My officemate's computer kicked the bucket today, so for the good of the cause, I have to hand over the keys for a bit.
But the overall, the debate ran about what I expected. Bush's style came off a bit less fidgety with this staging, since he could be - well - fidgety. Kerry still managed his reactions better. Bush reset his jaw more often than I could count. (Also - I remember a science class exercise once when we held mirrors over half our school photos - your right and left brain can send mixed messages to your mouth: so when you're smirking, or just faking a smile, it really is all over your face). Highlight: Bush running over Charlie Gibson in a fit of "me-ness" to get his point out. It was 100% pure Bush. Someone should tell him that the madder he gets, the more he plays into Kerry's hands.
To me, as I mentioned below, the Bush statement I'd hammer on was his assertion that he'd caught 75% of the terrorists. I pity an America that believes there is a finite supply. It can be managed. Maybe it can be contained. It can't, however, be completely erased. Not now, especially. (Remember the starfish.)
Bush, for the most part, took his fight to the audience - though the format made things touchy. It's fine to imply a moderator is wrong - but a voter? Heaven forbid. He seldom talked at Kerry however - at least not to the same degree as Kerry did when he - I think the best description is - got all up in Bush's grill at a certain point. It was stunningly effective.
Also effective: the statistic highlighting Missouri's contribution to the war - were it a country, it'd be the 3d largest in the coalition in Iraq.
Lastly - and I'll return to this later - Bush should stick with the schoolyard mocking type humor he's honed so well over the last 4 years. All other attempted jokes tonight fell flatter thana red state.
Duty calls - if you have your own reax, do your blogger a favor and make the comments section lively . . .