3-0. This was Our Fearless Leader’s best performance. And the saddest. Confession time: I don’t hate George W. Bush. I detest his policies, his rudimentary grasp of the world he so profoundly inhabits, his oedipal fixation on Iraq, his cultivated homeliness. And his overtly expressive face. But, not the man himself. He is not evil incarnate that some of us want him to be. For example, I like the way he molds his body to the podium – leaning into it, resting his elbow on it, grasping it, hitting it. He comes across as intimate and alert. He expresses everything without verbalizing anything. And last night, he expressed it all. He was animated in the beginning but then his body just fell silent. He quit moving and leaning. He didn’t look at the camera, just at the talking Kerry or Bob.
He was lost. And tired.
His heart is not in it. He has no answers and he doesn’t even “get” the question. By which, I do not mean that he is too dumb (never believed that, either) but that he doesn’t understand the relevance or the implications.
Around 40 minutes into the debate, Bush gave up. He wanted to be anywhere but where he was. Like a robot from the past, Kerry bombarded him with lists of failures and grievances. George blinked. He sighed. He implored Bob with a dry chuckle saying, “WTF!?”. He did not scowl or grimace like the first debate. Lesson learned. But he could only scream Education over and over and over. On playgrounds, in our youth, we used to stick our fingers in the ears and yell at the top of our lungs: NANANANANANANANAANAN. Education.
There just is no domestic argument that he can present. His best case was Iraq. He blew that chance in Debate 1 and the daily headlines blow away his best-case scenarios every morning (pun intended). Tax cuts matter to a lot of people. And those people vote Republican. Kerry is not convincing any of them. Terrorism is the other factor. Again, the Republicans somehow believe that Kerry will ask the terrorists for a group hug or something. Kerry showed that he will deal with it just as well as Bush will. After all, he has personally killed brown people.
During these three debates, the majority of the country saw a President capable of handling domestic and foreign issues and willing to work with other people. Kerry. I think he will get the biggest lead yet of the race by the middle of next week and that it will tighten back up within days of the election. E-day will be all about getting people to the polls and stopping the RNC from stealing the election.
I am leaving for Madison tonight. I have yet to write my presentation. Something about Early Modern India. Damnation. This conference business will kill me. But, hey!, the next one is in Hawaii.