by Alan Simpson
First Presidential Debate
Washington, DC - Sept. 30th, 2004 --- Despite the attempts by the un american legal censors to turn the debate into a sterile piece of boring publicity for the candidates, and their handlers the first Presidential debate proved to be worth watching.
It was not a "Slam Dunk" for either candidate and there were enough gaffs to go around. But on the whole John Kerry came out of it ahead, especially as regards his on-camera persona.
John Kerry did get his place names mixed up, and should have gone around them instead of making a guess. I do wish he would leave Vietnam and stop bringing it up every chance he gets. That was 30 years ago and his 22 years in politics since then must have some value. On the whole his delivery was far better than expected.
George Bush stumbled and fumbled along as if it was his first public appearance, and thanks to the split screen looked like a Smirking Chimp whenever Kerry touched on a sensitive subject. The gaff that he made stating that Iraq invaded the United States was unbelievable, with his general body language clearly showed he was borderline on losing it. He may believe he has been anointed by God, but he should have learnt by now to keep his spoilt brat attitude in check until after the cameras are off.
For the record President Bush stated that the war in Iraq would be won by an all volunteer army, and that he had no plans to invade any other countries. If you forget everything else from the first debate, please remember these two statements, especially when the armor rolls towards the Iranian and Syrian borders, and the Draft is discussed after the election.
There was serious concern that the pool cameras managed by Fox News would be biased towards Bush, as their TV News and programs are heavily biased against Kerry, and towards Bush. Fox News is the right wing network of record. They did not and the camera angles, split screens and camera shots were both appropriate and neutral.
Jim Lehrer was outstanding as moderator, and his threat to turn the cameras on hecklers, and humiliate anyone in the audience who disrupted the proceedings was masterful.
But that was not needed as the audience were composed of carefully screened and hand picked party faithful's. What a pity the common masses are not allowed into these elite events. But on the whole the debates were more useful than anticipated, and thank you TV Networks for ignoring the un american lawyers who tried to turn them into a sterile farce.
Thursday evening projections Kerry 60% Bush 40%.
After watching several hours of media follow up, and the usual poll of undecided, stupid and can't-make-a-decision-if-I-had-to interviews on the news networks the general opinion is that John Kerry won the first debate, which should have been President Bush's strongest.
Overall the figure of Kerry 62% to Bush 38% seems to be the norm, but that depends on the questions being asked.
What is surprising is that the majority seem to be waiting for the media to tell them who won before they make a decision. The poll by CNN showed the media spin on the debate counted more than the debate itself.
Have we become so like sheep that we have to wait for the TV Shepherd before we can make a decision?
We have been watching the antics of the two candidates for longer than the average Italian Government stays in office. I am amazed that many of those interviewed Friday morning seem as if they have heard from the candidates for the first time.
Maybe we should bring in Mark Burnett and let him produce the election for TV. We could have Donald Trump as the moderator, and his famous You're Fired may save thousands of young lives in the Middle East.