The debate just ended.
From where I was sitting — in my living room, Senator Kerry spoke clearly, and confidently. President Bush was often less confident, stumbled.
Most importantly, Kerry enunciated clearly how his core beliefs have not changed, as he has been accused. He explained how his different votes and statements have been based on different information, and different situations. He didn’t quote Emerson, and to do so would have been disrespectful, but I will: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of simple minds.”
Consistency is sometimes appropriate and necessary. Emerson spoke against a foolish consistency. When information changes. When the situation changes. It can call for different actions.
There were often disagreements on the facts, and it will be interesting to see the analysts pick apart which one was correct.
I was watching on C-Span, and as the representative from the Commission on Presidential Debates said…after the debate those who support Kerry will say he won, and those who support Bush will say he won. What is important is how the undecideds feel. According to some polls 1/3 of America is undecided — or at least have said the debates will influence their decision. Of course, I am not undecided. And I know my view of the debate is biased.
As a side note: I thought the green, yellow, and red lights were silly. The debate isn’t a game show, nor is it the Emmys. However, I believe the only time the red light flashed was while Bush was speaking. (I may be wrong in that there were a few minutes where I wasn’t watching, but only listening, so I might have missed Kerry going over.)
Here’s a running commentary of the debate from one of my two favorite comic authors /political commentators, Peter David. Tom Tomorrow, was busy elsewhere. (PAD does actually slip in some negative comments about Kerry.)
The polls this morning generally agree with my assessment — Kerry won the debate.