Bush, Kerry, Nader - Debate Analysis

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Apparently, Pres. Bush is hopping mad at Kerry for besting him in their first debate. The Toronto Star carried an Assoc. Press story entitled, Bush Rips Kerry In Post-Debate Attack, which states Bush took "a more aggressive approach than he had in the previous night's debate". However, on the campaign trail, Bush plays to loyal supporters only, so it appears he hasn't the same constraints on the campaign trail that he did in the debate to appear rational and calm.

Yet, calm is hardly a word that could be used to describe Bush in the debate on TV. On the radio, Bush did indeed 'sound' calm and composed. But, the TV images told a very different story. I have watched the debate footage 5 times now, and it was truly a remarkable debate for Bush's facial expressions. Bush's face revealed so much more about the man than anything he has ever said of himself on the campaign trail. In fact, his facial expressions belied his words of being in control and a 'reasonable guy'.

The first thing I noticed on reviewing the debate is the Jekyll and Hyde personality shift that took place in Bush when Kerry spoke vs. when Bush was speaking. When it was Bush's turn to speak, his facial muscles relaxed, his eyes focused on the camera, and he appeared pleased. Then it would be Kerry's turn, and Bush's face lost its pleasant demeanor. When Kerry criticized Bush, the Mr. Hyde really came over the President's face, contorting it with images of anger, frustration, and contempt. I have been an actor in stage theater most of my life, and facial expressions were part of my tool box. And Bush's facial expressions were a student actor's dream education tool.

Taking the President's expressions alone, this is what he communicated to me. When Bush is speaking, he is very happy and pleased at the sound of his own voice. He is confident in what he has to say about himself, and enjoys hearing it from his own mouth, immensely. His face radiates with satisfaction that his message is getting across and his words reflect the importance he places upon himself. The President delighted in informing us that he speaks with international leaders and he knows their minds, how they think. His face radiated when telling us he gives advice to President Putin of Russia, and will again.

When Kerry launched critiques of Bush's actions as President however, Bush's face revealed to me a person incapable of receiving it. His eyes would roll from side to side, to ceiling, to lectern, and flash contempt, and anger at what was being said. At times, it appeared from his facial expressions that he was about to lose it and launch a verbal assault on the critic opposite him. Then there were the contortions which appeared to come from his reminding himself, to constrain himself. His face seemed to reveal an inner dialogue which said "George, cool it, man, you can't blow it in front of 54 million viewers- hang loose, man, his time is almost up, and then it will be your turn." While another inner voice seemed to be saying, "How dare that SOB say things like that about me, I am W., the President of the U.S. Who the hell does Kerry think he is? That big pip squeak needs a good rousting by the Secret Service and a kick from me for good measure."

Now, all this detail from Bush's facial expressions may not have been read in such detail by viewing audiences, but, the gist of them was clear. Facial expressions are the only universal language for the human species. Regardless of race, creed, religion, or language, we are all gifted with the ability to read emotions on other faces, since they were a vital survival trait in our species evolutionary development. (My apology to creationists).

Kerry on the other hand, came across as studious, taking all those notes, affable, frequently looking up at the President with either a composed face or a slight smile that seemed to say, "Hey, this is fun. Can we do this again, George?" At no time, did I see any contempt, or anger, or frustration in the Senator's face. The comparison between the two sets of facial expressions spoke loudly at the subliminal level, and said Kerry is a man in control, and Bush is a man on the verge of losing it and full of intolerance.

So how does Nader come into this article? Ahhh.... in a very big way. Did anyone see Nader's facial reactions? That's right, Nader wasn't there. Though polls show a majority of Americans believe Nader should have been included in the debates, the RNC and DNC being the electoral bullies that they are, would not permit it. Through their control of the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) and influence with the Commission for Presidential Elections, they insured that Nader would not have a voice in the debates. Nader however, was not to be silenced by the bullies on the stage. Nader was providing his own blow by blow commentary of the debates as they occurred. He set up his own war room. Ralph Nader had the following to say:

We're down at the University of Miami, trying to get close to the presidential debates, or as one commentator said, "the Presidential charade," where the two parties are engaging in very scripted and less than exciting exchange and excluding many of the areas of foreign policy.

We have ten areas of major foreign military policy in this country that are not going to be debated tonight and we're giving interviews to press here and providing a voice to the 57 percent of the American people that a new Zogby poll says want Ralph Nader and Peter Miguel Camejo in the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates.

We want to have your help. You are our inspiration. We're doing this for your concerns about the future of our country and the world and the future of your children and grandchildren. Please contribute as much as you can, as soon as you can.

And the contributions have been rolling in. Nader used those funds to get a voice with Supreme Courts around the land. You see, the DNC has been filing suits to prevent Nader from appearing on state ballots across the country. Nader has been taking those legal battles all the way to state Supreme Courts and successfully, I might add. Follow these headline links to see how well Nader's contributor's money has been spent:

Nader Wins Place on Arkansas Ballot

Wis. High Court to Put Nader on Ballot

Democrats Won't Appeal Nader Petition Case

Fla. Supreme Court Puts Nader on Ballot

Nader has not won all the battles; his attempts in Oregon and New Mexico were not victorious. But, given all of the resources the DNC has thrown at killing Nader's candidacy and blocking Nader's ballot access, Nader is a man who refuses to turn his back on the majority of Americans who believe he should have a place on the debate stage and on the ballots across this nation.

And all of this could spell quicksand for Sen. John Kerry. Ralph Nader's message is getting out through campaign stops and the internet. What is his message? One of the most recent was "a far larger number of Americans die each year from poverty, hunger, pollution, dangerous jobs or poor access to high-quality health care than terrorism." It is easy to see why Pres. Bush and Sen. John Kerry don't want Ralph Nader on the debate stage with them.

The 2004 race is apparently going to be one of the highest turnout races in many, many cycles, if news such as New Voter Rolls Rise Sharply In Md., Va. is any indication. This article states registration of new voters is up all across the U.S. and this would normally spell good news for the Democratic challenger. But that may not be the case this year.

Sen. Kerry and his party's efforts to deny democracy to the millions of current registered Democrats, independents, and Reform Party voters could cost Kerry dearly. If Kerry's debate performances eliminate Bush's modest lead in the polls, Kerry may win the popular vote. But, with Nader on the ballots in Florida, Wisconsin, and Arkansas, each of which can be a battleground state, just 2% of Nader vote could lose Kerry the Electoral College, and thus the Presidency. Sen. Kerry met with Nader last spring, and had the opportunity to strike a deal with Nader that could have benefited both Nader's supporters and the DNC. It is obvious from the behavior of the DNC and its anti-democratic tactics, that such a deal was not struck. If Sen. Kerry wins the popular vote and loses the Electoral College vote by one state, he will have none but himself and his party to blame for it.

As President Bush is probably telling himself he is his own worst enemy, Kerry may wake up on Nov. 3rd and realize he was his own worst enemy in trying to block democracy in order to win.


David: As I did not watch the farce, I appreciate you sharing your own analysis concerning the debatable 1st Presidential general election campaign debate between the two corporate political party representatives: e.g., Coke vs Pepsi or, McDonald's vs Burger King, etc. Thank you.

Will be blogging excerpts of it of the Nader related segments up on the unofficial Vote4Nader blog shortly, with the usual credits and link back(s) of course.

Keep blogging on!


David I just noticed that among the four news stories you have listed in a row above concerning Ralph Nader, the fourth one regarding Florida come upon an error page, not an article.

mwb, thank you for the compliment, and also for the broken link feedback. I have fixed it. Many thanks, my friend.

You're welcome David. Good, I'll fix it on the post I excerpted of yours on my Nader blog. Thank you.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on October 2, 2004 7:23 AM.

First Debate - Kerry Edges Out Bush was the previous entry in this blog.

American Confusion vs. Common Sense is the next entry in this blog.

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