Tuesday, October 05, 2004
On this day:

The Veep Debate

Question 1 - Already showing the bias against Cheney in the questioning...throwing up Rumsfeld and Bremer's recent statements. Cheney is handling it well. "Saddam had stablished relationships with Abu Nidal...and an established relationship with Al Qaeda."

Edwards - "Mr. Vice President - you are still not being straight with the American people." More second-guessing and Monday morning QB'ing. His "plan" is the same thing Bush et al are already doing.

Cheney HAS NOT suggested a connection between Sep. 11 and Saddam. Edwards just said he had.

Edwards is giving more of this "diverted" resources from Afghanistan BS...that we had Osama in our hands and turned over the hunt to "Afghan warlords"...repeats his accusation of a relationship between Sep. 11 and Iraq. Cheney just set the Boy Wonder straight.

Cheney is doing well - a little tough talk in the middle of a debate doesn't erase years of being on the wrong side of defense issues.

Cheney's on a roll pointing about all the accomplishments in Afghanistan.

Edwards - "This Vice President has been for lifting sanctions against Iran." I don't think that's true. Fact-checking opportunity.

Edwards - "We see the result of there not being a coalition." Repeating Kerry's derision for the very real contributions of Britain, Poland, S. Korea, Spain, Italy, etc.

Cheney - "You're not credible on Iraq because of the enormous inconsistency" in your positions.

Cheney - "If they couldn't stand up to the pressures that Howard Dean represented, how can they stand up to Al Qaeda." Great line.

Edwards misleading on Kerry's votes against weapons systems - likening them to Cheney's cuts as Bush I's Defense Secretary. Follows it with the first mention of Halliburton. First whisky shot of the night.

Edwards - "John Kerry knows we need to kiss Chirac's ass a little more passionately." Just kidding.

Edwards - "They have a plan for Iraq - more of the same. We have a plan, too..." Then, he goes on to repeat what the administration is already doing.

Cheney - "The troops wouldn't have what they have today if you guys would've had your way." "We had 34 countries" in the first Gulf War..."We have 30 today." "You demean the sacrifice of our allies..."

Edwards - "The First Gulf War cost the American taxpayer $5 billion. This one is $200 billion." Yeah, and we didn't take over the whole country, then, either, did we, Breck girl? And, didn't Cheney already correct you by saying it was $120 billion for Iraq and $80 billion for Afghanistan?

Edwards keeps saying the administration is insinuating a connection between 9/11 and Iraq. It's a lie that the Veep has already called him on, and he is still repeating it.

Cheney pointing out Zarqawi's connections to Saddam, establishing the relationship between Al Qaeda and Iraq. "He set up shop in Baghdad" prior to the invasion of Iraq.

Cheney - Clarifies that he supports sanctions against Iran, but doesn't think "unilateral" sanctions are effective because they encourage countries who do not impose them to expand business...showing Edwards earlier comment to have been wrong.

Edwards - How many of the 60 countries w/ Al Qaeda presence are we going to invade? Not fair, because Cheney said Zarqawi was associated w/ Saddam's regime. Now, talking more about Halliburton. Cheney's going to have to respond.

Cheney's response to Halliburton talk wasn't good. Edwards saw the weakness and hit back hard. I don't think most voters really care about this, though.

The Breck girl's lawyerly mannerisms (hand gestures for emphasis, that "thing" he does with his head) are annoying.

Cheney responds again to Halliburton allegations by pointing out Edwards's bad attendance record in the Senate. Not a good response. Sounded petty.

The Senate record talk was a loser for Cheney - big time.

Edwards - "1.6 million private sector jobs have been lost." - Not accurate. "4 million more Americans have fallen into poverty." - I doubt it. "They're for outsourcing jobs." - You're proving your economic ignorance, Senator.

Cheney responds, correctly, that the data Edwards just cited is old data and doesn't account for the last year.

Edwards - "We've gone from a $5 trillion projected surplus to a $3 trillion projected deficit." These projections aren't worth the paper your malpractice claims were written on. You're giving a 5-year (I think) projected cumulative deficit. No one can predict revenues from that far out.

Cheney - hits Kerry hard on his record of voting for tax increases. There's "a fundamental philosophical difference" between Bush and Kerry on taxes and the role of government. He points out how Kerry's tax increases on the rich will hit small business hard. Very good point, and very true.

Edwards - "We are for more tax cuts for the middle class than they are." That is a lie.

Cheney - Hits back hard by pointing out Kerry and Edwards were not present for the vote to extend the primarily "middle-class" tax cuts that Pres. Bush signed yesterday.

Cheney - Doing a good job explaining the President's position on same-sex marriage while maintaining a little breathing room between him and the President.

Edwards - Refers to the Veep's gay daughter, personalizing the issue. That was tacky. "We (Kerry and I) both believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. But..." And what will you do about courts imposing their view of marriage on the rest of us? Hmmm? He says a constitutional amendment is not necessary. Tell that to California, and Massachusetts, and Hawaii.

Cheney - Doesn't rebut.

Cheney - Does a great job addressing medical malpractice insurance and frivolous lawsuits and how they undermine availability of medical care. This is where Edwards made his money...suing doctors for malpractice and undoubtedly driving many of them out of business or driving medical costs up.

Edwards - "Proud of the work I did" against everyone who has anything to do with health care. Now he's telling one of his famous "personal stories." Quick...someone find that little girl and see if she's real or if he made her up for the debate. He says that the issue of medical liability doesn't have a lot to do with rising medical costs. This is ridiculous. It drives doctors out of business and makes them pass on their costs to consumers. He is proving himself once again to be an economic ignoramus.

Cheney - Points to a manufacturer who would increase the number of jobs in his plant if his insurance rates were not so high. Points out loophole that Edwards was able to take advantage of. Edwards brings up Halliburton in response.

You can tell the interviewer is a liberal when the question starts out with "What should the government's role be in..." Cheney shouldn't have mentioned that he wasn't aware of the # of African American women with AIDS. Edwards says he'll double the money for everything.

Edwards says there are 45 million Americans without health care coverage. That is a misleading statistic. It is the number of people who, at any time during the course of the last year, went without health care coverage, even for a day. That includes those who were without insurance briefly due to a change in jobs.

Edwards wants to provide health care and housing for every American...and a chickie in every pottie.

Cheney takes a jab at Edwards saying that one of his better points is that he has no further political aspirations and won't have to pay attention to what some precinct chairman in Iowa thinks about him when the 2008 caucuses come around.

Cheney - "I don't talk about myself very much, but I've heard Senator Edwards, and to listen to him, there are some similarities" between us. Ouch, that was a verbal noogie.

I think that Edwards just ripped a piece of paper.

What a goofy question - don't use your running mate's name? Edwards mentioned Kerry's name twice.

Edwards - "We are screening passengers that go on aircraft, but we don't screen the cargo." This is misleading. Baggage is screened on all passenger flights. I believe he's talking about freight aircraft cargo. Cheney doesn't respond.

Edwards - "Paul Bremer has just made clear that they didn't have enough troops and didn't have a plan" in Iraq.

Cheney - On troop strength, any need for additional troops needs to be accomplished by bringing more Iraqi troops into the effort.

Edwards - "Have you ever seen America more divided?" Yes, I have. Remember Bill Clinton? Maybe if you would have come home from Washington a little more often, you, too would have seen the kind of divisions he caused in your neck of the woods.

Edwards - Hits the administration on not letting drugs in from Canada, showing his economic ineptitude again.

Edwards closing statement - Father was learning math on TV, didn't have a college education, was trying to get a better job in the mill where he worked. Blah, blah, blah.

Cheney's closing statement - Blah, blah, blah...domestic glossover.

Good, lively debate. Both did well. Overall, Edwards may have been a marginal winner based on debate points and sheer volume of attack, but I don't think this debate will change many minds. It did confirm one thing for me, though. I'd still rather have Cheney at the top of the ticket than Bush.