I did not watch the debates, I listened to the webcast over NPR. Sometimes the Mid-Pacific crunch sets in and streaming video doesn't do so hot. I was also hoping for some NPR commentary (that is to say insightful commentary rather than republicrat flunkies chest beating.) Reading today’s paper and hearing from friends and family I see that watching the debates made a huge difference in many people's minds. Reminds me of when old Dick Nixon refused to wear make up and did great in radio pulls but looked like a corpse on TV.
The Associated Press ran an article that the Yomiuri picked up giving all the miscues from both sides. It was remarkably refreshing to see both sides spin get torn down in print. I doubt any TV forum, unless you count something like the Daily Show, will really point these things out, just repeat verbatim what was said. Especually after Rathergate and equal proofs of the "liberal media bias." Kerry's main error or spin was when quoting prices he added some of the money going to Afghanistan, money that congress is expected to appropriate in the next year, but has yet to actually do so, and money that Bush has yet to actually release to Iraq. This means that we haven't spent $200 billion on Iraq, we have spent around $120 billion if memory serves me. It is a bit frustrating if Kerry misquoted on purpose, 1) because it is a lie and 2) because $120 billion is so astronomically large, can most people (myself included) really comprehend another $80 billion. Was there anyone sitting in Tennessee that changed their mind about the election because, "I was supporting Bush right up till that $120 billion mark, but that is where I draw the line!" Of course there is my typical numbers in a vacuum complaint here as well. $120 sounds like a lot of money, but is it comparatively? It would have nice to get some other spending levels and not just this one figure. Kerry also had a few slips of the tounge, like when he said right now "weapons of mass destruction are pouring into Iraq and killing people." Why did he just repeat that lie the Bush administration tells us? All the statistics say the fighters are natives and not foreign fighters. I think that was a slip of Kerry as well, to actively take up Bush's lie. So this leaves us with Bush's spin and errors. Bush's errors were more or less everything he said to some degree or another. I particularly like "Osama is isolated." Because we can tell that when we can't find someone/something they are isolated. I can't find my right sock that I thought went into the washing machine today, but at least I know it is isolated. And other annoying spin was "75% of Al Qua-da has been brought to justice." The congress reported around 50% of those responsible for 9/11 this figure got bumped up by Bush to 75% during the republican national convention, and now in the debates the figure became 75% of ALL of Al Qua-da not just those responsible for 9/11.
Maybe I will try and actually watch the debate rather than just listen, or make a stronger effort to find a strong streaming video connection for the next debate.