October 13, 2004

Live-blogging the last debate.

Please feel free to comment!

7:00pm: I hate that my heart pounds like it does. I hate being nervous for other people, it's enough being nervous for myself.

7:03pm: Uh-oh, Bush just pulled a pen out of his pocket. Someone contact Drudge.

7:04pm: What a bizarro first question. Will our children ever live in a world as safe as the one we grew up in? Is that the one where the Soviet Union and the US had mutually assured destruction? Wacky. Kerry answers 'yes, we absolutely must be'. The rest of the answer is muddled and an attack on Bush. Kerry is repeating things he said in the first debates. His eyeliner looks runny.

7:06pm: Good answer by Bush, about spreading freedom and liberty, he sounds calm and not out of breath. Please, please, please let the rest of the debate continue this way. Bush gleefully brings up the 'nuisance' quote. The thing is, I'm sure Kerry is ready for it. He knew it was coming.

7:07pm: Kerry responds: Tora Bora outsourcing blah blah, how many times can he say the same thing?

7:08pm: 'It's kind of one of those exaggerations' said Bush in response to Kerry saying that Bush didn't care about finding Osama. Of course, if it's not, that's not going to look good tomorrow.

7:09pm: Flu vaccine? Oy, this debate is going to be unbearable.

7:10pm: Talking about getting the flu vaccine from England or Canada doesn't sound good. I know what he's saying but I wonder how it'll play with Kerry's outsourcing comments that you know are coming. When Bush said 'I haven't gotten a flu shot' a guy in the room said 'I bet Kerry got a flu shot' and everyone giggled.

7:11pm: How is health insurance related to a shortage of flu vaccine? It isn't but the truth is, it sounds ok. I hope Americans see through it.

7:12pm: Great shot by Bush about a 'plan being more than a litany of complaints'.

7:13pm: Did Kerry get paid for the Blue Cross/Blue Shield plug?

7:14pm: Kerry just said 'I'll tell you exactly what I'm going to do' and a bunch of people in the room said 'I've got a plan!' at the same time. And, of course, Kerry said 'plan' 78,000 times in his answer.

7:15pm: Ceiling fans from China? The thing is, Kerry is saying zero but he knows how to talk around topics well enough to make it sound good.

7:16pm: 'You pay, and he goes ahead and spends' sounded pretty good. I can't take all these numbers. It's just not my thing.

7:17pm: Bush needs to drink some water. The spit in the corner of his mouth is no good.

7:19pm: Does Kerry really think that education is not tied to jobs? I just don't get it. Oh my gosh. Tony Soprano?

7:21pm: I like this question about how much control presidents have over jobs. I like that it makes Kerry admit that he can't stop outsourcing. 'Shut that loophole in a nanosecond' regarding jobs moving overseas. Is that after everyone gets healthcare, a prom dress, and we get rid of all diseases?

7:23pm: Spit still there. Distracting me. Bush sounds good on taxes, 'we're spending your money'. Still, I really find these topics pretty unbearable.

7:25pm: Kerry makes his second Ronald Reagan mention in this debate.

7:26pm: Nice shot by Bush about Kennedy being the conservative senator from Massachusetts.

7:26pm: Is homosexuality a choice? Interesting question. Bush says he doesn't know. Preaches tolerance. 'We shouldn't have to change our basic views on the sanctity of marriage.'

7:27pm: Maybe it's a pimple on the side of his mouth, not spit?

7:28pm: It's so low bringing up Dick Cheney's daughter. I'm sorry, that's disgusting. Kerry says it's not a choice. Makes sure to say that he and his president see marriage the same way.

7:30pm: Abortion really makes me tune out. Another issue I know I should care about, yet don't.

7:34pm: I like health savings accounts. Trying to tune back in. Bush sounds better than the last debate, completely even and not stumbling.

7:35pm: 'The reason health care costs are getting higher....' starts Kerry and you just know it's all Bush's fault. I don't understand why Bush doesn't hammer Kerry on the whole 'import drugs from Canada'. Why is that the one field Kerry is ok outsourcing?

7:37pm: Good shot by Bush about Kerry being in the Senate for 20 years but having no healthcare record. This is why it's always better to be a governor running for president.

7:38pm: So sleepy listening to these healthcare questions (and, before anyone asks, I actually don't have any healthcare at all). It's just not my subject.

7:39pm: Nicky Hilton's marriage is over after less than two months. And I thought those two crazy kids were going to make it.

7:40pm: If Kerry says 'plan' one more time, I'm going to stab someone in the eye.

7:41pm: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Bush got his nice shot at 'news organizations' and how it's not credible to quote them. Nice.

7:42pm: 'Govt. run health will lead to poor quality healthcare'. Bush is rocking on this answer. 'Our healthcare system is the envy of the world.' Go Bush.

7:42pm: Kerry again mentions Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Seriously, how much is he getting? When Kerry started on VA, an ex-Marine in the room said 'that's Clinton's fault' and then Bush said pretty much the same thing.

7:44pm: Social Security. Agree with Bush for the most part, like privatizing completely but no candidate goes that far. Otherwise feel sleepy on the subject.

7:49pm: Kerry's got a plan.

7:46pm: Wow, great follow-up question to Kerry about his promising to change nothing on Social Security and the fact that Social Security can't survive if changes aren't made. The solution by Kerry, as it is to every problem: tax the rich!

7:50pm: I missed the question on immigration. I was zoning out and reading Vodkapundit who is just as bored as I am.

7:53pm: I hate this whole 'card' thing for immigration and I hate that Bush won't admit it's amnesty.

7:54pm: 'Middle-class families aren't making it, Bob'. I guess it will come down to whether the middle-class watching this think 'yeah, I better get down to that bread line early tomorrow morning' or 'I wish we could buy that new car, maybe next year, a pre-owned it will be for us this year'.

7:56pm: People from the Middle East are allegedly coming over the border! If Bush had said this, calls of 'racist' would be deafening.

7:59pm: I like that Bush ties jobs to education. Isn't that a liberal idea? Why is Kerry so against that?

8:00pm: Kerry will not appoint a pro-life judge. That's good that he makes that clear. Bush says he will have no such litmus test.

8:02pm: FIFTY PERCENT of black males in NY are unemployed? Someone get the stats, quick. That sounds insane.

8:03pm: 'Only a liberal from Massachusetts thinks a 49% increase in education is too little.'

8:04pm: Vodkapundit: This thing is, mercifully, two-thirds over. Kerry is doing what Bush did in the first debate. He's smirking "off" camera, he's droning, he's dull. Bush, no matter how boring I find the material, at least sounds passionate. Problem is, other than intoxicated political junkies like me, who the hell is still watching?

8:08pm: Bush kicks ass on Iraq, whatever you think of the war, Kerry makes zero sense on it.

8:10pm: Room collapses into laughter when Kerry says 'I'm a hunter.'

8:12pm: Kerry opposes quotas. I oppose the lack of coffee provided at this party.

8:14pm: Dying. Bored. Sleepy. Can't listen to this. Why is Bush doing best in a debate this boring?

8:15pm: Good answer on Bush on his faith. Of course, the real question is what the hell does it have to do with domestic policy?

8:17pm: Whenever Kerry disagrees with something that he knows is popular with the American people, he says 'I respect....' Kerry sounds so fake and bizarre on religion. I have no idea what he's saying. I'm not the same religion as Bush but at least I know what he's talking about.

8:19pm: Softball question to Kerry: 'will you try to bring people together?' What's Kerry going to say, 'no, I like the divisiveness'. Kerry paying a compliment to the president on what he did after 9/11. Am I mistaken or did Kerry make fun of Bush for not running out of the classroom when he heard the towers were struck?

8:22pm: What does it say that I think Bush is winning but I don't care?

8:23pm: 'What is the most important thing you've learned from these strong women?' OY. What the hell kinds of questions are these? You can hear the audience laughing at Bush's funny, wholesome answer.

8:25pm: OH MY GOSH. If there's one thing Kerry didn't need to say, it's that he 'married up'. WOW. Kerry says hardly a word about Theresa and goes right into talking about his mom. That's a little strange, especially after Bush's touching tribute to Laura.

8:26pm: If Bush said 'idear' the way Kerry just did twice, well, you know....Democrats are always 'well-spoken' and 'smart'.

8:27pm: Kerry almost made it all the way through the debate without mentioning Vietnam. Almost.

8:29pm: Nice closing by Bush, even and sweet.

Posted by Karol at October 13, 2004 09:01 PM | TrackBack
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I thought there were rules agains the audience speaking. Seems like it's a room full of hecklers.

Posted by: Shawn at October 13, 2004 09:19 PM

Really? I can't hear anything.

Posted by: Karol at October 13, 2004 09:20 PM

Wait, wait, nevermind. I forgot you were at the Coors office.

Posted by: Shawn at October 13, 2004 09:26 PM

Ha. Yes, comments are from people in the room with me. :-)

Posted by: Karol at October 13, 2004 09:27 PM

Thanks Karol I can't take my eye off the corner of his mouth now.

Posted by: scott at October 13, 2004 09:34 PM

Since I'm all alone here I might as well try to import some graphics as this debate is not keeping me entertained.

Posted by: scott at October 13, 2004 09:45 PM

You're not alone.

Posted by: John-Paul at October 13, 2004 09:48 PM

Good becouse I can't seem to import images.

Posted by: scott at October 13, 2004 09:57 PM

Bush finally nailed Kerry on this 1991 vote against the Gulf War I. Kerry looks terrible.

Posted by: Ted at October 13, 2004 10:11 PM

I'm dying here, guys. How is everyone still awake?

Posted by: Karol at October 13, 2004 10:19 PM

I've got the sound down.

Posted by: Shawn at October 13, 2004 10:20 PM

McCain, McCain, blah blah blah. Kerry looks tired.

I like how Bush has been laughing at some of the things Kerry says. Not in a "peevish" way, but in a genuine "that was a good one! HA!" way.

Posted by: Arianne at October 13, 2004 10:23 PM

I've been tuning out so often that I need to refresh your blog to see what I missed. Heh.

Just missed what Kerry said about "marrying up..."...

Posted by: Arianne at October 13, 2004 10:25 PM

Well, I looked and I couldn't find jack on Kerry's assertion that fifty percent of New York's African-American population is unemployed. 'Tis beyond my Googling powers.

Posted by: Shawn at October 13, 2004 10:29 PM

I guess the softball questions help us learn more about who these men really are...since they are basically saying all the same things about their policies we've been hearing for a while now. Maybe some people care more about *who* they are instead of what they will do?

But I agree, the questions are lame and basically a waste of time.

Gah. I'm so bored I'm taking over your comments!

Posted by: Arianne at October 13, 2004 10:30 PM

You're right Arianne. I think Bush came off much more human.

Posted by: Karol at October 13, 2004 10:36 PM

Bush won, hands down. Kerry lost the election on the gay marriage question.

Posted by: Alex at October 13, 2004 10:39 PM

I watched 6 live Bloggers tonight. I hit the refresh button often and blew away a lot of bandwidth. Sorry.

Here is my ranking of the live Bloggers I watched.

1. Spot on
2. Captains Quarters
3. Vodkapundit
4. Betsy’s Page
5. Kerry Spot
6. Hugh Hewitt

Thank you Karol for an excellent job and an entertaining evening.

Posted by: Jake at October 13, 2004 10:55 PM

Bush hands down. I will bet you 1,000 dollars in cash that the NYTimes runs a front page story tomorrow not about the debate win, but about the Osama comment. Well, make it a drink.

Posted by: Dorian at October 13, 2004 11:03 PM

Hi Karol,

Nice job on the liveblog. I had many of the same reactions in my liveblog at DOUBLE TOOTHPICKS. I agree, the first question was a softball, and Kerry did himself no good with the 'Tony Soprano' comparison.

Steve Bragg

Posted by: Steve Bragg at October 13, 2004 11:03 PM


Could you sum up your who won/who lost thoughts in a coupla lines so I can quote you for my blog-reaction run-down?

If you don't mind.

Posted by: ace at October 13, 2004 11:44 PM

Hey, I say, "idear".

Posted by: PAUL at October 13, 2004 11:49 PM

great liveblogging!

I was reading yours will Claudio and I were doing ours, and he even quotes you in ours.

great stuff!

Our liveblog:


Posted by: Pat at October 14, 2004 12:08 AM

Hey, Dorian, maybe that's because the "Osama bin laden" comment is an actual example of George W. Bush lying -- about his cavalier attitude towards Osama bin Laden, no less -- whereas "the debate win" is your subjective perception of what happened.

I'd be willing to bet a drink that the President of the United States caught in a lie is more newsworthy than who you think won the debate.

Posted by: Rick Blaine at October 14, 2004 12:31 AM

Kerry won. I think our liveblog is pretty good also. We stick it to Kerry pretty good on the things he messed up.

Karol, you are a very easy audience for Bush's half-assed bon mots about Kerry and liberalism.

Posted by: ugarte at October 14, 2004 12:58 AM

Funny, I think Kerry won the debate. The two polls I've seen(both informal hey you guys locked in this room that we're asking) say Kerry won. Bush no speaky the english good behind a podium with no audience reaction, sorry folks.

Posted by: Dawn Summers at October 14, 2004 12:58 AM

Hey Rick Blaine, ever heard of context?

Bush's point when he supposedly said that he didn't care about catching Bin Laden was that this war is not about one man being a target, but all the terrorists being targets.

Posted by: Arianne at October 14, 2004 01:09 AM

Rick, stop with the conspiracy theories. Go look it up. The actual quote is something to the effect of "I am not worried about OBL, he should be worried about me." Stay off the left wing web sites, babe.

Posted by: Dorian at October 14, 2004 01:58 AM

I stayed awake by simultaneously blogging THE GAME and the debate ... low scoring game + low scoring debate = fun night :).

Posted by: Jheka at October 14, 2004 04:42 AM

Hey Doiran and Arianne: so now you're the party of subtlety and nuance? Good luck with that, since it worked so well for Kerry,

Posted by: ugarte at October 14, 2004 08:43 AM

Dorian: Bush didn't say "here's the context", he said "I didn't say that".

Arianne: What bush actually said was, "I truly am not that concerned about him."

As for "context", here's the whole Q&A:

"Q: But don't you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won't truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?

"The President: Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And again, I don't know where he is. I--I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban.

"But once we set out the policy and started executing the plan, he became--we shoved him out more and more on the margins. He has no place to train his Al Qaeda killers anymore. And if we--excuse me for a minute--and if we find a training camp, we'll take care of it. Either we will, or our friends will. That's one of the things--part of the new phase that's becoming apparent to the American people is that we're working closely with other governments to deny sanctuary or training or a place to hide or a place to raise money."

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