Master Debaters, reviewed
By far the best post-mortem of the U.S. Presidential debate (in the sense of "most interesting to read") comes, unsurprisingly, from Evan Kirchhoff. He thinks Bush won big, provides some excellent food for thought, and has a rather simple explanation for why most of the right-wing bloggers thought it was a push for Bush, at best.
Please read the whole thing. His main point, as I read it, is that the differences between Bush's and Kerry's foreign policy were made clear, and it really doesn't matter how well they were articulated or defended. Perhaps this excerpt demonstrates his thesis best:
More importantly, I imagine that a lot of voters, upon hearing the U.S. accused of wanting nuclear weapons for itself but not for its enemies, will tend to say, Um, yeah. Now what part of that don't you like again, mister I-want-to-be-president?
I have no idea who won, because I'm not intellectually able to get into the head of a typical swing voter, if there is such a thing, which, there isn't. Obviously few pundits are, which is why you can only declare the winner of these things in retrospect.
That said, if Kerry's numbers don't spike, Kirchhoff can pat himself on the back.