Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Debate #3

General thoughts now. More analysis later.

I like Townhall debates the best; they were the best questions out of the three and serious even in their prefaces. The Lehrer and Scheiffer questions were more sanctimonious in their prefaces, less straightforward and more biased in the wording. I would like to see all townhall debates from now on and let the bigwig news anchors watch the timeclock. This might have the benefit of teaching the anchors how to ask questions and cover issues the people are interested in.

I am not a presidential debate analyst, historically speaking, so it would be nice to get feedback on this question. Did these debates concentrate on the president's record more than past election debates. It seemed the refs never allowed the Bush offense on the field and kept giving Kerry first downs in every question. Again this was more apparent with the Lehrer and, only a tiny bit less so with Scheiffer.

One Kerry observation. In the first debate, I thought Kerry had done well on style - make an assertion and give two or three reasons backing them up. (I'm disregarding whether the two or three are good facts, bad facts, etc) Tonight, Kerry sometimes had several assertions and was a figurative Mount St. Helens in spewing out reasons, facts, observations to back it up. It was dizzying and in my mind very bad style. It will probably hurt him. (People come away sceptical of an argument if there is just one thing they latch on to as being 'wrong'.)


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