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We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others. — Will Rogers

Poll Dance 2004.10.06.20:05

Apparently, CNN pulled down their initial poll on who won last night's debate. They've since put it back, but between the two polls the VP's support managed to double.

How terribly inconvenient those initial numbers must have been. (I'm pretty sure that their polling software uses IP-logging to reduce fraud.)

# [/politics/debate2004-vp]

"The First Time I Ever Met You..." 2004.10.06.04:02

Cheney was very pointed in his criticism of Edwards' attendance record as a Senator. His words (from the MSNBC transcript):

Now, in my capacity as vice president, I am the president of Senate, the presiding officer. I'm up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they're in session.

The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight.

How short his memory: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/10/5/234647/200

# [/politics/debate2004-vp]

Aprés Debate 2004.10.06.03:44

So, who won? In the words of Eve, "Gee, that's pretty hard."

I think one caller to C-SPAN after the debate summed it up well: "I think we just saw who the real president is." (Emphasis added based on the caller's voice.)

The CNN poll is already showing Edwards as the winner, 82% to 14%. Even the Fox News poll is (currently) favoring Edwards, 17% to 13% with 67% saying that neither won it. (I expect the strongly-Repub Fox demographic to change this within a few hours.) (I've since seen polls with even wider gaps, some placing Edwards with over 90% support.)

As for myself, I don't think it was that big of a slam-dunk. I do absolutely believe Edwards took it, hands down. Cheney completely brushed aside the issues of the administrations's support for the Constitutional amendment against gay marriage, the issue of Halliburton illegally doing business with Iran. He used the tired argument of the weapons-systems Kerry opposed in the '80's, only to be reminded that he, too, had opposed them (and, ultimately, killed several of them). It wasn't a slam-dunk, but that was largely because Cheney is the actual brains in the pair. It wasn't going to be a slam-dunk unless Cheney, too, cracked under the lights the way Bush had.

I think Cheney was, as is their usual mode of operation these days, relying on fear-mongering. He went almost directly into invoking 9/11. He made several (at least two, maybe three) inferrences that the danger of a terrorist attack with nuclear or bio/chem weaponry was imminent. Let me say that again: We are to believe that a "wrong" vote next month will mean a nuclear or biological terror attack. Cheney dodged any real responsibility for the statement he made a few weeks ago to that effect, but the implication was clear.

I've seen several people say that once the American people get to see the candidates face-to-face, the race will widen considerably. They were right on that, but they all thought that Bush/Cheney would be the ones gaining the double-digit leads. Instead, their lead was erased last week, and at this rate they'll be trailing by Saturday.

(Update @ 20:42: The FOX News poll is no longer showing such a large chunk of undecideds. Now, it's 52-47 for Edwards, with less than 400 for "didn't watch" and less than 500 for "none of the above".)

# [/politics/debate2004-vp]

Closing Statement Discrepancies 2004.10.06.02:39

Edwards went first. Thanked the moderator and the V.P.

Cheney's turn came up. Thanked the moderator and ignored his opponent.

Edwards talked about the culture of opportunity he remembered as a child, and how he and Kerry wanted to restore that.

Cheney focused on the the on-going threat of terrorism, with extra-special focus on the hypothesis that terrorists might strike within the U.S. with a nuclear or chem/bio weapon.

Hope or fear. These are our choices on Nov. 2.

# [/politics/debate2004-vp]

Bad John, No Donut 2004.10.06.02:24

In a simple question, to define the differences between each other without invoking their presidential running-mates name, Edwards flubbed it. Twice. Tsk, tsk.

But he turned it into a good jab in the next question.

# [/politics/debate2004-vp]

FactCheck.org Update 2004.10.06.02:16

FactCheck.org is responding again. The only two documents I can find that refer to Halliburton refer to the validity of the no-bid contracts, and pointing out that a Kerry ad mis-characterizes Cheney's last payments from the company. I agree with the latter– it was an unfair ad. But neither of these offer a dispute or defense of Halliburton having used off-shore subsidiaries to do business with Iran. Remember, if you you do business with terrorists...

# [/politics/debate2004-vp]

The Real Smokescreen 2004.10.06.01:48

Cheney is accusing Kerry/Edwards of using the Halliburton link as a "smokescreen" to cover their own poor records. He then goes on to dissect Edwards' senate record.

Tell me again, how does Edwards' senate record relate to Halliburton's fraud, or the dealings they had with Iran while Cheney was CEO?

Which one of these arguments is the smokescreen?

# [/politics/debate2004-vp]

The Halliburton Albatross 2004.10.06.01:45

Edwards has itemized Halliburton's involvement in doing business with Iran while Cheney was lobbying for reduction in the sanctions. Pointed out their fines when caught doing so. And again, the no-bid contract issue is coming back to haunt them.

Cheney countered with a reference to FactCheck.org, which is now getting the Cheney-equivalet of being slash-dotted. I'll check on that when I can.

Interesting note: Edwards says that companies under gov't contract that are under investigation for fraud, are not supposed to be getting monies until the investigation is completed. But Halliburton is still getting paid while being under investigation for defrauding the gov't on billing.

# [/politics/debate2004-vp]

Cheney's SecDef Record 2004.10.06.01:28

Finally, someone has countered the criticism of Kerry's opposition to weapons systems in 1984. Edwards just pointed out that all the systems they attack Kerry for opposing, Cheney himself opposed at the same time.

He went on to attack the no-bid contracts that have fattened up Hallibuton.

And in his rebuttal, Cheney dodged both of those subjects entirely.

# [/politics/debate2004-vp]

Out of the Starting Gate 2004.10.06.01:19

It's taken Cheney less than 30 seconds to invoke 9/11, and within the space of his first answer, he's re-asserted the myths that Iraq had any connections to Al Qaeda (and by extension, 9/11). Despite the fact that all the recent reports from CIA and other sources have shown this to be false.

Edwards wasted no time in pointing this out, aided by the well-timed remarks of Paul Bremer yesterday.

Cheney tried to re-assert in his rebuttal, and Edwards came straight out and told him to his face that all reports have made it clear that there is no link.

(Follow-up: In the next question, Cheney did say that they never believed Iraq as linked to 9/11. I'm pretty sure that they have, but I can't google that and listen and comment all at once.)

# [/politics/debate2004-vp]

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