Sunday, October 10, 2004

Bush-Kerry debate - who communicated best?

Question for the other blog members (and anyone else reading this who wants to comment) - who communicated best in Friday's debate between Bush and Kerry?

My take: earlier this week I read an article saying what either candidate needed to do - or mostly what they needed to avoid. Bush needed to avoid malapropisms or ridiculous, factually incorrect statements. Kerry just needed to cut down on his word count.

I saw maybe 5 minutes of the debate on TV yesterday, and both of them seemed to be doing pretty well.

I saw a DW-TV report this morning that seems to suggest it was a draw. What do those of you closer to the action think? Politics and policies aside, how did these individuals communicate and inspire?

7 Comments:

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Borscht said...

There are two ways I can comment.

One: We shall refer to this as the 'Beer-Swilling' Michael Moore sycophant.

All of them are de same, there's no difference between a Kerry White House to a Bushy House.

Two: I didn't watch the debate, but read about it afterwards. Looks like Kerry was able to razzle-dazzle "the president" out of his comfort zone -- again. Naturally, t'would seem the US needs a little more variety in its ranks -- something about the ability to vote for one of two "parties" in a bipartisan democracy is still highly unsettling to this here Canuck.

I must make a point of watching 13OCT's debate. I shall make up my mind soon enough.

 
At 12:35 PM, Blogger Sandra said...

Alright, as the token American here, I think I'll take a whack at this one.

I'm not a political nut, but I do like to stay informed about what's going on. I've watched both of the Presidential debates thus far, and I can honestly say I haven't been inspired by much of what either candidate has said. George Bush's administration has been something of a nightmare, and I can hardly stand the idea of "more of the same" for another four years. However, I can't say as I like John Kerry too much, either. In fact, I have a hard time believing he's the best guy the Democrats could come up with. I think politics have become too political -- too corrupt. Adam, you're right to say that it wouldn't make much of a difference, no matter who's in the White House, because it probably wouldn't. I don't think the two-party "democratic" system is working any longer. The country is run by mostly middle-aged, rich, white men, and most of the country doesn't fit that demographic. But the likelihood of it changing any time soon is slim -- because it benefits those in power. It's really disallusioning to feel like I can't trust those in positions of power -- believe me, I'd like to.

So, to answer your original question, Simon, spewing the same politcal rhetoric that's been said over and over before is not effective communicating. The negativity on display at these debates is not particularly inspiring, either.

Okay, off the soapbox, onto more pleasant matters.

 
At 8:21 PM, Blogger Borscht said...

I wonder what your response would be to Michael Moore's entreaty to attend caucus meetings in your state? An request to get more involved with the political process -- have you read Stupid White Men?

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger Simon said...

I haven't read "Stupid White Men" - is it any good? Personally I find Moore too ridiculously opposed to anything Bush does - the way he talks, walks, etc. - to have any credibility. Sure, it's good to show some opinion, but I think Moore is just a very media-savvy publisher.

I'm more encouraged to get involved in the political process through reading balanced books like Crunch Time that don't push you towards a conclusion, but lay out the facts as clearly as possible, and let you reach your own.

Also has anyone heard of http://www.ChangeThis.com ? It's supposed to encourage real debate instead of what passes for debate in our soundbite-driven media world.

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger Sandra said...

I haven't read Stupid White Men, and I agree with Simon when he says that Michael Moore is really hard to take completely seriously. I'd like to, even, but he has such a chip on his shoulder about George Bush and his administration and what's happened since September 11th that it's impossible to take anything he says without a grain of salt (although, that's not to say he doesn't make some very valid points).

As far as getting more politically involved, California is not a swing state, and typically goes Democratic, given the electoral college system. A lot of people moan and groan about the system (I could not explain to you how it works, it's so convoluted) and say that actual votes don't count. I think it's still important, though, and will happily take time and visit the polls come November 2nd. So, and sort of local activism isn't a pressing issue, since there's no way this state is going to George Bush.

Looking at it from the wider perspective of political reform, I feel the whole system needs to be overhauled. And that's rather daunting, isn't it? I mean, the whole thing could be overhauled (as in, getting rid of the two-party system, but then what?...), but more importantly I think power needs to be wrested away from these very irresponsible individuals who are using it to supplant their corporate ties and basically get them and their friends rich. Maybe it's naive of me to think that there are people who would use that kind of power to benefit the greater good.

I could go on and on about this...

On a slightly related note -- since most of you are not from America, let me ask you -- how much does the rest of the world pay attention to what goes on in America politically? Does it have an impact in what goes on in your countries?

 
At 1:17 PM, Blogger Borscht said...

First comment definitely goes to Simon: I have in fact read Stupid -- only because I read quickly, and I like to be up to date on most of the pop culture stuff -- Alan Ball is one of my heroes, and he's up to date on anything related to the pop culture -- as evidenced by the kinds of things he shows on Six Feet Under.

I can see where you're going with this -- I think the pressure's starting to get to Moore -- some of the e-outs I receive from his website are downright silly. I mean, Ramen noodles and clean underwear...it's like the old Shaft films -- how many is enough? I mean: "Shaft goes to Africa?" -- what the hell is that all about? Or, even, there's another Rocky in the works.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: you have to know when enough is enough -- but it all depends at this point what Moore's rationale is...if he's doing it for the money at this point -- or is he still the swashbuckling activist that we've come to know him. I don't think what he's doing is a bad thing -- technically, he hasn't achieved his goal -- which is the ouster of the Bush family from the White House -- so, I admire the tenacity with which he pursues his goal. In answer to whether he's still in it for the activism -- it's perhaps a lesson --> priorities change, and he might be a little affected...I mean, you see how he handles the hot potato of living in a million dollar house in New York -- first it's because he made a killing on Bowling, and he wants to be closer to the action, next it's something else...

A long-drawn out way to say that MM is a changed kat.

SANDRA: Canadians especially are interested in what happens down south because you are our largest trading partner, and much of the culture that we have comes in some distilled or direct form from the US - that means, it's either Canadianised, or it's perhaps taken straight from the horse's mouth. I think knowing a thing or two about US politics is important than merely for academic reasons. I think the choice of the US president has an effect on some very current events in this country, namely -- the brain drain, the pharmaceutical drugs issue, foreign policy (let's not forget that the US Ambassador, former MA governor Paul Cellucci really dug into us for not joining the Coalition) and others.

US politics affects me, because it's also the yardstick by which the US interacts with the rest of the world -- and as a citizen of North America, I am often mistaken for an American -- which I don't have any qulams with -- that's despite the fact that today I am wearing my CANADA t-shirt. Which is a really cool looking red number -- but that's for another discussion.

Do you know who the Prime Minister of Canada is? Do you know who the Prime Minister of New Zealand is? Is is still Mary Clark? Does NZ have a Governor-General?

Thanks all -- will try to catch the debate on TV in between my newe class, my screenplay, and other important activities.

 
At 12:21 AM, Blogger Simon said...

Suze - yes, we keep an eye on happenings in the US fairly closely here. If America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold. However this is the first year that our state-owned news channel featured live coverage of the debate. So that's an interesting development, probably more for the news channel than for the nation as a whole.

 

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