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  • Debate This!

    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

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       •  09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004
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