I waited overnight to pen this because I wanted to to let the debate sink in, and to clear my head of the usually fatuous and biased comments of the news commentators on ALL networks and cable channels.
Two interesting first notes:
Two reliable polls showed Kerry the winner albeit narrowly.
The President woke up and came to play.
This president is no debater, regardless of whether an individual believes in him and supports him or not. His mind is not quick enough, and he is not articulate. If he were debating Clinton, he would be demolished.
Here is what I see as the defining factor in this debate. Kerry is far taller than Bush. As a marketer I see that as a key differentiating factor in Kerry's favor.
Kerry wore a dark blue suit; Bush pale gray. HUGE win to Kerry. It's a basic rule in television anchoring as I've taught it for years that you ONLY wear deep blue and charcoal suits. Pale gray makes you look washed out. Reagan, God bless him for his daring, broke the rule occasionally by wearing dark brown suits.
DISASTER for Bush: Asked to name three mistakes, he refused to name even one. What a fool. Everyone knows he's lying, even his strongest supporters. That's going to hurt him real bad. Few of you would remember, but when a dashing, handsome young man who was mayor of New York, the late John V. Lindsay, ran for reelection, he was in trouble. His ad man was the great Jerry DelaFemina. They ran a commercial with Lindsay sitting on a stoop, jacket off, in black and white, which consisted of Lindsay revealing the mistakes he had made in his first term, and how he would do better. He won.
This debate was like a good championship fight. The champ was Kerry--confident, light on his feet, always moving and bobbing, and landing square punches. Bush, as the previously defeated challenger, was on the defensive, but he was a trouper. In his own way, he leapt out of his corner and began throwing punches. He had heart and stamina.
But his Gatorade was laced with 4 years of stupidity, world shattering decisions, and disdain for those of us who have to pay for our own medicine and like me buy some from Canada (canadapharmacy.com), where, by the way, it's either made in Toronto by Novopharm, a stock exchange listed generic manufacturer, the actual brand as Kerry mentioned, or made in Europe by the same manufacturer that makes the brand sold as the brand in America...all at about half price. (BTW, those of you who take Nexium, my GI doctor, the most respected in Manhattan, just told me that one Nexium 40 daily can be replaced by 2 Prilosec OTC's (20mg) one in the morning and one at night, and one 10 mg Pepcid one in the morning and one at night. He said Prilosec and Nexium, both made by the same company, are essentially identical. Guess how much Nexium costs per month at your drugstore. Over $500)The next debate, back in the old format, is likely to be a beat up of Bush. Can Kerry win? With his cocker spaniel running mate? This is the most interesting election in a generation, and the most important.
Remember two things: Where has Cheney been since 9/11? The chief Bush policy makers, Karl Rove and Paul Wolfowitz, NEVER appear in public to face Congress or the public, let alone Bill O'Reilly, whose interview with the President was the best I've seen in my entire career. Forget network anchors. O'Reilly is the future of news.
And Kerry's interview with O'Reilly is coming up. Don't miss it.
And if you want an America where you and I get half a break, dump the Republicans. Forget all the Iraq crap. They'll both have to fight Iran--all that breaks even.
What sort of quality of life do you want? Remember Gore's lockbox? Bush claimed last night that he inherited a downturn. LIE. The downturn began after he announced the tax cut, and was the result of it.
Good fight. Kerry won on style and substance. Bush was scrappy, and perked up as he was punched around. I respect that. Four more years? God forbid.