The Presidential debate.
OK seriously, it's pedantic to bitch about mistakes like that. (And I'm the last person with a right to complain about other peoples spelling mistakes)
However as a European* I belive that Kerry won this debate. Not as trashingly clear as the first one, but still well ahead. Some might say that Bush won becasue he did better than expected but I just don't understand the thinking behind such reasoning. Thats like accepting a mediocre performance because your expectations were low.
Bush managed to brush of some of the criticism, most notably when he claimed that he didn't own a timber company and the debate leader moved on with something else away from Bush erroneous claim that Kerrys tax reform would hurt 900.000 small business owners.
But overall Bush lost all the big discussions on Iraq and the economy/job topics.
He didn't managed to counter Kerrys criticism about how he had failed to establish a strong international coalition or how the administration failed to "win the peace" after the war (in relation to troop levels). Bush missed the several opportunities to question Kerrys voting on Desert Storm. Kerry won a vote or two on the "The military's job is to win the war: The president's job is to win the peace" line. He explained his vote on the $87B bill very good. His style is increasingly Presidential and trustworthy but when when he spews that "we will hunt them down and kill them" line he looks just as simplistic as Bush do.
Bush emerged as pro big corp on the drugs from Canada topic. I don't understand why Bush didn't use the old and tested "but that would hurt the pharmaceutical companies" argument. His debating style overall was a mix between aggressive conclusiveness in the start and tentativeness later. He tried to stay on topic and answer the questions with short statements like "The United Nations was not effective at removing Saddam Hussein", "Our plan is working" and "I love our values." A bit populistic if you ask me. Occasionally he is inducing like some bizarre offspring from de Gaulle, Nixon and Jon Stewart.
As expected both candidates tried to evade the budget deficit and highlighted instead how bad the other candidates budget is. But both on fiscal discipline and energy policy Kerry squabbled better.
Kerry answered the Patriot Act question as good as Bush, even though that's a difficult and complex subject to address in such a short time on TV. On abortion and stem cell research Bush appeared to me as narrow minded, confused and stubborn compared to Kerry.
(I admitt that I'm a bit biased here since I'm sceptical towards deeply religous people and all that faith based talk and Bush probably tried to appeal to some religious voters.)
On the health care lawsuits question Bush tried to brand Kerry as a liberal (apearantly, in USA, on national TV, today that is like calling someone a communist during the cold war) but failed to show how this would be bad thing and connect it to his answer on the question. How the fuck is liberalness connected to that topic?
Kerry's use of some actors on the stem cell question was not that smart, but he might have won some voters on it anyway as he appeared as more compassionate than Bush.
The last question was a good one. Bush came up with a decent answer but shouldn't he have mentioned something that he had done wrong in his period?
Wouldn't his credibility have increased if he had admitted to some mistakes? After all it's not like his presidency has been a period without controversy.
So overall, with all respect, if voters elects Bush for four more years my faith in the American people will drop drastically.
*Obviously one of those weak-liberal-Euro-communist that love Saddam and hate USA.
[Some thoughts that needed distribution. Feel free to comment, reply, flame, debunk and Troll.]