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  • Debate This!

    Thursday, October 14, 2004

    Are you better off? 

    Bush deluded himself in believing that his pre-emptive attack against Iraq will prevent the expansion of terrorism. All Americans need to do is to read the newspaper and watch the TV. And his tax cut, after almost 4 years, the economy is still stagnant. Just look at the number of unemployed people in Ohio. Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?  We all know the answer.
    -- Quinton ONeal

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:30 AM

    Wednesday, October 13, 2004

    OK, apparently even "MG" is watching baseball now, so I'll shut things down for tonight, post late arrivals in the morning.
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:40 PM

    But he closed with it 

    Yes, but he did work it into his closing statement.
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:30 PM

    That's a record 

    Sixty-five minutes into the debate and Kerry still hasn’t mentioned Vietnam.That’s a record for him.Kerry’s answer to the back-door draft question gave Bush a good opening to mention Kerry’s global test.

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:29 PM

    Let it slide 

    Kerry said the middle-class tax burden has gone up under Bush. Totally untrue, but Bush let it slide. Nevertheless, he’s doing well in this debate.

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:05 PM

    Walk softly around that one 

    Bush might want to tiptoe around the border/immigration questions. That's one of the main things that seems to have even a lot of his true believers miffed. But what exactly would Kerry do differently?
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:53 PM

    That's Haley's line 

    Bush just used a line Haley uses a lot--Ted Kennedy is the more conservative candidate for Massachusetts. This question--which Bush has turned to gay marriage--favors Bush in the swing states that are going to decide the election. Not sure how Kerry bringing up Cheney’s daughter is going to play at home. He’s trying to get in Bush’s pocket on the gay marriage issue.
    -- MG

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:42 PM

    Not presenting well 

    Kerry has bags under his eyes – not presenting well.  Interesting questions from Schieffer so far.  Kerry is staying on the attack.  Bush has missed a couple of opportunities and let a few easily answered charges go unchallenged.  He needs to keep hammering Kerry’s record in the Senate too.

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:40 PM

    Fiscal discipline? 

    Kerry says he wants to "restore the fiscal discipline" America had in the 1990s. Is that what Wall Street was practicing in the '90s? Fiscal discipline? I remember a buddy of mine in the '90s trying to talk me into becoming a day trader, and trying to show me how to "bottom feed." I don't remember a lot of fiscal discipline in the 90s.
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:14 PM

    Pretty slick 

    You gotta admit, that was pretty slick of GWB to turn a question about flu vaccine into a pro-tort reform opportunity.
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:13 PM


    Welcome to The Sun Herald's Web log of the third, and final, presidential debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry. I've left up postings from the previous two debates below. As before, I'll periodically post any early arrivals, then get rolling about 7:45 p.m. Sign in often.
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 6:17 PM

    Saturday, October 09, 2004

    Aint we got fun 

    As I listened to GWB talk about small businesses last night, I  thought, where is he coming from? We have two small businesses! He has the economy so messed up that we can no longer afford to offer our employees health plans. That is very sad for our employees. But that is okay for GWB because he doesn't have to worry about that like the rest of us, the rich get rich and the poor get poorer. In the meantime, in between time, ain't GWB got fun!!
    -- MM, Columbus, Ohio

    posted by Geoff Pender at 11:51 AM

    Going, going, gone 

    As usual Bush did his mudslinging instead of answering questions but is
    that a surprise? I think not! Same old same old! Bush and Cheney have their hands in the oil business up to you know where why wouldn't they want this mess to continue. Me I got a $1.00 raise, that is progress? Not even a Texan could believe that one. Try letting the government give you a below proverty income and see what you think of this mess when you are going to wind up on the street ,
    thanks to Bush Cheney I wouldn't vote for Bush if it was the last day of my life to prolong my life another minuteJobs are going going GONE Today they announced another layoff locally in my home town at a small business of 100 people, that is the Bush Cheney way. Even my son is going to lose his job, they call it downsizing many times can a company downsize and stay in business.?

    --JR Kurtz

    posted by Geoff Pender at 11:48 AM

    Both did better 

    Bush did better than his showing in the first debate but, so did
    Kerry. Kerry without a doubt.

    -- Joseph Scheiblauer

    posted by Geoff Pender at 11:46 AM

    Out of touch 

    This President is out of touch.  He is the ultimate of arrogance.  Which is pretty amazing for someone so inarticulate.  Please, America, can't we get rid of this embarrassment?  Can't we bring home our kids?
    -- Wendy Firth 

    posted by Geoff Pender at 11:45 AM

    Was Kerry tired? 

    Was John Kerry tired?  I was disappointed in his response to the question regarding Iran;I wanted to hear his NEW plans for Iraq- other than "speeding it up"- and more than anything- where are his great domestic plans? He kept saying he had a plan but nothing new was discussed!
    --Revonda Zubiena

    posted by Geoff Pender at 11:43 AM

    Friday, October 08, 2004

    Hands down 

    Kerry won hands down. No contest!
    --Trix Oakley

    posted by Geoff Pender at 10:06 PM

    Upset and disturbed 

    I was particularly upset and disturbed by the prevarication and half truths
    expressed by the President. He frequently quoted numbers that distracted the audience's attention from the truth. His responses about the Clean Air Act and the Clear Water Act tried to give the impression that they were designed to clean the air and to clear the water. Instead, they are corporate giveaways that actually worsen the condition of our environment.

    -- Robert Tarnas, M.D.

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:59 PM

    No admission 

    Bush is still lying and not admitting any wrong decisions. Kerry seems to have some good plans. Kerry won the debate hands down.
    --John Daluisio

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:43 PM

    Last call 

    I just heard Tom Brokaw describe this as a "spirited, and even physical debate." Did I miss something? Was there some contact? Anyway, we had a lackluster response on this blog. I'll keep the lines open a while longer, and post any late responses in the morning. Now's your chance.
    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:38 PM

    I own a timber company? 

    This may be the quote of the debate: "I own a timber company? That's news to me. Anybody need some wood?" -- GWB I haven't been checking other blogs, but this one is fading fast. Did Kerry just invoke Nancy Reagan?
    -- Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:11 PM

    Hammer weighs in 

    My Sun Herald colleague, and the true blogmaster, or "The Blogginator" Don Hammack weighs in on the ABC controversy:
    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly. -- Arthur Carlson, WKRP in Cincinnati
    --Don HAMMACK

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:52 PM

    What have we done? 

    Bush is crashing and buring here. I wonder what his dad, who crashed and burnedin WWII, would say about that. All Bush seems to have is cliches. My God, whathave we done to deserve the Bush clan?

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:49 PM

    I think Kerry should use more New Englandisms, like "wicked good," and perhaps wear a plaid wool hunting coat and L.L. Bean boots. Bush just said, "I understand there are rumors on the internets about a draft." I don't know about that, but the internets sure aren't lighting up here about this debate. Maybe I'll check the interweb, or the world wide net (Al Gore invented it). Blog in soon, or I'll go watch baseball, too.
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:27 PM

    Is it against the rules for Bush to phone a friend? Is anyone else watching this debate???

    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:15 PM

    Where y'at? 

    Okeedokie, we're off to a slow start. Is everyone watching baseball? What's all this stuff about an ABC memo scandal? Charlie G the moderator sounds stern as he rattles off the debate rules. Maybe he's grumpy about having to stay up so late to moderate.
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:03 PM

    How 'bout facts? 

    The most polished message? How about the message with facts to back up his points. John Kerry actually has substance, George Bush looks, sounds like, and has proven by his decisions that he doesn't know what is going on.
    --Michael Bradley

    posted by Geoff Pender at 5:25 PM


    Welcome to The Sun Herald's Web log for the second presidential debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry. The debate, the second of three, begins at 8 p.m.and airs on CNN and local ABC, NBC, FOX and PBS affiliates. We have left your views from our first-debate Web log below, for your reading pleasure. We have one early posting, which I'll load momentarily. As before, I'll update periodically until about 7:45, then go live. Also as before, I'll keep posting for about a half hour after the debate, unless the volume warrants going longer. Keep those comments coming, early and often. Thanks.
    --Geoff Pender, blogmaster and minister of information

    posted by Geoff Pender at 5:17 PM

    Thursday, September 30, 2004

    So long, for now 

    OK, the debate debate seems to have died. I'll post any late arrivals in the a.m. Thanks for your participation
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 10:10 PM

    Report card 

    Bush C+
    Kerry A-


    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:43 PM

    Let the games begin 

    And now for the spin. Two of my favorite quotes were: "I have no intention of wilting. I have never wilted in my life," from Kerry and "That's totally absurd," from Bush.
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:40 PM

    Kerry's hair better 

    Did I just hear Kerry say, essentially, "Bush is a liar" - then turn around and talk about how he respects him? Weird. Kerry's definitely got the better haircut, though. That matters a lot in a televised debate.

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:34 PM

    Sayonara Osama! 

    I'm all for developing a bunker busting nuclear weapon.If Osama Bin Laden is in a bunker and the only way to kill him is with a nuclear bunker buster,I say sayonara Osama! President Bush Is The First President In History To Fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research. Prior to President Bush's August 9, 2001decision, there was no federal government funding for human stem cell research. There is no ban on private research of stem cells. Federal Funding of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research was $24.8 Million For FY 2003 And $190.7 Million In Human Non-Embryonic Stem Cells (adult stem cells, including cord blood, placental, bone marrow, etc.). This represents an increase of $14.1 million for embryonic stem cell research, or 132 percent, over Fiscal Year 2002 spending.

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:27 PM

    Time is now 

    Current President Bush has no new ideas or answers.  It's time NOW to change course in national policy, as evidenced in tonight's debate. Our next president, clearly, will be John Kerry.  He is a far more convincing speaker. Yes, help IS on the way.
    --Carol Fortenberry

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:25 PM

    Who'll pay for that? 

    Kerry wants to create two new Army divisions, and double the special forces. Will this cost money?
    -- Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:14 PM

    What's his plan? 

    The debate is now one hour over and Senator Kerry has still not answered clearly any question -- what is his plan, what is the timeline to getting USA out of Iraq -- he continues to attack President Bush for what he says is a bad job as President, but he has yet to offer anything to the people. After one hour, I have learned nothing about the leadership of Senator Kerry -- he is quick to criticize, but I do not want to hear his criticisms.I want to hear what he is going to do, how he is going to make the USA a better place, and after an hour I still have no idea and I am most certain that another 30 minutes will not change anything.
    --Kathy A. Blazer, Gautier, Mississippi

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:11 PM

    A little help 

    The TV I'm watching while I run this blogger is too small, and b&w. I can't tell -- is Kerry sweating? Is Bush pursing his lips? The experts have told me all week these were important points. Somebody help me
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:05 PM

    Not proving his point 

    Kerry is winning hands down, Bush keeps telling us "its hard to fight a war"....Kerry answers questions with thought and intelligence...Bush tells us he's doing the right thing...with no information to prove his point, whatever it is. John Kerry will be a wonderful, intelligent president!
    -- R. Elaine Schmidtling

    posted by Geoff Pender at 9:01 PM

    Best, not most polished 

    Who would you want negotiating with heads of state? I want the man who is going to lead by his conviction and not what a focus group says this week.I want a man who means what he says and follows through.I want the man who has been consistently tough with his defense policies.I don't care who delivers the MOST POLISHED message, but the BEST message.I DON'T want the man who has spent 20 years in the senate voting against every defense bill that came across his desk.I don't want the man who fought President Reagan in the Cold War.I don't want the man who voted to gut the CIA pre-9/11

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:58 PM

    These boots are made for walking 

    John Kerry is walking all over Bush!!!The obvious fact that Kerry is SOOO much more intelligent is finally being played out for America!!!
    -- Linda

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:56 PM

    Handling wears off 

    As this goes on, Bush is starting to stammer more; Kerry is starting to give long, rambling answers. Maybe if we held a four-hour debate, towards the end, the handling would wear off and we'd get to the bottom of this!
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:52 PM

    Um... I dunno 

    Who would you want negotiating with heads of state. Well spoken, literate John Kerry or George "More of the um...saddam were around"
    --Carla, Bay St Louis

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:43 PM

    Bush turning corner? 

    Kerry Voted Six Times Against President Bush's Department Of Homeland Security, Stalling Its Creation By 112 Days. Kerry repeatedly sided with labor unions against President Bush in the creation of a Department of Homeland Security. Bush scores big with "Why are other foriegn leaders going to follow someone who is saying this is the wrong war for the wrong time." Maybe Bush is turning the corner.

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:35 PM

    Bush beating himself? 

    25 minutes into the debate and Kerry seems to be getting the better of Bush. Actually, Bush seems to be beating himself. Too much verbal stumbling. Kerry is cleverly keeping Bush on the devensive. So far only two mentions of Viet Nam service.

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:32 PM

    Nice nails 

    Once again, Kerry missed the point. While George Bush was out visiting hurricane victims in florida, Kerry was getting a manicure.

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:26 PM

    Rocky starts 

    Both candidates are off to a rocky start. Bush seems to be stumbling more than Kerry. No Bushisms yet.

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:20 PM

    I'll kill 'em better, faster 

    "I will hunt down and kill the terrorists wherever they are." After weeks of prep and handling, Kerry sounds like ... George W. Bush! That is, except for the "collossal error in judgement" part.
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:10 PM

    Next comes the spin cycle 

    One hour until the spin machine cranks up. My pre-debate guess: Kerry does better than expected, Bush doesn't screw up, and there will be no memorable zingers.

    posted by Geoff Pender at 8:04 PM

    Ha, ha, ha who is this, really? What about my hair? 

    Dear Geoff, You are SO sweet to be hosting this webcast.I have always thought you were the cutest reporter at the paper. Your picture on this website proves it! UR2hot!If you are ever in Oxford, stop by the Tri Delt house and say hello to your fan club. When my girlfriend and I are back on the coast we would like to meet you in person!
    How old are you? Do you date younger girls?

    --Rebel Delta

    posted by Geoff Pender at 7:59 PM

    Bring back the one-pieces 

    I just can't believe the skimpy little swimsuits they're making them wear this year -- oh, wait, wrong show. This is the one where they debate, Donald Trump judges their business accumen, then fires one, right? You guys better start hitting that "send" button soon. This blogger doth digress. I can't help but notice NBC is airing "Will and Grace" before the debate.
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 7:46 PM

    Do or die for Kerry 

    As for the debates being crucial to the presidential race... I don't think so. The debates are crucial to the Kerry campaign. Bush is the incumbent and in the lead. Kerry has the most to gain, Bush has the most to lose. Look for Kerry to break the rules (time, confrontational questions, addressing the opponent). This is do or die for the Democrats.
    -- RSJ

    posted by Geoff Pender at 7:11 PM

    Public vs pundits 

    Funny, these first coupla' public sentiments are quite opposite of what the pundits have been saying all week, that this debate is key to the presidency, crucial to the commonweal. I would love to know exactly how many voters are swayed by debates. Though, I don't know that I would trust any poll that claimed to quantify it.
    --Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 6:56 PM

    Nothing new 

    Political debate questions should come from a public gathering, not hand-picked topics that can be rehearsed. The debate tonight will not discuss anything new.
    -- Jack Capdau, Diamondhead

    posted by Geoff Pender at 6:30 PM

    Count me out 

    I plan to skip the debate and read a good book. If you would like to know some of the real facts please see,an unbiased not for profit site sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania.
    -- Charles Gallagher

    posted by Geoff Pender at 6:18 PM


    Welcome to The Sun Herald's Web log for the first presidential debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry. The debate, the first of three, begins at 8 p.m. and airs on CNN and local ABC, NBC, FOX and PBS affiliates. Your comments and observations are welcome, and I'll try to keep mine minimal and pithy. We have a few early-bird postings already -- mainly from folks who don't believe presidential debates are worth watching. I'll get those up momentarily, then update periodically until about 7:45 and go "live." I plan to keep posting for about a half hour or so after the debates, unless the boards are really lighting up beyond that, or unless the chat has died down. Thanks. Enjoy!
    -- posted by Geoff Pender

    posted by Geoff Pender at 6:14 PM

    Geoff Pender
    Geoff Pender is political editor for The Sun Herald. He can be reached at

     Latest posts
       •  Are you better off?
       •  OK, apparently even "MG" is watching baseball now,...
       •  But he closed with it
       •  That's a record
       •  Let it slide
       •  Walk softly around that one
       •  That's Haley's line
       •  Not presenting well
       •  Fiscal discipline?
       •  Pretty slick

       •  09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004
       •  10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004
       •  10/10/2004 - 10/17/2004

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