- I’m typing in comments while watching on TiVo. Pause breaks are mandatory. Both candidates are on message. 98 times sounds suspiciously like Ferris Bueller and his “9 times”. Or maybe it’s one short of 99 problems, and Bush secretly enjoys Jay-Z. Bush is speaking better, without relying on the secret box or screaming like the town hall. Kerry is good as usual.
- Kerry unfortunately hasn’t changed his mind on abortion. But he does quote James, which is tres progressive Catholic. Bush ducks a direct comment about changing Roe v Wade, again. Proportionate reasons.
- Bush takes a potshot on Kerry’s record in the Senate. He becomes more manic when he talks about those things. 5 bills sounded really low to anyone.
- Kerry does not do well on not lowering Social Security benefits, and leaves an opening. Bush instead takes it and defends his tax cuts. He should have attacked the lack of plan, but instead he returns to message about tax cuts. Will the allure of tax relief or the problem of huge deficits reign supreme?
- Bush’s immigration answer is good. I think Kerry went backwards intentionally there.
- Bob Schieffer goes for the abortion followup, and Bush ducks again. Kerry nails him. This is happy, because Bush looks like an idiot, but mostly sad, because of constitutionality and Roe v Wade.
- The faith question is quite interesting, and I’m glad it came up. Bush goes personal, typically Protestant. He’s stunned, but recovers. Kerry goes progressive Catholic with James again. The tone question and wife questions are nice personal finishers.
- Bob Schieffer asked longer questions this time, which had a few opinions attached. On the good side, he did keep better control than others. Unlike the first debate, there was no obvious winner. Kerry sounded better, but he always does. I appreciate the factual approach. The reporters did not, because they prefer conflict. Both candidates laid out their proposals.
In summary, voting for Kerry is not sinful, and I’m at peace with my decision. I was talking at Statistics department tea with two students from China, and they asked what I thought would happen on 2 November. I said that I expected Bush to win, because the Republicans cheat better. Sure, corruption is lower in America than other places, but in a close election like this (or 2000 and having a candidate’s brother control the voting process, or 1960 and Chicago and Texas) even one percent matters. International election monitors in Cleveland and Jacksonville and Minneapolis would not be a bad idea. We’ll see in the chaos of that day.