VP Debate - 'Don't Mean A Thang'

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It was a very good debate, more evenly performed than the previous one in both style and content. Both V.P. Cheney and Sen. Edwards remained composed, on message, and unflustered. Both appeared confident and very well prepared. Both sides scored points on purely technical debate issues and both lost points, mainly from not directly addressing the questions posed. But, as far as altering base or swing voters minds, this debate was a wash and 'don't mean a thang'.

That is not to say there was not a winner in the debate. If the debate is scored on who would instill the greatest confidence on security issues if they had to take on the role of President, I would have to say VP Dick Cheney won the debate. VP Cheney appeared to be more versed on international affairs and more resolute on being aggressive in our defense. If the debate is scored on whom, as President, would offer more hope for improving domestic affairs and quality of life for Americans, I would have to say Sen. Edwards won the debate. Sen. Edwards addressed more of the bread and butter economic conditions which average voters are likely concerned about. Edwards, I believe, scored significant points in linking Bush/Cheney to the side of corporate interests and himself and Kerry to working family issues.

Both candidates displayed errors in information. Cheney cited 50% of losses being born by coalition forces by defining coalition forces as including Iraqis. The coalition has never been defined as including Iraqi troops. Edwards claimed the cost of Iraq to date is 200 billion dollars, when the Office of Management and Budget states the cost to date is about 120 billion and the 200 billion dollar figure actually represents costs through Sept. 2005 and includes Afghanistan costs.

The bottom line is however, there are two more Presidential debates which will override whatever impact this VP debate conjured up in voters minds. Voters will be voting for who will be President and only for those very few voters who may think there is no net positive either for Bush or Kerry, would the VP choice be influential on their ballot choice. So even for those who don't see this debate as a wash, it still won't 'mean a thang' in terms of swing voters.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on October 5, 2004 11:46 PM.

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