senator lets save that for the next debates. Yes, at certain points Bush was pretty repetitive, but hey all of this is something for them to work on.

It was a pretty good start to the debates, hopefully they will only get better.

(1) = As said by Kerry’s college debate coach

I think Kerry won the debate. He just had a very strong front and demeanor as well. Bush, on the other hand, acted like a five yeah child by repeating everything he said and by taking incredibly long pauses that make him look like he is a little slow, which he might be. But i don;t want to start a debate.

40% of the ppl voted for kerry that he won the debate…

28% of the ppl voted for bush…

others were neutral…

correct me if i am wrong plz… thanks… :slight_smile:

p.s.- keep in mind that i was updated right after the debate was over… i never saw the news on cnn… when i heard it … it was live… thanks…

So I’m going to jump in as well: I say Kerry won.

  • Kerry repeatedly reminded the audience that the so-called war on terrorism was originally intended a campaign against terrorists, and not against merely oppressive governments. Bush was unfortunately stuck with his own record as an incumbent, and couldn’t, even if he wanted to, have agreed.
  • Kerry did much to dispel the notions of flip-floppery over Iraq, by stating clearly that he believed Saddam Hussein to be a threat, but disagreed with the actions taken by the current administration.
  • Kerry also firmly argued that he prefers that a “strong coalition”, with a balanced commitment from several nations, working together in fighting terrorism (and the like)–this in contrast to Bush’s (in my opinion, hollow and unjustified) contention that the coalition of America, Great Britain and Australia (and later Poland) was just as effective.
  • Kerry made a commitment to work against nuclear proliferation everywhere, noting American hypocrisy regarding anti-bunker munitions (tactical
    nuclear devices, not strictly WMDs!); Bush restricted that to nucular [sic :)] devices in the hands of terrorists (and presumably “rogue states”)–he did not encourage nuclear disarmament in general. - Bush’s statements about the International Criminal Court were practically criminal themselves, in their insensitivity and gross disregard for the opinions of non-Americans. To claim that the courts are a sham and that the officers of the court are not held accountable for their actions sends an intolerable message–that Americans are the only arbiters of justice, in his view. (This was a minor issue, but from a non-American’s perspective, it reveals much about the underlying bias against the involvement of the world in American affairs.)
  • Bush’s diction was more stilted than Kerry’s, and he was responsible for a number of awkward pauses. Though his abilities as a leader aren’t affected by awkward pauses, his image as a public speaker was tarnished.
  • Bush’s repetitious nature has been wearing on me (less so Kerry, but that could be bias talking), and this debate seemed to introduce no new ideas from the Republican camp. This could have something to do with their “stay the course” policies.
  • On a related note, Bush said that he was steadfast and unshakable in his core beliefs; Kerry said that his opinion changed as his knowledge and experience changed. Isn’t it funny that this in some fashion parallels the difference in opinion between religious fundamentalism and secular humanism (in that one has everlasting, unimpeachable beliefs and the other has everchanging and inherently imperfect beliefs)…In any event, I’m not insinuating anything–it’s just an observation.
  • Kerry repeatedly pushed the idea that Bush made wrong decisions. I think that this makes for a very compelling strategy on the part of the Kerry campaign–show that Bush made (in his opinion) the wrong decision, with the same evidence available to him (as Bush repeatedly pointed out, to his own detriment, I’d say).
  • Kerry, on several points, got a “free pass” when Bush was seemingly caught off guard by Lehrer (the moderator) telling him to take 30 seconds to make another statement; Bush was often reduced to repeating himself, while Kerry usually (but not always) managed to get in some further content. Bush also rambled incoherently when he brought up the anecdote about the lady whose son had been to war–it may have been sentimental, but it allowed Kerry to capitalize on that point.

To Kerry’s disadvantage, however:

  • Kerry did not speak clearly about his “global test”. I think (and would hope that) he meant that Americans would allow the needs of other nations’ peoples to influence his decisions–but at least it was clear that domestic matters would be primarily decided by domestic needs; that’s fair enough. In any event, Bush ridiculed it, and because of the shaky support by Kerry, this issue could find itself sticking around.
  • Kerry couldn’t provide an exact synopsis of his plans in Iraq. To be fair, two minutes to explain a totally new policy is next-to-impossible, but he will still be dogged endlessly by this point unless he clarifies it at the earliest opportunity. To his credit, he did clarify that it was, in his opinion, possible
    to withdraw from Iraq, starting in 6 months; he did not make a firm commitment–interpret that as you will.

So as a practical matter, why was a Canadian watching an American debate? How many Americans can even name the Canadian Prime Minister? (To use an oft-repeated–in Canada, at least–but slightly disingenuous question.) It’s because the rest of the world (including the U.S.A.) matters; it ought to concern more Americans what’s going on in the world, and I don’t think Bush has covered that issue adequately. Kerry has done better, but the current exclusivist mentality in much of America doesn’t lend itself to earning votes through appeals to the world community.

The debate which was allegedly devoted to foreign policy had much to do with inherently domestic issues. This brand of terrorism isn’t so much a foreign policy issue, for it’s clear that terrorism against Americans is the only terrorism that was dealt with in the debate (excepting the very last question, in which Russia was briefly mentioned). Though that terrorism occurs primarily in foreign areas occupied by Americans, a proper “leader of the free world” (self-styled as that may be) would likely be expected to address terrorism wherever it exists, and not merely against those places that are politically expedient. This is a bitter pill for Americans (and likely everyone involved), but anything less makes it painfully obvious to those who observe world events that much of the “good fight” is bravado and posturing for the domestic market. I would say that Bush is guilty of it, and he is not alone among American presidents in that judgement. Neither is America alone in that situation–even Canada has been known to put its selfish interests above humanitarian needs. Even so, in whatever small ideological measure it represents, it would be a moral (and probably Pyrrhic) victory for Kerry if he were to choose to work with the world to solve its problems and earn the “leader of the free world” title. It’s a slightly naïve wish, but given time, that’s the direction that America should be heading. The current America-first policy is appalling, and undermines everything that the United Nations (and the League before it) did for the world–America renders them irrelevant by simply ignoring them, and in so doing, harms the citizenry of the world, and earns the adulation of around 50% of the American population. What a strange country America can be, sometimes.

In the interests of disclosure, it is probably obvious that my political opinions are more closely aligned with Kerry than with Bush–nevertheless, I have no party line to maintain, and have made an effort to remain lucid and fair in my assessments. Even so, one must always remember that bias is everywhere–discovering and interpreting bias is therefore a most critical skill.

(And as an administrative matter, I noticed that there was at least one similar response in the other debate thread–it wasn’t a poll, so I think it’s fair to create a new thread for that purpose, and to discuss this debate specifically).

Here’s what CNN has on it. “This is not, [i]repeat not, a scientific poll.”

So far, 103 444 votes, and 79% favour Kerry, 18% favour Bush and 4% think that there was no clear winner. (Equals 101%. Rounding, people. :rolleyes: )

I just saw a 53-37 split in favor of Kerry (of debate viewers) on CNN <edit> apparently it was a gallup poll.</edit>.
Chris Mathews’ website on MSNBC says 71-29 in favor of Kerry.

Just a few thoughts…
I think Kerry did a good job of calling Bush on his factually incorrect, intentional or unintentional tying of Osama bin Laden and Iraq. Kerry also, correctly, pointed out that bin Laden is using our invasion of Iraq to stir up anti-American hatred in the world. What was Bush’s response? He said that Osama bin Laden can’t determine our policies. Apparently he just doesn’t understand the points other people put forward if they aren’t in line with his own.

Anyone else notice that Bush tried to drink from an empty glass twice? Bush was on the defensive the entire night, and stumbled with his words (calling terrorists “folks” after not being able to find a better word in 5-7 seconds of pondering). Bush also keeps bringing up the false and misleading “75% of Al Qaeda leaders have been captured or killed,” I wish Kerry had called him on that statistic and told the American people that the 75% is just 75% of the people involved in the September 11th attacks, not the entirety of Al Qaeda (since they’re a secretive terrorist group, it’s impossible to tell exactly how many people are in Al Qaeda, or run Al Qaeda). I disagree with the observation that Bush made Kerry look like a “wet noodle.”

While Bush might want Kerry to be distracted and suckered into a staring contest, but a good debater keeps himself or herself focused and aware of what everyone else is saying, and keeping whatever noted he/she believes could potentially help later on.


ABC has a 45-36 split for Kerry on the debate.

Bush also doesn’t seem to understand “we’re not against the soldiers, we’re against the war.”

I bet when Kerry gets an e-mail it says “You’ve got plans.” :smiley: Or, howabout a Kerry doll with one of those strings that pulls out of the back and when released it says “I’ve got plans! I’ve got plans!” I personally like hearing all about Kerry’s plans simply because there really aren’t any. But wait, he has plans… :smiley: LOL

I thought Kerry won it. He did a much better job of debating, simple as that!

Bush missed a grand opportunity do what Kerry did well (I.E. counter punch) when he didn’t jump on the lame Michel Moore point that ten times the troops sent to Iraq vis-a-vis Afghanistan showed that Bush felt that Saddam was ten times the threat of bin Laden. What he should have done was question whether MM would become Kerry’s Secretary of Defense. Then he should have destroyed that idea as being totally ignorant of military strategy. As Napoleon learned at Waterloo, you do not project massive force into a limited space. Afghanistan, where the bad guys hang out, is a series of valleys between steep ridges. Large numbers of troops would have had to amass in the valleys and get strung out on the mountainous trails. Even small bands of misfits (AKA Taliban) would have cut them to shreds. So, Bush missed a chance to make Kerry look like a fool.

Bush almost never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Kerry rolled his eyes when he realized that, immediately after the 10:1 remark, he contradicted himself by saying we didn’t send enough troops into Iraq. Had he seen Kerry reeling, Bush could have knocked him down by saying how sorely we’d come to miss the 750,000 troops lost to the Clinton administration. Similarly, he failed to suggest that had Carter not been a girlie man, we wouldn’t even be talking about nukes in Iran. (Hey! That rhymes:)

So, Kerry won the debate – hands down!

I hereby nominate myself for Couch President. It’s a whole lot easier to debate sitting down.

If we were in a debate with bin Laden & Co., then I’d say, go ahead – elect Kerry. I lived through a time, fresh out of high school, when the politicians thought they knew best how many troops to deploy, which days of the year to drop bombs, which targets were militarily significant, and that body count ratios were the metrics of war. I can still see the American evacuees hanging from helicopter skits as the result.

I also recall that the peace talks in Paris began with months of debate over the shape of the table and ended with some of my friends abandoned forever in Nam. So, with what I know now and given the choice between a motor boat skipper turned politician who believes he’s an Admiral and a less polished orator who believes Tommy Franks, I would not choose to live through that again.

I figured resourceful FIRST kids who had the interest in politics to post in a thread with that core topic would show the initiative to check out his website, or attend a stump speech (you don’t have to sign a loyalty oath to get into Kerry’s). Why is it that it’s always the people who don’t want Kerry to have plans are the ones who ignore the fact that he actually has them? What’s on Kerry’s website and in his speeches are legitimate ideas. If after reading all of the documentation you still think he doesn’t have these plans, then you must also agree that President Bush doesn’t have a plan to fix what’s broken (internationally and domestically), either. If you have specific questions for the campaigns you can contact them for comments. It’s nearly impossible to put all of your thoughts and ideas into a 2 min, 90 second, or 30 second time slot. You can’t knock him for giving cliffs’ notes versions of his ideas during the debates, or telling you to visit his website.

Kerry was against the immediacy that Bush took us to war, but now that we’re there he has said we need to finish the job. There’s no wavering there. He said tonight that we “broke it [Iraq], we own it, and now we’ve got to fix it [for the world’s sake].” He said it was a situation that didn’t necessarily have to come to fruition, but it happened, and we’re dedicated to fixing it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with or preventing Kerry from disagreeing with the president’s impatience to go to war, and then having a plan to better manage the situations in Iraq.

Well, besides my democart bias, the thing is that when your presdient gets the date for 9/11 wrong (9/10 according to him) you start to worry.

Kerry said that we did not send enough troops into Iraq to get the job done, but who says he would have gone into Iraq anyways, at least not until we were through with Afghanistan, and Iraq posed a serious threat.

Oh, and I’d just like to point out a history-anecdote for you all. The same exact thing happened after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, where Austria-Hungary told its citizens that Serbia had sponsored terrorism, (despite all the facts saying otherwise) and used that to invade Serbia. This invasion of Serbia, then, triggered what we call World War I.

And there is a term that Bush continues to use in this debate and in his RNC speech that really, really scares me, and that’s “the broader middle east.” He’s not talking about just Iraq, this could include expansion into Iran and other nations, which would really spell trouble. Not to mention a draft would be needed, and I’d be in said draft.

Back to the point, Kerry won hands down. Bush paused and stuttered, and what someone said earlier about not having good skills in a debate doesn’t affect a president’s ability to lead. Contrary to that, however, I think it most certainly does, for this shows that he cannot think on his feet without his advisors nearby, and we need a president who can make the right decisions in good enough time to be effective, and Bush just doesn’t show that. And whenever Bush asked for an extra 30 seconds of rebuttal, he couldn’t think of anything, or just repeated the same old rhetoric, too.

Kerry, however, missed a couple of chances to pin Bush down, so to speak. The most noteworthy of these times was at the last question before closing arguments, where Bush had his 30 second rebuttal. The question concerned nuclear proliferation and North Korea, but Bush switched to talking about Hussein, completely skipping the point of the argument. I think Kerry should have called him on the spot right there, pointing that this shows the narrow-minded personal agenda of Bush.

I think that Kerry won the debate. I thought many times Bush looked foolish in his answers. Either he couldn’t find the correct words or he’s made dumb faces. Surface level garbage aside, Bush was not good at attacking Kerry.

Bush persistanly said Kerry changes positions because of politics. However, he never gave a solid example. Something the Kerry campaign should focus on is that Kerry has changed positions. That’s not due to politics, that is due to new intelligence. When we went to war with Iraq the intelligence was astonishly incorrect. Of course we want to go to war when the CIA is saying Saddam has biological weopons, weopons of mass destruction, and might start a nuclear program. However, once we realized that intelligence was incorrect Kerry changed how he felt about our invasion of Iraq, everyone did - except right wing nut jobs.

One thing I do agree with is that Kerry alluded to the fact that the Bush campaign is trying to make Americans see the situation in Iraq with rose colored glasses. This website has two great articles written by a soldier and a journalist currently in Iraq which gives you a better idea of the true state of Iraq.

ok, i see lots of biast remarks and predisposition in this thead. im going to be as nutral as possible.

Kerry- spoke with determination and did not have to spend much time thinking about what he was going to say

Bush- Had a slight sence of humor witch was nice. though he speaks like he dosent know what hees talking about. Im not saying that he dosen’t

Kerry- accused that troops were used to gaurd the oil assets in iraq. when they could have been used in other places where weapons could have been found.

Bush- Didn’t defend that by saying that the troops were gauarding the oil so that it would still be there to rebuild Iraq’s econmy. Infact I don’t think it ever occured to him

kerry- had a Multitude of information to give and it easily flowed out of his mouth

Bush- seemed to have little to actually say , had troubble sayinjg it, and repeated it often

Kerry- made a few remarks that were in fact, not true

Bush- Made a few remarks that were in fact, not true

Kerry- Showed Love For Florida All right

Bush- also showed love for florida but when he did Kerry had already used up all the effectiveness of it

Kerry- Displayed his knoledge of the individual solders problems in iraq and pleded to equipt them with better armor

Bush- nearly completely avoided the subject

on a side note Don’t you think its kinda stupid for Assualt weapons to be legal in this country while their trying to make it illegal to buy body armor?

kerry- defended himself with well thought out sentenses

Bush- defended himself with a few facts though he sounded like a child when he’s in troubble and wines about his inosence.

kerry- Displayed how he wouls be a good leader

bush- Displayed How he was a good leader

While being as nutral as possible and considdering everything that both said and also realising where they were incorect and where they were correct. John kerry was in my opinion was the victor of the debate

Although im niether fan, id say that Kerry won the debate, just because hes a better speaker than Bush. I think Kerry was a smart aleck yesturday. Did anyone notice, that they never showed Kerry’s facial expressions as bush was talking? But when Kerry was talking theyd have a split screen where theyd show both Kerry and Bush. I think Nadar should be in this debate. He’d kick butt. Bush nor Kerry should win presidency. Its not like theyll ever keep their promises of what they will do if they win. I think its time for the U.S to have a girl president.