Kerry had his chance to show me that he will protect our country more effectively than Bush will.
Here's some of his ideas.
Yep, that's it. Kerry was repeatedly asked what he would do better or differently than Bush to protect America. He said he would do it, but offered nothing in terms of specifics. He basically continued his campaign slogan of "we will do the same things as Bush, only nicer and with more taxes...oh, and the French will like us again too.."
Everything Kerry offered to do is either already being done, or next to impossible to do. For instance, he talked about the 95% of cargo containers coming in to the ports in Florida that aren't inspected, but failed to offer any idea as to how to fix this. And this continued all night. Kerry saying "this is broken, this isn't working, this is a big threat" but offering nothing of substance to show what he would do differently.
The howler moment for me was this one-
(speaking about whether or not the war in Iraq was a mistake)
"When the Secretary General Kofi Annan offered the United Nations, he said, No, no, we'll go do this alone. "
BWHAT???? The UN said no such thing. In fact they said what they usually do- you're on your own guys. I was watching this with my best friend who is certainly no Bush fan, and his analogy was as such- "this is like a mismatched volleyball game, Kerry sets, Bush spikes.."
"My opponent says we didn't have any allies in this war. What's he say to Tony Blair? What's he say to Alexander Kwasniewski of Poland? You can't expect to build an alliance when you denigrate the contributions of those who are serving side by side with American troops in Iraq.
Plus, he says the cornerstone of his plan to succeed in Iraq is to call upon nations to serve. So what's the message going to be: "Please join us in Iraq. We're a grand diversion. Join us for a war that is the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time?"
I know how these people think. I deal with them all the time. I sit down with the world leaders frequently and talk to them on the phone frequently. They're not going to follow somebody who says, "This is the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time.""
Kerry also kept contradicting himself.
LEHRER: Speaking of your plan, new question, Senator Kerry. Two minutes.
Can you give us specifics, in terms of a scenario, time lines, et cetera, for ending major U.S. military involvement in Iraq?
KERRY: The time line that I've set out -- and again, I want to correct the president, because he's misled again this evening on what I've said. I didn't say I would bring troops out in six months. I said, if we do the things that I've set out and we are successful, we could begin to draw the troops down in six months."
Huh? So you said you wouldn't bring troops out in six months. And then in the very next sentence you said you would bring troops out in six months.
I mean, wow. How about this one?
LEHRER: I want to make sure -- yes, sir -- but in this one minute, I want to make sure that we understand -- the people watching understand the differences between the two of you on this.
You want to continue the multinational talks, correct?
LEHRER: And you're willing to do it...
KERRY: Both. I want bilateral talks which put all of the issues, from the armistice of 1952, the economic issues, the human rights issues, the artillery disposal issues, the DMZ issues and the nuclear issues on the table.
He wants both? ........(shaking head).......Oh and uh, by the way Senator, Treblinka was a Nazi concentration camp, not the vault of the KGB. Since you know, you went there and stuff, you probably should know the name of it...
I do have to say, this was an excellent format for a debate on foreign policy, and Jim Lehrer did an outstanding job in moderating. The questions were provacative and insightful, and Lehrer kept the pace tight and answers on point. Neither candidate was ugly, and both showed more class than they have so far throughout the campaign.
After watching that debate, barring some catastrophic failure on Bush's part, I cannot see how anyone thinks Kerry would be more effective at protecting the American people. Bush officially got my vote last night.
Update: Of course the blogosphere is abuzz with life over the debates this morning, as one would expect from the nation of pajama-wearing-anklebiters. Instapundit probably has the best round ups, although Allahpundit does have quite the list too...I think the best one I read was from Astuteblogger, with this post-
At least 10 (ten) times, on 10 (ten) DIFFERENT subjects, KERRY GAVE IRREFUTABLY HORRIFIC ANSWERS-