Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Debate Episode II: The Empire Strikes Back

Dick Cheney - slumped over, with eyes blazing and hands rubbing together in glee - did his best Darth Vader impression last night during the debate with John Edwards. And he got in some telegenic if not honest digs against Edwards and Kerry.

Too bad his best line - "I've never met you before tonight" - was a lie.

Of course they'd met before, and the helpful political bloggers wasted no time in trotting out images, news stories and video proving that.

But his biggest lie of the night, "I never suggested there was a link between Saddam and 9/11," has become so ingrained in the public consciousness that it probably didn't register outside the limited ranks of political junkies. Fact is, Cheney and his flying monkeys have been pounding home the supposed connection between Saddam and 9/11 for years, and even their denials serve to at least enter a sentence into the public record that includes both terms.

It's basic advertising - Volvos are safe. Thinking safety? Think Volvo. Safety is the most important thing for Volvo. Volvo owns "safety."

Unfortunately, Edwards wasn't strong enough to counter Cheney's Vader-like stare and obvious command of the rhetoric. Edwards got in some good jabs, like pointing out how Cheney voted against Head Start, MLK Day, Meals on Wheels, and probably, puppies. But he missed many many opportunities to counter Cheney's lies - most likely because there were just so many of them. So it's probably a wash. Luke Skywalker got his hand chopped off, but he stayed alive.

Still, I keep wondering if the voters are going to start to ask themselves, why did the VP do so much better with basic things like full sentences than the President did? Who's really in charge here?


Ryan said...

Now now....Let's not call the vice president Darth Vader, that's not fair...we can at least have the respect call him by his correct name...lucifer.

Miss A said...

I disagree. Edwards doesn't have to land a KO to win. The Republican talking point is that it's a draw, but it's complete BS -- based on Bush's lowering of the bar. If Cheney doesn't bite a rat's head off on stage, we feel it's a draw, but is it, really? Imho, no.

Edwards did everything he had to do. He showed he wasn't Quayle, that he could be President. He defended and talked Kerry up, as is his job. He made the argument for change. He smiled for the ladies.

Cheney, while not a total chump, didn't do much to defend the Administration or further Bush's cause. I can't see that he did much of anything except perhaps stop the bleeding. He left many, many criticisms unanswered, and he didn't even bother to mention Bush all that much. And he made some serious, serious gaffes that will appear in DNC ads, I'm sure.

While Edwards was busy appealing to undecided/swing voters, Cheney had to rally the base back after Bush's ridiculous display on Thursday. Chess, not checkers.

Anonymous said...

Why did Cheney sound more articulate than the Shrub? According to a pass-along, it's because this was the first time in history a sitting president had debated a vice-presidential candidate.