October 2004
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Day October 5, 2004

VP debate continued

I’m guessing that no clear winner is going to emerge here, with half an hour to go.

Ouch. The moderator just asked Cheney if their spin on trial lawyers means that John Edwards is part of the health care problem. Cheney chuckled, the audience laughed, and now Cheney is telling some story about doctors worrying about malpractice insurance. Edwards has got to be able to deal with this. And he’s doing well. Even Cheney sort of softballed it, and I’m getting the feeling that nobody wanted to discuss it. Nobody has anything meaningful to say about tort reform because in reality it’s a tough issue — sure, costs would be lowered if less lawsuits meant lower costs to insurance companies, but lawsuits are one of the only ways available to prevent abuse by companies and occasionally unscrupulous managers.

Again, no clear winner. Each side is likely to think their candidate won. Some undecideds could break for Edwards simply because he’s articulate and likeable, and Cheney — while clearly knowledgeable — is barely likeable.

Edwards is getting slammed on his lack of experience, as we knew he would. But ouch, several times. Edwards is returning the questions as best he can, but ultimately it’s tough to answer.

It’s interesting. Cheney uses a few of the talking points, but only when hitting Edwards. In normal discussion, he’s not big on the “values” language we’re normally used to hearing from the Republicans these days. He’s concrete. In fact, he’s a holdover from an earlier time in the Republican party, before the “social conservative” takeover. Oddly, it makes me wonder if we’d be better off with Cheney than with Bush.

Man, this is actually getting pretty boring.

Liveblogging: VP Debate

This is a tough one. Cheney’s no slouch, and in watching him one understands why everyone always uses the term “gravitas” to describe him. The questions are pretty tough and on point. Edwards is doing a good job, in my view, but this is a ground war, without flashy rejoinders or clear hits. Cheney’s strategy is to answer in incredible detail, and he’s very articulate.

Cheney just managed to really duck the “Halliburton and sanctions” question when asked, but Edwards is punching back. Hard. Cheney just called the Halliburton discussion a “smokescreen” and brought up FactCheck.org. This appears to have caused everyone in America to point their browsers at FactCheck.org, because it seems to be taking heavy traffic.

Ouch. Cheney is accusing Edwards of missing all of his key votes and committee meetings. As President of the Senate, “first time I ever met you, was tonight when you walked on stage.” Damn, this guy is tough. But Edwards is hitting back with Cheney’s voting record….oooh, he voted against HeadStart and Meals on Wheels for seniors….I think Cheney’s devil horns are starting to show.

First presidency in 70 years to lose jobs….Edwards is hitting hard on job losses, after Cheney ducked the jobs question by talking about No Child Left Behind. “John Kerry and I believe that we have a moral responsibility not to leave trillions of dollars of debt for our grandchildren.”

Wow…same-sex marriage. The moderator is drilling Cheney on his comment that “freedom means freedom for everybody”, and now Cheney is trying to duck why that doesn’t mean same-sex marriage. Wow. Cheney essentially just blamed Bush for the FMA, saying that “the President sets policy in this administration, and I support the President.” Now Edwards is waffling his way through same-sex marriage.