Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 1, 2004
POLITICS: A Notable Absence

This has to be a first in a foreign policy debate:

Nothing about Castro

Nearly nothing about Mexico

Nothing about Haiti or Venezuela or Colombia

Viewers who tuned in to hear the candidates' views on America's role in the Western Hemisphere could be forgiven for concluding that neither of them has any views on America's role in the Western Hemisphere.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:06 AM | Politics 2004 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I don't recall either candidate being asked about this, though I credit George Bush for mentioning the Philippines as well as the names of the countries helping us with the war on terror, particularly those which Kerry had implied were a coalition of the bribed and coerced.

My take on the debate:

Bush, proud of his achievements in a difficult time, and grateful enough to those who have helped us to cite them by name, said the glass is half full.

Kerry, with no record, says the glass is more than half empty and the answer is Kerry. Oh, and he says he has a plan but won't show his cards.

Bush wins, Kerry is just a wannabe

Posted by: Mobties at October 1, 2004 9:24 AM

Almost all of the questions focused on Iraq. That's what Lehrer wanted to discuss and did.

I watched last night and was a little disappointed with President Bush's performance. I thought he should be a little more agressive, but I guess that's not his style.

After reading some of the transcripts this morning I feel better about his performance. Kerry as usual was a big dud.

Posted by: roux at October 1, 2004 9:40 AM

Except for Kerry’s childish assertion that invading Iraq is as relevant to the War on Terror as invading Mexico would’ve been after Pearl Harbor.

Funny, I seem to remember Iraq, which the U.S. focused on only after first invading and triumphing in Afghanistan, being on the official State Department list of state-sponsors of terror long before Bush became President. To say nothing of some ties to al Qaeda (if not 9/11), undisputed financial support for Palestinian suicide bombers, sheltering Abu Abbas and Abu Nidal, plots to kill a former U.S. President, unprovoked missile launches into Israeli civilian areas, wanton torture of its own citizens, pursuit of banned weapons, open defiance of international law, etc...

Was Mexico’s track record in 1941 really similar to that?

Maybe they don’t teach history in Swiss boarding schools.

Posted by: The Mad Hibernian at October 1, 2004 10:36 AM

By your list, MH, we should be occupying Libya (and others) right now as well as Iraq...

I'm not over here looking for validation, I know C GIddy and I are the only guys not in the Bush camp. But I try to be as objective as I can (for a guy who thinks Bush is a horrendous President) when analyzing the race.

Bush has run a better campaign thus far than Kerry. Kerry has serious weaknesses and they may still be his undoing.

But, objectively as we can all be, Kerry had a much better night than the President and I think some of you guys are being disingenous or delusional to pretend otherwise. Do I think you would agree with Kerry or were swayed by anything he said? Of course not. It was ninety minutes in Kerry's favor. there's a long way to go.

"The Closer" was on the mound last night, and while he wasn't Mariano Rivera, I think he still sent Bush back to the bench.

That doesn't mean he's sewn anything up, that he won't screw up or Bush won't recover in other ways. But the debate wasn't kind to the President, despite the attempts to direct the format that way. Kerry took the pressure off himself and put it on the President. Even if you want to limit that to the next debate, I think it's clear.

It was Game One. Bush may still win the Series, but I'm less worried can come back and "win four in a row" to put Kerry away. I think he can recover fine, but he'll have to do it in ways other than the debates. That seems to be Kerry's home field.

Posted by: Mr Furious at October 1, 2004 11:56 AM

Libya, of course, has voluntarily disarmed in a verifiable way. Big difference.

Bigger differences, among others: Saddam openly celebrated the 9/11 attacks (which Qaddafi denounced); Saddam was already on probation, essentially, and was actively violating the terms of the 1991 cease-fire (we could let that slide, but at severe cost to the credibility of any agreements we make).

Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of being rid of Qaddafi, but he wasn't nearly the same priority and the chances for successful diplomatic half-measures were much greater.

The better analogy would be saying that attacking Saddam in response to 9/11 is like invading North Africa in response to Pearl Harbor. Which, if you recall, is precisely what FDR did.

Posted by: The Crank at October 1, 2004 4:35 PM

Why no discussion about the Western Hemisphere in the foreign policy debate? I blame 5 people:

1. Jim Lehrer
2. Jim Lehrer
3. Jim Lehrer
4. Jim Lehrer
5. Jim Lehrer

If Kerry's debate performance was a B+, and Bush's was a B-, then Lehrer was C- or lower...

Posted by: mike the analyst at October 4, 2004 9:47 AM
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