I just watched John Kerry deliver an absolute knock-out blow to the embattled President by exercising utter mastery. But the Pundits of Planet Mordor agree: Bush was far less embarrassing than last time, so it’s about a draw. And hey! How about those wonderful questions from the audience members.
First of all, on the audience: I was struck by just how much courage it took to stand up, and clearly and plainly speak to the President of the United States some pretty harsh words (i.e, “Did you really go fishing in the rain this afternoon?”). I thought every single questioner was quite impressive and showed a lot of gumption. See? I told you Americans were all right. As for the questions themselves, while I agree that they were quite good, the press’ fawning all over them just underscores to me just how bad most “journalists” are at their jobs. These are the questions that they should be discussing every day, and yet they seem quite concerned with things like Bush’s scowling, Kerry’s tan, etc. Memo to press: maybe if you tried a little harder, you could catch the journalistic standard of Missouri Third Grade Teacher Sandy.
On to the main event: Kerry KO’d the bastard by any reasonable measure. He has permanently defanged the flip-flopper charge once and for all. He has poisoned everything the President says about Kerry by charging that the President is just trying to scare us. Kerry did not flip, nor flop, nor was he wighy-washy or muddled or verbose. Not even French. Asked to speak plainly into the camera and say that he would not under any circumstances raise taxes on families earning under $200K, Kerry did just that without the slightest hesitation. Bush’s answers were frankly strange, and fodder for the conspiricists amongst us who believe that the President’s health is in fact declining and causing him to be a Bigger and Bigger Jerk.
As the discussion wore on, I thought the reaction of the audience members was clearly favoring Kerry. I thought Kerry connected with the American people tonight in a way that pretty much cements things for him come the 2d. I really can’t see how, barring some October surprise or other unforeseen-able event, Bush can win this thing. But then, I don’t really see how he’s getting any votes at all. Are there any Americans who think invading Iraq was a good idea? That we had no choice in order to defend ourselves? I mean besides the President and his immediate family (which for these purposes includes the Dark Lord Cheney).
I may have more on this later, but if the polls fail to continue their current Kerry-favoring trend I’d be pretty surprised.