October 13, 2004

Debate weary.

Yes, I'm going to live-blog/simulblog the debate tonight, but it will be from a position of debate weariness. Since national security issues are determining my vote, I am much less interested in what the candidates might say about domestic policy, which is the subject of tonight's debate. And most of the plans and promises we hear about domestic policy entail congressional activity, so nothing specific the candidates say really counts much. We already know their general tendencies. I expect a dreary round of incantations of the sort you could build a drinking game on. But the truth is you could get drunk playing a drinking game with one rule: take a drink whenever anyone says "health care."

I did read Adam Nagourney's front page piece about the debate in today's NYT, which started out, to my irritation, reading like a Kerry campaign press release. But it got interesting a few paragraphs in (maybe the editors only lean on the early paragraphs). I was surprised at this from Donna Brazile, referring to the news that "Kerry is going to turn up his efforts to portray the president as a tool of special interests":
"The reason you're hearing this tough populism is because he's underperforming with some of these groups, and this is a way of bringing it home."
I would expect Brazile to frame everything she says to try to advance Kerry's case, yet this statement plays right into the suspicion that he lacks a moral core and will say whatever is needed to get elected.

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