Tonight's debates: Summed up and soundbite-sized.
I'm cribbing from National Review's assessment of tonight's debate, as it's about right on:
John Kerry plus: He does not come across as arrogant and obnoxious as we believe him to be.
John Kerry minus: His positions don't hold together in any coherent way.
George W. Bush plus: He has an air of authority, experience, and purpose I don't recall from 2000.
George W. Bush minus: The President is a dismally poor public speaker.
My take on it: John Kerry came across as better than I expected. Of course, I had low expectations, but still. However, he said some things that made my eyes go wide. For example, Kerry brought up that he thought it may be a good idea to give Iran nuclear fuel and see if they would use it for peaceful purposes. What?!?! There's many things the mullahs should be given, none of them they would like. Nuclear fuel is not among them. Also, his mention that he would hold both bilateral and multilateral talks with North Korea. Mr Kerry, in your dictionary, under redundant, does it in fact say “See 'Redundant'” ?
President Bush sounded a little stilted. I liked what he had to say, but he didn't hammer Kerry like I thought he should have. I mean, the words were there, but not the *oomph* that I thought he needed.
Overall, it's a draw in my opinion. The popular wisdom seems to be that this helps Bush, not Kerry.