Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 1, 2004
POLITICS: The Commander

One more thing I should add that was impressive about the debate - even if we should all know better by now - was Bush's command of the facts. Bush is often regarded as a guy who grasps only as much as is written down in front of him, but last night he was on top of a broad array of issues, from the onset of the rainy season in Sudan to the upcoming summit in Japan. None of this should be a surprise, and as I said, Bush certainly wasn't in his element, but for voters who may have gone in expecting Bush to read "My Pet Goat" while he waited for Uncle Dick to bring him the answers to the questions, Bush's performance had to be reassuring.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:04 AM | Politics 2004 | Comments (10) | TrackBack (1)

I thought he had his best moment in that regard when Kerry accused the Bush administration of unilaterally imposing sanctions on Iraq and Bush reminded him that those sanctions were already in place when he took office. I thought that that exchange reflected badly on Kerry but the polls seem to indicate that it didn't hurt him.

Posted by: WD at October 1, 2004 9:22 AM

Make that "unilaterally imposing sanctions on Iran".

Posted by: WD at October 1, 2004 9:23 AM

Yeah, Bush knew about the rainy season coming in Darfur. If Kerry mentioned the same, he'd be accused of being a know-it-all, a good debater, blah, blah, blah. Just another bit of minutea on his long list of stultifying talking points.

But with Bush, its hey, give the guy some credit, he's paying attention in the meetings!


And Bush talks about the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Addendum to the beer test. I'd rather have a beer in a bar with Dubya while watching Kerry gives an update to the American people on the progress of a global summit than have a beer with Kerry while in the Oval Office Bush's ears perk up at mention of the rainy season in Darfur because it gets him that much closer to being elected without having to make a decision on the matter.

Posted by: C Giddy at October 1, 2004 10:26 AM

C Giddy, your beer test is great.

Crank and others are really grasping to find a silver lining if the "rainy season" comment is a highlight moment. What else? "Oo, he also refered to the President of Russia by his first name!"

Bush had some bullet points (name some foreign leaders) and he hit them. but I don't think he looked particularly good doing it. After about the third or fourth "Vladimir" he started to sound like a schoolgirl with a crush.

I mean, Crank, were you really impressed or are you trying to come up with positives? If you are "impressed", is that because you are surprised Bush demonstrated this supposed "command of the facts"? Talk about setting the bar on the floor... There really is nothing "impressive" about it. I certainly expect the President of the United States to have command of the facts. That's his damn job.

If the expectations of even the President's fervent supporters is that shallow...I don't even know what to say...

I understand as a conservative and a Republican, supporting your guy, and why you don't like Kerry and why you would be reluctant to offer him credit... but was that performance by Bush something you can actually be proud of?

Posted by: Mr Furious at October 1, 2004 11:29 AM

I hope the Bush campaign goes after Kerry on the whoppers he issued last night. It's one thing to look presidential, it's another to tell the truth. NYC subways weren't shut down during the RNC convention; Kerry had called Bush a liar; bilateral talks with North Korea were a disaster; a "global test" for premption won't work; and Kerry's claims to consistency on Iraq didn't survive the debate, as he called the war a "mistake" in response to Lerher's question on the $87 billion vote, then a minute later (literally) said the war wasn't a mistake. Kerry is a joke.

Posted by: John Salmon at October 1, 2004 2:17 PM

I don't think it's a big deal (I covered the big-deal points below), but I do think Bush's command of the facts was probably noticed by some people out there who bought into the "Bush is a moron" nonsense.

Posted by: The Crank at October 1, 2004 4:25 PM

"I'm smart. I know things. I'm not stupid."

--Fredo Corleone

Posted by: C Giddy at October 1, 2004 4:40 PM

Its one thing to look Presidential, its another to tell the truth?!?!?!

The only thing keeping Bush from having this comment apply to him as well is that he didn't look at all Presidential.

Hey John Salmon, you get this cranked up about Bush's whoppers?

He had plenty of lies, plenty of whoppers.

Do you, or don't you agree?

Posted by: C Giddy at October 1, 2004 4:57 PM

Hey Giddy: How about dealing with Kerry's whoppers? That's what my comment was about. Kerry is uniquely skilled at making public comments that neither cohere with the truth nor his own previous statements. In this he's adding a new dimension to the concept of the "Clintonesque" politician.

Posted by: John Salmon at October 2, 2004 10:40 AM

Why should I deal with them?

Bush dishes 'em out all the time.

You accept Bush as the President. You want him to remain President.

Apparently, dishing out whoppers is not something that you consider unPresidential and thus it should not be held against Kerry.

Posted by: C Giddy at October 2, 2004 12:43 PM
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