Tuesday, October 28, 2003

William Saletan on the Detroit Debate

An OK review, with this laugher at the end:

I can't remember a weirder line from any serious candidate in any of these debates than Edwards' boast Sunday night that he's "written down" his plans. He said it three times. (Trust me, I wrote it down.) What's his point? That he's literate?

I caught part of the debate rebroadcast on C-Span last night, but it was a singularly painful experience and I had to turn it off after ten minutes. These guys (and a gal) seem utterly incapable of expressing their own personal ideas. Nearly every question is answered by 1.) an ambiguous statement of fact (like “we need to do more with [fill in issue]”) 2.) an attack on Bush or another candidate or 3.) a complete tangent.

CAMERON: Senator Kerry, a question for you on troop strength. We have U.S. forces all over the world in a variety of hot spots; potential crisis in manpower.
What would you do to resolve that? Should there be an increase in call-ups, reserve and guard, reinstate the draft or pull them back?

KERRY: Well, let me just comment, first of all, if I can, on General Boykin.
General Boykin has confused the heck out of the White House on all this talk about the Almighty, when he talks about the Almighty, the president thinks he's talking about Cheney, Cheney thinks he's talking about Halliburton..... Cheney thinks he's talking about Halliburton, and John Ashcroft thinks they're talking about him. So they don't know where to go.

Umm….troop strength? Kerry was so intent on getting his scripted joke out (early in the debate) that he completely sidestepped the question, attacked Dean, and moved on to some blandishment about the role of the Presidency. The troop strength question hung in the air, undisturbed.

Extra: Man, Andrew Sullivan is still pissed about Kerry's "fraudulant coalition" comment and takes his argument over to the New Republic.

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