This wasn’t just a matter of President Bush bouncing back from an awful first debate and a good second debate; he was almost a different person tonight. Bush was animated, optimistic and human. The android formerly known as Kerry was pre-programmed, repetitive (GO TO 10) and flummoxed by the end of the debate.
As I had hoped, President Bush tagged Kerry with his empty Senate record and a history of raising taxes and spending caps. He was put on the defensive by “government-run” health care and the social questions such as gay marriage.
(On that latter point, the Fox correspondent is noting that the focus group watching the debate gave a very negative reaction to Kerry’s mention of Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter; he also noted that the journalists in the press room gave a “low moan” at Kerry’s attempt to intermingle the personal and the political. As the Brits would say, it was “bad form” and as poorly done as his Tony Soprano “joke.”)
If Bush’s fault was that he didn’t adequately stand up for his administration in the first debate, those sentiments were assuaged in the second debate and erased in this one. The Fox commentators (Barnes, Kondracke & Kristol) were effusive and Kristol went so far to say that Bush “slaughtered” Kerry. Wow! It was a good night for Bush, no doubt.
Now I need to surf the blogs! Polipundit, ahoy!