Wednesday, October 04, 2000

Who Won the Debate?

I watched the presidential debate last night. I admit, I thought Gore won, and Bush looked out of his depth. But then, I went in with that expectation. So I turned to the commentariant to tell me what the "consensus opinion" was. In Slate, Jacob Weisberg explained that "Bush got his clock cleaned." So I was right. And in Salon, Andrew Sullivan concludes, "It was a knockout." For Bush. Hmm. So maybe this debate just did confirm whatever expectation people went in with.

Here's what confirmed mine. After Bush suggested getting the Russians to mediate in Yugoslavia, the following exchange ensued.

GORE: ...But I think we need to be very careful in the present
situation before we invite the Russians to play the lead role in

BUSH: Well, obviously we wouldn't use the Russians if they didn't
agree with our answer, Mr. Vice President.

GORE: Well, they don't.

The "Well, they don't," just had this air of, "Is it too much to ask you to pay attention?" It cracked me up.

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