OK, I just got off the phone with my ol' college roommate who was much more upbeat than me. Of course, I wanted Kerry vanquished and Bush certainly didn't do that. Kerry scored with style points and he was able to rattle off facts (and some half-truths) with a clarity that Bush simply cannot match. But on substance, I can't shake the impression that Kerry would sub-lease our national security to the United Nations. The "Global Summit Test?" Here's Jonah Goldberg on the Corner echoing something I said earlier this week:
I love that when Kerry gets riled and he tries to summon up the one example of the leadership he'll offer: "I'm going to hold that summit!" Yes! Vote Kerry! Get a Summit!Bush was relentlessly on-message, as I predicted. But that also meant he was relentlessly repetitive with the "wrong war" and "mixed messages" themes. But his facial tics were distracting as were the constant sips of water (I think he ran out). But - through the fog - you got the impression that Bush intends to win the war and transform the world if necessary to keep America safe, no matter what our allies think. Bush's closing remark, "drifting towards tragedy with unclear messages" was very good, I thought.
Bottom line: Kerry won the debate, but did nothing to convince undecided voters. The polls will not move.