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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal





    Saturday, October 09, 2004

    Wrestling with the big guys 

    For the third-and-final presidential debate, which will be held Wednesday in Phoenix, Ohioblog proposes that President Bush and Sen. John Kerry be paired in a MTV Celebrity Deathmatch, ``the world's leading provider of claymation carnage.'' These guys are feisty enough to handle it, and it is the only way they are going to resolve their differences. They certainly didn't do so Friday night during Debate No. 2 at Washington University in St. Louis.

    The winners in this debate were those among the 140 undecided or gently leaning St. Louis-area voters whom the Gallup Organization rounded up to participate in a town-hall setting and grill the candidates. As our surrogates, they did us proud, with questions as sharp as razors and truer than a scud missile. Hey, if NPR's senior news analyst Daniel Schorr (he's been around since the Lincoln-Douglas debates) says your questions were good, your questions were good. As for the answers - well, both respondents had a better day than Martha Stewart.

    In the instant who-won-the-debate polls, both CNN/USA/Gallup (47 percent to 44 percent) and ABC(44 percent to 41 percent) gave Kerry a marginal victory, but compared with Kerry's 53-37 percent margin in Debate No. 1, Bush didn't have any reason to scowl, though he joked at one point that a Kerry response was causing him to
    consider doing so.

    As their parity in style brought into sharp contrast their substantive differences on health care, stem cell research, abortion, jobs and need for fiscal responsibility.

    Those looking for summations of how the blogosphere is shaking out on Debate No. 2 should check Instapundit.com, where Glenn Reynolds thinks Bush won this round, and dailykos.com, where Kos, as expected, is on the other side. Kos also has some help from thirdparty, who has harvested the punditry into a neat package.

    Not everything that came out of the candidates' mouths matched up seamlessly with the facts. The president expressed surprise that he owns a timber company that qualifies him as a small-business owner. That was Kerry's point: Bush's definition of ``small business'' is so broad when he tries to argue that small businesses will be hurt by Kerry's plan to take away tax cuts to those who earn more than $200,000 per year that Bush doesn't even realize he's talking about himself. As Yogi Berra always says, you can look it up at factcheck.org. Other places to check the facts from the debate - hey, you didn't think good ol' Ohioblog was going to do all your homework for you, did you? - include here and here
    and here and here and also here.

    Finally, if you want to read some slightly obscene but nonetheless funny live debate blogging, visit Wonkette.com, who has a request that might as well be from all us: Mr. Kerry, please do not look straight (into) the camera again. You frighten me. (Not as much as BUSH'S SCREAMING, though.)''

    At last, an apology

    ``I am extremely disappointed in myself and also very sorry to anyone who was misled by my mix-up of information.''

    Sounds like the response President Bush should have
    given
    to questions about justification for the war in Iraq and what his three biggest mistakes have been. Problem is, President Bush didn't say this. This comes from the woman who accused Los Angles Laker star Kobe Bryant of rape and then decided not to go through with the trial. The case was dismissed, but the woman is suing Bryant in civil court for monetary damages. Can a president be sued?

    Counting those electoral votes before they're hatched

    Forget who won Debate No. 2. The question is who is going to win the electoral college (remember, who wins the popular vote doesn't matter; ask Al Gore). At this point, it depends on who's doing the counting.

    Electoral-vote.com has it Kerry 280 electoral votes and Bush 239. It breaks it down with 112 strong Kerry votes, 101 weak Kerry votes and 67 barely Kerry votes compared with 148 strong Bush votes, 62 weak Bush votes and 29 barely Bush votes. Ohio is in the barely Kerry category.

    In comparison, RealClearPolitics.com has an electoral count of Bush 264 (270 wins; the House of Representatives, which is and will be controlled by the Republican Party, would pick the victor in case of a tie), Kerry 220 and 54 still a toss-up, the largest number being Ohio's 20.


    Someone frisk the Prez

    Even the New York Times is reporting on the possibility that President Bush used an earpiece to receive coaching in Debate No. 1. Observed first by bloggers and written in Salon on Friday, part of the evidence was a bulge in the back of his suit jacket, rumored to be a transmitter. ``There was nothing under his suit jacket,'' said Nicolle Devenish, a campaign spokeswoman. The president wasn't even wearning a bulletproof vest. He doesn't need one against Sen. John Kerry. The president is protected by Teflon. Nothing sticks to him.

    Ohioans are special voters

    Late today or early tomorrow, check back for a special Ohioblog roadtrip edition. The blog sat with 12 Ohio voters as they watched Debate No. 2 and answered questions posed by John Zogby of Zogby International, the polling/marketing research organization. Knight Ridder Newspapers chief political correspondent Steven Thomma will report on the group and the overall campaign in Sunday's Akron Beacon Journal.


    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 1:30 PM



     Latest posts

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       •  Just the facts


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