The Vice-Presidential debate

Saw the debate. The format certainly suited Mr. Cheney’s style, but he couldn’t help coming across as a “school principal who knew all the answers” like Tom Brokaw aptly put it. Mr. Edwards on the other hand looked young, charming, but almost canned. He certainly does his best to emulate Clinton, but he just can’t come close. Nevertheless, I think he held his own throughout the debate. On the crucial question of being a heart beat away from the Presidency, I thought Mr. Edwards did a less than convincing job of answering the question. Instead, he quickly diverted attention from it. Mr. Cheney didn’t quite jump onto the issue (and even if he did it lacked impact because of his low-key style of delivery) as I think he should have. I guess he doesn’t like to talk whole lot about it, because in his case he gets to be President while he is still the Vice-President! Mr. Cheney did his party’s campaign some damage when he referred to http://www.factcheck.com instead of http://www.factcheck.org

In the current battle for the Presidency, a lot has been said about “flip-flop”. First the Republicans accussed John Kerry of flip-flopping. Now the democrats say that President Bush is the one who has been flip-flopping. When does one flip-flop? Obviously, it happens when you are not sure of something. Ironically, when asked specifically about it (What’s wrong with a little flip-flop every now and then?) in the debate, both candidates evaded the question and instead accused each other of flip-flopping!

When significant decisions that impact millions of people across the globe have to be taken, its understandable that there might be a legitimate reason to flip-flop. In fact, it might be better to flip-flop and analyze the situation a little longer before coming to a decision. In President Bush’s words, “Its hard!” Perhaps, if we hadn’t been so sure about Iraq and instead flip-flopped a little we might not be in the mess we find ourselves in today?

In the summary, I think Mr. Cheney came across as tough, hard-assed and uncompromising while Mr. Edwards did appear a little light weight at times. I don’t beleive that either side did enough damage to the other to impact public opinion or the race for that matter. In short, this debate will be forgotten by the time the second debate gets underway, which incidentally is in a couple of days.

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