SPANKED! a vote for Bush is a vote for the loser in the first debate...
John Kerry kicked Bush's ass in this debate. No question about it. On style, substance, composure, grasp of the issues, and whatever else you can think of, Kerry won hands down. Any rational person can see that.
From the first moment Bush was on edge--he jerked his hand away from Kerry in the greeting handshake. Bush spoke haltingly and repeated phrases over and over even when they had no relevance to the question asked. He seemed irritated and his face showed it--he frequently furrowed his brow (it reminded me of Michelle Malkin) and his lips and eyes twitched quite a bit. He sputtered through non-answers and sounded nervous throughout the entire ordeal.
By contrast, Kerry was authoritative and calm. He definitely benefitted from the side-by-side comparison the debate gave him. Just as Bush tried to inject his new propaganda phrase "mixed messages" into the public discourse (a cause in which he will be ably abetted by the likes of Chris Matthews), Kerry had some great lines as well, i.e.,
"Don't confuse the war with the warriors"--a great line that dovetails nicely with his experience in Vietnam
"I've had one position on Iraq: Saddam had to be disarmed, and there was a right way and a wrong way to do that. The president chose the wrong way." Very nice--succinct, forceful, presidential.
So the pundits said before the debate that the winner of the first debate will be the winner of the election. Therefore, Kerry will win the election. But we knew that already. But there could still be spin that we're not expecting, like this Newsmax article that whines that moderator Lehrer favored Kerry with his questions.
However, even if that were true, Bush was very pushy and violated the rules of the debate. When Kerry would finish a point, Bush began to just start trying to refute it. He didn't ask the moderator for permission (OK, the first time or two he did), he just harrumphed and started whining.
Kerry, on the other hand, raised his hand twice attempting to ask for one of Lehrer's extensions and was ignored both times. Kerry was being polite and following the rules, Bush was being pushy.
Bush also seemed to think that if you talk louder, it makes what you say more believable. I must say, Bush didn't come off like a bad person, he just came off like an imbecile who shouldn't be president. And I don't mean that in a bad way--I'm an imbecile who shouldn't be president.
But Kerry is not an imbecile and he should be and will be our next president.
Oh, and one other spin I heard the right wing try to trot out--Bush spoke from the heart and just let people see how he truly is while Kerry brought out facts and figures and was all formal and stuffy. Bullshit--anybody who saw the debate knows that pure bullshit.