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Old 10-08-2004, 11:02 PM   #1
AKIRA
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http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...debate_analysis

Quote:
Bush Fights to Keep Emotions in Check

12 minutes ago*

By RON FOURNIER, AP Political Writer

WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) smirked and winked and chuckled to himself. He jumped from his stool, chopped at the air and interrupted the debate moderator. As he fought to keep his emotions in check during a combative debate with Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites), the president asserted, "That answer almost made me scowl."

Several answers brought Bush's emotions to the surface, for better or worse, as he sought to curb Kerry's momentum.

The question that hung over the second of their three debates was whether Bush's aggressive, hyper style was an effective tool or a damaging habit an extension of his disastrous first debate performance. Reviews were mixed.

Bush "seemed wound a bit too tight. He was a little like Nixon sort of jumping out of his suit," said David Niven, political science professor at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. "He looked bad on the TV close-ups."

"Kerry was way too wordy and Bush was folksy, feisty," said Charles Franklin, political science professor at the University of Wisconsin. "Bush looked comfortable, and produced a plausible story line."

As for voters, especially those in the shrinking mushy middle yet to make up their minds, both Bush and Kerry presented an angry, negative face to national politics.

Several said they were disappointed by both men.

"They're very argumentative. I'm actually disgusted," said Jennifer Schmitz, 38, a mother of three in Klamath Falls, Ore. "It's the same old back and forth meanness."

In their 90-minute faceoff, Kerry was cooler and windier, but no less confrontational. He shook his head with a tightlipped smile as Bush attacked. The Republican campaign said Kerry looked haughty, and Bush aides counted the Democrat's negative facial expressions

"He gave you a speech" on Iraq (news - web sites) "and told you he'd plan carefully," Kerry told the crowd of uncommitted voters standing in for millions of Americans watching the debate. "He didn't. He broke his word."

At times, Kerry swiveled to address Bush directly, forcing camera angles that caught the president's facial reactions. Bush seemed to be aware that his reactions were being watched; as Kerry spoke, he scribbled notes or looked at the Democrat.

Both candidates sought to address their political vulnerabilities for Kerry, assertions that he is a flip-flopper and, for Bush, the self-inflicted wounds from the first debate.

Kerry summed up Bush's re-election campaign strategy nicely "He wants you to believe that I can't be president." Then he accused Bush of waffling on crime and education polices among others before turning the topic back to Iraq. "Let me tell you this, I have never changed my mind about Iraq," Kerry said, glossing over his history of inconsistency on the topic.

As for Bush, voters said last week they were turned off by his repetition of a few talking points during his turns at the microphone and his peevish facial expressions during Kerry's remarks. He did so poorly_ about a third of voters formed a less favorable view of him during the debate, according to an AP-Ipsos poll that he had nowhere to go but up.

Bush cut down on the antics Friday night, but didn't eliminate them.

Early in the debate, Kerry quoted Republican senators expressing concern about Iraq. Television cameras caught Bush laughing to himself, then smirking, and finally giving a quick wink to somebody in the crowd.

He and Kerry repeatedly jumped from their stools to respond, wandering the red-carpeted stage to make their points. Bush was the most aggressive, at one point overrunning moderator Charles Gibson's attempt to pose a question after Kerry said he was "not going to go alone like this president did" in Iraq.

* "I've got to answer this," Bush said, cutting off Gibson, then indignantly responded to Kerry. "You tell Tony Blair (news - web sites) we're going alone."

Often, Bush's voice rose to nearly a shout. Was is too much? That's in the eye of the beholder.

"Bush looks the most determined. He's up and down, but he's not angry. He focused on how he responds," said Chris Montgomery, 48, an uncommitted voter in New Orleans who leaned toward Bush before the debate.

He said Kerry kept talking about his plan for Iraq, "but where was it?"

Craig Swatland, 40, an uncommitted voter listening to the debate on the radio in Bozeman, Mont., said Bush was "pretty heated up, but he's just being aggressive.

"I would just like one of these guys to answer a question," he said. "I'm tired of listening to the rhetoric and the carping."

___

EDITOR'S NOTE Ron Fournier has covered presidential politics since 1993.
Bush did get fired up a few times but I'm not sure that it will hurt him that much.
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Old 10-08-2004, 11:57 PM   #2
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I didn't read that, but I'd just like to say that I just watched it on tape...and I agree that Bush got agitated, and during some questions he almost seemed like he was yelling and to look at those people, half of them look like they're gonna die of boredom or they looked worn out from the browbeating from Bush. Bush was hot tempered and a little rude early on, but I think he settled down. He didn't really relent with his "geez, where to begin" attitude, but then again Kerry kept at it too. I thought when Bush said that such and such group named "senator Kennedy" the most liberal senator...I coulda swore he said Kennedy when he meant Kerry. I even rewound the tape and it sure sounded like Kennedy, but it was kinda slurred. I was even under the impression that ol Ted was the most liberal anyway, so I was like "where is he going with this?"

Bush definitely brought better game, but he had the same ol responses which lost him the first one...he just presented it better IMO.

That guys face who asked the environment question was priceless; he looked like he was just told his mom died. I think he knew he was being bs'ed hardcore.

The last question was a juicy one too, and Bush never accepted that he was fallible when it comes to foreign policy...except to historians. As if to suggest that historians are only operating on opinion and no facts. Talk about bs.

Anyway, a good debate, but for the independents, they have a hard choice because it's pretty even. It just depends on which side of the fence you're on, Dem. or Rep. Each held their own.
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Old 10-09-2004, 12:02 AM   #3
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read it Akira...just wanted to respond first before being influenced.

I think that Bush lost this one, because again, he lost his cool and he just had the same answers/attacks and Kerry brought some new shizzle to the tizzle.
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Old 10-09-2004, 09:10 AM   #4
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lol Ber Ber what was that Bush called himself on the environmental question? lol I can't remember what he said but I was cracking up.. I can't believe he had the balls to try and put it past the American people that he is actually a good environmental president.

I thought it was pretty funny when Kerry brought up the point, that the air would be cleaner today if Clinton's bill would have still been in place rather than the one Bush made.

Kerry hit the nail on the head with that one.. Bush is big on titles but small on actually doing anything. his clean air act or what ever he calls it.. Big title and nothing going on inside. "Leave no children behind" another big title with nothing going on inside.. "Flat taxes" another big title with nothing going on.

You know the more I think about it, America would probably be ok if Bush was re elected. Because Bush makes all these promises and never dose anything. So I'm sure in another four years nothing would have changed Well of course Iraq would probably be a total lose at that poit if it isn't already.
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Old 10-09-2004, 10:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
I guess you'd say I'm a good steward of the land
yeah that shit was nice. I also liked how he started off his answer...lilke he was under attack from the get go...
Quote:
Q. Mr. president, how would you rate yourself as an environmentalist? What specifically has your administration done to improve the condition of our nation's air and water supply?

Mr. Bush Off-road diesel engines - we have reached an agreement to reduce pollution from off-road diesel engines by 90 percent.
Hard to get it from the text, but "Off-road diesel engines" was blurted out quickly and then a pause. Did you see how the guy that asked the question was just staring at the pres. and didn't look at all satisfied with his answer. Guy kind of looked like "curb your enthusiasm" guy, but having a really bad day.

For full text of 2nd debate: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/08/politics...ed=1&oref=login

One of my favorite comments by Bush: "Mr. Bush I own a timber company? That's news to me. Need some wood?"
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