by Alan Simpson
2004 Veeps Debate
The highly regulated Vice Presidential Debate did not produce any surprises, or Earth Shattering Revelations. Nobody expected it would.
Youth and ability were on the side of Edwards, and old pig headed stubbornness was on the side of Cheney. He wasn't going to take any of the bait offered by Edwards, because he doesn't really care what people think.
In any other period the Haliburton Scandal would have brought down governments and have been firm grounds for impeachment. This week we hear of attempts to silence investigation of what happened to the Iraqi Oil in the year Haliburton was responsible for it. Congress would like to know, but Cheney/Bush doesn't want them to know. It is no mistake that i refer to them as Cheney/Bush.
People forget that Cheney appointed himself as VP, after obtaining all the bios of key opponents in the party. He rammed through his invasion plans for Iraq, a pet project of his for over 10 years. He then rigged all the contracts so his company got them, without oversight or bid. Dick Cheney would have been the envy of Joe Stalin, had he been alive.
To expect him to answer questions and play fair was a little too much.
Edwards performance will appeal to the younger voters, he was pleasant, on message and believable. He comes across as too pleasant for his own good sometimes, and you wish he would occasionally say "You Lying Bastard!", but he won't.
Cheney on the other hand constantly misled and manipulated facts, as he manipulated government contracts, and advisory committees. (Can you say ENRON!) Alas his performance will appeal to the right wing, religious zealots and power freaks. It will also appeal to the Ford F150 crowd.
The constant references to the inexperience of Edwards was a bit of a joke, and you wish Edwards would have pointed to the absolute inexperience of George Bush when he was propelled into office. At least Edwards has been very successful at what he has done prior to his run for office.
There appears to be a total disconnect though, between what Cheney sees around the world, and what is reality. The situation in Iraq and Afghanistan is getting worse by the day. The hard statistics, when compiled from multiple sources show a serious increase in attacks on US forces and US casualties. But Cheney would like us to think that it is the Iraqis who are in charge, and leading the campaign for a democratic US led democracy. he would like us to believe that the US military are now there just as observers and advisers. Remember Vietnam?
That is the same crap Cheney's Political Tutors tried to pull there, to hide the truth from the US public.
The debate, if it can be called a debate, was neither a huge success, or a huge failure.
On the whole Edwards came over as more in touch with reality, and the aging Cheney began to show his age, and intolerance. His comments over meeting Edwards for the first time spoke volumes, and made him look like a soon-to-retire Principal of a strict religious academy.
Next election get rid of the lawyers and let the candidates really debate.
Cheney 45% Edwards 55%