1st 2004 Presidential Debate Observations
Techniguy 10-02-04

Kerry's delivery in the debate was no doubt better than Bush‘s. Kerry is a highly trained and practiced debater where Bush is not but style does not mean that substance is not a factor as well. George Bush was just George Bush with his clear and straight forward message, while Kerry was a pompous attacker full of doubletalk with little substance. Bush, as the President, had to be "presidential" and diplomatic where Kerry did not, so Bush didn't cut Kerry down nearly as much as Kerry tried to do to him. As President, Bush had to protect his relationship with foreign leaders and the UN by not offending and speaking out against them and their policies when Kerry would praise them. Bush has to negotiate with them tomorrow where Kerry doesn’t and offending them isn‘t going to help there.

Bush should not try to debate or hold press conferences when it’s his bedtime. He is very tired after being up early in the morning and working hard all day. As a result, he put on a poor showing in this debate, just as he did when he held a press conference at this same late hour earlier this year. The critics say he seemed not focused on the debate and had his mind on other things, didn‘t want to be there. I think he was probably thinking “I should be in bed by now and wish I was”. He was obviously very tired and just not up to a debate at that hour. His advisors should have known that and insisted on the debate being taped earlier in the day for later broadcast. Kerry, on the other hand, can sleep in late, play around and nap all day, and be fresh and ready for nightlife at 9 pm. Kerry is not working at his job and hasn't been for over a year so he can devote all of his time and energy to the debate and just doing what he wants.

Kerry won on style but had no substance. Bush lost on style but had good substance. Kerry's presentation was a mass of well delivered, conflicting doubletalk while Bush's message was clear and consistent but poorly delivered . On substance and clarity, Bush won by a landslide. If Kerry was running for president of a debate club he would probably win the election, but he isn’t. He’s running for President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces and in that race, he failed to present a convincing argument or even a coherent one. Generally, most observers called the debate a draw with neither candidate scoring any great victories or blunders but there were some regardless.

Bush ran out of material after the first 30 or 45 minutes and began repeating himself too much, especially with the words "it's hard work" which he used 12 times during the debate. I found it embarrassing to watch him appear as though he was just too tired to think, and begging for sympathy when he could have been using the time to counter Kerry’s attacks. Bush simply did not have his full concentration on the debate. He is also not good at quick and snappy comebacks as Kerry is. It takes him a little time to meditate on challenges before forming a correct and responsible response, and you simply don’t have time to do that in the heat of a debate. Kerry is very good at quick and snappy comebacks but his responses often don’t make any sense and are full of doubletalk. It simply doesn’t take 90 minutes for Bush to state his case but Kerry could spend 90 hours trying to state his and people would still not know what he is saying or where he stands. Bush’s message was short and simple. “You have seen the leadership I have provided for the past four year and you know who I am and what I stand for”. Bush didn’t think it necessary to restate the obvious, that everyone already knows about him and his policies. His message doesn’t take that long to state but he could have spent more of the time rebutting Kerry’s erroneous charges instead of just letting them roll off of him and appearing to have not much to say. There is no question that Bush did not look good in this debate and the polls are showing it, however, the polls are also showing that in spite of this, it didn’t hurt Bush’s standings or improve Kerry’s position when it comes to the question of “who would you vote for?”.

Kerry made some real blunders and repeated much of his campaign lies, some of which are so absurd that they are hard to respond to, but Bush nailed him on some of them. I was surprised to see Kerry being very careful in his early statements to say that Saddam had no ties to the 911 attacks, but later, he fell back into his campaign propaganda lies and stated that Saddam had no ties to Al Qaeda which is false. No one has called him on that blunder so far. In the same statement, Kerry said we went into Iraq because of WMDs, Iraq was not an eminent threat, and the whole thing was a big mistake by President Bush. We did not go into Iraq because of WMDs, we went there to remove Saddam Hussein from power. No one ever said that Iraq was “an eminent threat”, only that it was “a grave and growing threat”? Kerry said it was a mistake to invade Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein, then he does a complete 180 and says it was the right thing to do. More doubletalk. Kerry said that the war has cost $200 billion but in fact it has only cost $120 billion.

Kerry also trapped and exposed himself with his response to a question on taking preemptive action in defense of our country. He insisted that he would take unilateral, preemptive action whenever necessary, but then said “provided it passed the Global Test”. “Global Test”? Bush nailed him on that hypocrisy by saying “I’m not interested in passing some “global test” before taking action, I’m concerned about doing what is necessary to protect America“. In essence, Kerry is saying on one hand that he will take strong unilateral action to protect our country, but at the same time, he won’t do it without permission of the global community, which as we have recently learned, is not forthcoming. So which statement by Kerry is true? This was probably the most obvious example of Kerry’s doubletalk in the debate. But then doubletalk is what Kerry has been using throughout his entire campaign and that’s why everyone is still totally confused about his plan for the war in Iraq and the war on terror. His current published war plan is a mirror copy of what Bush is already doing but it’s questionable whether Kerry would carry it out while claiming that the plan is a huge failure. Then, of course, he says Bush has no plan at all so it’s no wonder that people are confused about what Kerry is proposing.

Today, in a speech at Tampa Florida, John Kerry said “No one is talking about wavering and weaving, I’m talking about taking money away from Halliburton and giving it to the Iraqis and bringing our troops home.” What, before we’ve finished training them? That wasn’t in his war plan. He wants to take away the funding to Halliburton who is using it to rebuild the Iraqi infrastructure and provide logistics, goods, food, and services to our troops? He wants to do again what he tried to do with his vote on the $87 billion and deny resources to our troops? He wants to give that money to the Iraqis? Sounds like he wants Iraqis on American welfare too along with his liberal voters.

Another blunder on substance Kerry made was in saying that he supports “bilateral talks” with No. Korea and return to the failed Clinton policy with regards to that country. Bush now has six countries engaged in multinational talks with No. Korea to end their nuclear programs. Kerry would destroy this progress with his “bilateral” talks. That is, just us and No. Korea, the very thing Bush has been avoiding as it proved to be a failed policy with the Clinton Administration. Why does Kerry insist on multilateral involvement in Iraq, but promote bilateral involvement with No. Korea? The answer is clear and has been all along. Whatever Bush does is wrong and a complete failure and must be changed according to Kerry. This has been Kerry’s campaign theme from the beginning and is the only thing he hasn’t flip flopped on. If Bush said “good morning” at 6:00 am, Kerry would say “he’s lying and wrong, it’s the middle of the night”. If Bush is wrong about so much, you would think that Kerry could offer something better that makes sense to the American people but he doesn’t. In his arrogance, he can just say Bush is wrong and we are all supposed to believe him. He says he can do a better job of everything but doesn’t say how, and we are all supposed to believe him. He thinks Americans are stupid as Michael Moore has stated. Moore should make a movie about Kerry after the elections. This time he could just tell the truth and it would be just as ridiculous as the one he made about Bush.

Another big problem for Kerry is his statement in the debate that he intends to dismantle the nuclear bunker buster bomb program. This is no different than Kerry’s votes against the nuclear defense program while Reagan was winning the cold war because of the existence of it. We are now fighting an enemy who hides in underground bunkers and caves and we don’t have the weapons to get at them there. Had we had and used such a weapon, we could have killed Saddam Hussein with the first air strike and done away with Osama Bin Ladden in the caves of Tora Bora before he escaped. Just as the nuclear missiles were a deterrent to the Soviet Union, nuclear bunker buster bombs would be a deterrent to terrorists. Kerry opposes all nuclear weapons and would disarm America in his efforts to eliminate them. As he sees it, “if Iran and No. Korea can’t have them, then why should we”? Rogue nuclear countries would not respect or comply with nuclear bans and the result would be that America would be disarmed but our enemies would not. We might as well just hand our “superpower” status over to Iran and No. Korea if Kerry is elected.

Kerry said WMDs are now coming back across the border and being exploded in Iraq. Really? Could this be an indication that Kerry is aware of the WMDs being shipped out of Iraq just before the war? Why hasn’t the media reported on the detonation of these weapons in Iraq? Also, Kerry was asked about his vote for the $87 billion to support our troops. His response was “I wanted the bill to contain a repeal of the tax cuts to pay for the war but since it didn’t, my vote was a ‘protest vote’ against the bill. I made a mistake in the way I talked about the war, but Bush made the mistake of actually going to war. Which is worse?”. Bush corrected Kerry by saying “It wasn’t the way you talked about it, but the way you voted on it. You shouldn’t exploit our troops in harms way to protest”.

Kerry was asked to defend his charges and present specifics about what he claims Bush has “lied or misled” about. Kerry said he never has used the term “lied” but that’s not true. In December 2003 Kerry Told A New Hampshire Editorial Board Bush "Lied" About Reasons For Going To War In Iraq, and In September 2003 Kerry said the Bush Administration "lied" and "misled". Kerry’s answer was that Bush was not telling the truth when he talks about the great progress being made in Iraq when the truth is that attacks are increasing and more soldiers have been killed since the end of major operations than before. This is not a lie by Bush, both are true. When Bush talks about the true progress being made, does he call Kerry a liar for emphasizing the negative aspects of war? Of course Bush isn’t interested in talking about body bags and other demoralizing issues as Kerry does. Bush is responsible to the troops and to the American people for maintaining moral and optimism. A demoralized population and army can never win a war and Bush intends to win this one. On the other hand, it’s already too late for Kerry to have any chance of winning. He has already spent his entire campaign, along with his puppet master Ted Kennedy, trying to demoralize the troops and the population, as well as our allies and the Iraqi people with his unsupportive remarks and hate for the war and the Commander in Chief. Kerry would have only one option as president in spite of his lies about fighting terrorism. He would have to cut and run from Iraq and let the country fall to the terrorists. He’s gone too far down that path to do anything else. The war mask he is trying to wear now to make himself look more like Bush doesn’t fit well at all. It’s the real John Kerry we would see as president when he is finally freed to be who he really is, the anti-American war protester we saw after his return from Vietnam.


When Kerry was asked what he would do differently in Iraq, he went back to his campaign rhetoric saying he would bring in allies to replace our US troops who are there now. Another absurd statement by Kerry, or just a concept that does not fit the facts of reality? The simple truth is that every country who was willing to go to Iraq is already there. That’s why it’s called the “Coalition of the Willing”. How is Kerry going to get more foreign troops into Iraq after calling it a “mistake”, “the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time”, a failure, and so on? Does he really think he can gain support by asking allies to join in our “big mistake”? Just how does he plan to do that, by offering them billions of our taxpayer dollars to make them an offer they can’t refuse, and paying their expenses for the mission? This is why Kerry just doesn’t make good sense when he talks about the war. Quite frankly, Kerry is full of misguided baloney when it comes to our foreign affairs and this is precisely why he lost the debate on substance even though he may have won on style.


It is most important to understand that John Kerry’s whole campaign has been based on a false premise… that the operations in Iraq have been going poorly and are a huge failure. This is simply not true, but is typical of the kind of dishonest campaign Kerry has been running. They start rumors and make false statements, then reinforce them by pretending that they are common knowledge when in fact the are and always have been lies. Only 3 out of 18 provinces in Iraq are being effected by terrorism according to Prime Minister Allawi, the rest are peaceful and becoming accustomed to life and liberty in a free country. Less than 5000 enemy and insurgents in a country of over 25 million are opposing the US and coalition efforts according to the commanding generals there, but the way the media portrays it, you would think that it‘s the whole nation that we are fighting. Kerry is basing his whole campaign on these small numbers and calling it a failure because of after only 18 months, there is still some resistance to democracy. That resistance is attacking more now in their attempt to stop the progress and prevent the elections from coming in January. Should we have given up on WWII in 1943 as Kerry has done with Iraq? We have not lost a single battle in Iraq but have won every one. This simple fact that the war is not over yet does not mean we are loosing or that the operation is a failure as Kerry is claiming. This kind of Democrat rhetoric plays right into the hands of the enemy. Ted Kennedy’s recent demoralizing, anti-American remarks sound every bit just like “Tokyo Rose” during the “great war“. I fail to see any difference.

Bush scored points when he pointed out that Kerry’s negativity on the war sends the wrong message to the enemy, to our allies, to the troops, and to the Iraqis. But then this has been a pattern in the Kerry campaign. According to Kerry, everything Bush has done has been wrong and a total failure so why should the war be any different? The more enemy attacks, and the more of our soldiers that are killed in Iraq, the better for the Kerry campaign and they know it. They are trying to do everything they can to bring more of it about by encouraging the enemy and demoralizing our efforts, all in the hopes that it will make President Bush look bad and give Kerry a better chance at being elected. The tactics Kerry is using in his campaign should be enough evidence to the voting public to prove that this man should never again be elected to any public office. You can’t lead a country when you are determined to drive it into failure just to win your election. That only shows that your ambition and lust for power is more important than the safety and security of the nation and would still be the same in elected office. Bush has proven that his first priority is the security of the nation before his personal ambition by taking on the fight against terrorism, regardless of what it does to his job approval ratings. He isn’t fighting terrorism to get himself reelected, he’s doing it to protect the country’s citizens, and anyone who can’t see that is a fool. Could the same be said for Kerry? I’ve seen no evidence from Kerry that he would place the best interests of the country ahead of his personal ambitions and lust for power. He certainly hasn’t shown it in his campaign.

Remember “It’s all about OIL”? What ever happened to that antiwar cry from the liberals? In time, and after Bush is reelected, you’re going to be seeing all of the Kerry campaign lies and rhetoric just disappear out the same exit as “it’s all about OIL” did when it becomes clear that it has no validity and can‘t stand up to reality. Thank God we don’t live in Europe where they may never get rid of all this false garbage and go through life believing all the negative propaganda. Some day, they may come out of the dark ages and join in the 21st century if the terrorists don‘t get them all first and convert them to Islam. America must lead Europe, not follow it as Kerry and his liberals want to do. The future of America does not lie in the misguided and failing ideology of Europe or the UN. We must have a President who realizes this and is willing to lead as a pioneer in the new world, not follow the old and obsolete policies typical of Europe. George W. Bush is such a leader and is the right man, in the right place, at the right time and deserves the respect and support of all of us, even John Kerry.