[thechat] conclusive proof: Bush is a liar

Erik Mattheis gozz at gozz.com
Thu Sep 23 15:54:27 CDT 2004

On Thursday, September 23, 2004, at 09:50  AM, Ashok Hariharan wrote:
> I read somewhere that Bush actually won the presidential debates 
> against
> Al Gore.  How the heck did he manage that?!

Bush is great at coming off as a saint to unskeptical people. When he 
knows what he's going to want to say, he has broad "common sense" 
answers ready and he presents his ideas really well ... he doesn't 
bother addressing details, but rather always takes the "view from 
50,000 feet". And a lot of people like that in a leader - it makes 
people feel confident that he is in control.

The problem he'll have to overcome in the upcoming debates is that he's 
up against his own record. He won't be able to say, "A peaceful and 
democratic Iraq will serve as a beacon of freedom in a long troubled 
region" without Kerry responding that because Bush invaded Iraq, 
creating a peaceful Iraq is indeed something the US has to do, but 
Bush's cowboy justice from 50,000 feet is not working - it's making 
Iraq _less_ peaceful.

If there are no major gaffes, I have the feeling that the debates will 
be seen as won by whichever candidate people already support. And 
undecided voters will be more confident of their gut instinct.

There are a lot more undecided voters than current polls would lead you 
to believe - if you look at their internals, about 15-20% of people say 
they may yet change their vote, including a good deal of people who say 
they'd vote for Bush in the election was held "today".

That can only work to help Kerry - when an incumbent is up for 
reelection, people first decide if they want to keep the incumbent, and 
if they have any question wether he should stay or go, they then decide 
whether the incumbent is better than the challenger. There's lots of 
people that have reservations about Bush - the trick for Kerry is to 
convince people they are right to have reservations, and then present 
an alternative they would prefer.

Erik Mattheis

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