And the Winner Is… Gwenn Ifill!

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Well, it's just about to wrap up, and I'm now embarrassed that I was actually hoping for an interesting evening. Cheney and Edwards' butch/femme dynamic was intriguing for about ten minutes, and my initial takeaway is that Cheney wins the Drool at the School in a split decision. Edwards loses me because he's more obviously full of rhetorical bluster, repeating and repeating and repeating phrases for effect, and best of all saying the American People know that he has less experience than Cheney, "and they deserve to know that." (Thanks, Johnno!) Anyway, that's just one man's opinion: I don't speak for the American people, or for the Reason staff. In fact, I don't even speak for the entire Cavanaugh household.

NEXT: Veep Debate Wrap-Up

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  1. I’m Gwenn Ifill, and I don’t know how to ask substantive questions.

  2. This debate only served to perpetuate my deep despair over the options we have today- A cocky, frighteningly stubborn cowboy moron and a devious, crooked former CEO of a company that “just happened” to get a 6 billion dollar contract in the country he had been so gung-ho in invading VS a wooden, flip-flopping traitorous rich-boy and a pretty-boy, trial lawyer piece of scum.

  3. Cheney is clearly the most powerful VP in US history. The dynamics of the Executive will never be the same.

  4. “A cocky, frighteningly stubborn cowboy moron and a devious, crooked former CEO of a company that “just happened” to get a 6 billion dollar contract in the country he had been so gung-ho in invading VS a wooden, flip-flopping traitorous rich-boy and a pretty-boy, trial lawyer piece of scum.”

    Ain’t democracy grand? Maybe we should take Mencken’s advice and start randomly drafting our political leaders using the jury duty method. Or maybe we just draft Congress and let those guys vote for a President among them. Acceptance would be optional, of course, and there’s no guarantee that the draftees would be able to tell the CBO from the CIA. But the days of poll-driven pandering and special-interest shilling would, by and large, be gone.

    By the way, my own phrases were “self-righteous, intellectually lazy, spendthrift-cum-theocrat” and “spineless, pandering, neo-leftist windbag”.

  5. Ifill did a better job than Lehrer. She was fair if not terribly substantive (for us libertarians).

  6. wins the Drool at the School in a split decision.

    The only interesting thing to come out of these debates has been Tim’s nicknames for them. “Charade in Dade”, and now this.

  7. a company that “just happened” to get a 6 billion dollar contract

    Halliburton was the default contractor for reconstruction under a contract let during the Clinton years. Halliburton’s profits and stock are down since the invasion. Cheney has no, zip, zero, nada, interest in Halliburton, and thus, even if the contract was let by him (which it wasn’t) and even if Halliburton was making windfal profits (which it isn’t) he would have no way to share in them.

  8. Actually our stock is up.

    Iraq seems to be a big deal with the peanut gallery in America, but from a pure business point of view, and for the rest of us, it’s nothing too impressive.

    Talk Barracuda Project, or Asbestos, and I’ll take your point.

    Right on the profits thing though. 2% margin, flat rate, and we’ve had the contract since ’91.

  9. In the first debate, Bush lost no support — what did he do that people who supported him didn’t expect? — and Kerry gained support from undecideds and Green-leaning Democrats who suddenly thought he seemed almost Presidential.

    In this debate, really, who was watching but those keenly interested in the election, there were no undecideds to un-undecide; what Cheney did and Edwards failed to do was re-energize his base. The GOP base has heard for days and days that their boy lost in Miami and have had the feeling it was slipping away; now, with Cheney’s clear, convincing victory (I haven’t seen a debate with that clear a winner in, I think, ever, and I’ve been paying attention and of voting age since 1988) Repubs will be jazzed again. Democrats have got to be wringing their hands a little at the looming “20 year Senate record” everyone’s about to hear a lot about, not to mention Sen. Edwards not apparently having a Senate record of any sort.

    Small bump for the Bush ticket, but mostly it was a sigh of relief for his current supporters.

  10. Can you still call it a draw when they both lose?

    This debate sucked. Cheney looked like a corpse. Edwards looked like a tool. They didn’t debate – they repeated talking points, and bickered. I watched the debate in a warm room, and I was asleep by the half way point.

    I can’t believe that after all four names on the ticket have gotten their shot, John Freaking Kerry came out on top.

  11. Back to topic, I thought Gwen was great and her questions (at least in the ForPol segment, which was all I could bear) were great. Not ideal, of course, but come on, this is national television and a finely-controlled VP debate! I was hoping for Russert and got a very capable, competent, and enjoyable replacement.

    If you had to entrust someone with the trigger, whom would you choose? Edwards’s gasbag courtroom rhetoric does not inspire confidence, even though Cheney’s refusal to acknowledge clear mistakes and misjudgments in the Administration’s actions is disturbing. At least he would act, whereas his opponent would just talk us to death (perhaps literally).

  12. Gwen Ifill, as in “Ifill this top I’m wearing, don’t I?” Hubba…

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