VP Debate

“The fact of the matter is Gwen” this debate was basically a tie. In my opinion Cheney did what everyone expected him to do, play the career public servant who claims to know more about the goings on in Washington than anyone else. For his part, Edwards did an excellent job of standing toe to toe with Cheney while effectively reminding the viewer that this is the same man who lied about his involvement with Halliburton and tried to repeatedly tie Iraq to al Qaeda.

Three moments really stick in my mind as I look back on the debate. First, Senator Edwards did an excellent job of reminding the viewers that Cheney has a gay daughter and forcing him to repeat his position which is in opposition to that of the pResident. He did it respectfully but don’t be fooled, that moment really pissed Cheney off. If you looked at his reaction his left hand was twitching uncontrollably as if he was a contestant on Jeopardy trying to ring in his answer, “What is back off this issue Alex!” None of the pundits after the debate touched this one but I think it was significant in that it spoke directly to those in the Christian-right base, I could just see them squirming in their seats as they tried to reconcile the image of their tough-guy hero walking his lesbian daughter down the aisle. “Bottom line Gwen,” Cheney stated clearly that he believes the states should be left to decide how to handle the gay marriage issue which is in direct contradition to the ridiculous idea of a consitutional amendment which the pResident keeps pushing, and Edwards effectivlely made that clear.

Second, in an attempt to paint Senator Edwards as absent from Washington Cheney told a huge lie. He claimed that he had never met the Senator prior to the debate. Well, according to ABC News not only have they met, they have met three times:

On Feb. 1, 2001, the vice president thanked Edwards by name at a Senate prayer breakfast and sat beside him during the event.

On April 8, 2001, Cheney and Edwards shook hands when they met off-camera during a taping of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” moderator Tim Russert said Wednesday on “Today.”

On Jan. 8, 2003, the two met when the first-term North Carolina senator accompanied Elizabeth Dole to her swearing-in by Cheney as a North Carolina senator, Edwards aides also said.

Lastly, Cheney foisted his largest lie when he claimed that he had never claimed there were ties between Saddam and al Qaeda. I point you to this fact check review by MSNBC:

On Dec. 9, 2001, Cheney said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that “it’s been pretty well confirmed that [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack.” On March 24, 2002, Cheney again told NBC, “We discovered … the allegation that one of the lead hijackers, Mohamed Atta, had, in fact, met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague.”

On Sept. 8, 2002, Cheney, again on “Meet the Press,” said that Atta “did apparently travel to Prague. … We have reporting that places him in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence officer a few months before the attacks on the World Trade Center.” And a year ago, also on “Meet the Press,” Cheney described Iraq as part of “the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9/11.”

In the debate, Cheney referred to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as having “an established relationship with al Qaeda” and said then-CIA Director George J. Tenet talked about “a 10-year relationship” in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. What Tenet cited were several “high-level contacts” over a 10-year period, but he also said the agency reported they never led to any cooperative activity.

With all that said, I don’t believe that this debate will amount to much in the minds of the voters. My guess is there will be no change in the polls until after this Friday’s second Presidential debate, so get ready for round-two Kerry vs. Bush

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