The debate

The debate

: At this point, the discussion in Iraq is forging no new ground. It’s repetitive. This is a rerun with motion added.

: “That answer almost made me want to scowl.” Best line Bush has had in either debate.

Better than scowling is getting pissed and cutting off Charlie Gibson.

Otherwise, the guy is doing mental botox. He’s doing everything he can not to move a single facial muscle.

: “I hear there’s rumors on the internets that we’re going to have a draft,” says the Bushes. “We’re not going to have a draft. Period.” They can’t repeat that enough. And he repeated it: “We’re not going to have a draft so long as I’m the President.” Kerry said, “I don’t support a draft.”

: Kerry will never use the phrase “global test” again but he keeps doing the alliance tango and that keeps bothering me. We cannot hinge our defense and policy on the French.

: Both Kerry and Gibson mucked it up: It’s not a question of if but a question of when, guys. Get it straight.

: Bush should be bragging about tomorrow’s election in Afghanistan. Kerry should be acknowledging the value of building democracy in the world.

: “The National Journal named Senator Kennedy the most liberal senator of all,” says Bush.

Uh, don’t we mean Senator Kerry.

That’s OK. They do look like, those guys from Mass.

: Wonkette says: “Also: Kerry is the first presidential candidate in history to go out of his way to remind people he’s a lawyer.” He also goes out of his way to say he’s an altar boy.

: Usually at these town hall things, the people they pick are dorky. This bunch is not.

: Jet lag. Jet lag. I’m zoning. The environment always does that to me. Trees. Owls. Birkenstocks.

: Stem cell. Kerry’s issue. Supreme Court: Kerry again for me.

: Mistakes. The lady asks Bush about mistakes. We’ll see whether he has an answer this time. Well, actually, he didn’t but at least he didn’t do the hummuda-hummuda thing again. Kerry uses this to sing the Coke theme again — “true global coalition;” another mistake.

: Draw. Which is to say nobody wins, including us. More lively. Both were more in command.

Come to think of it, if it’s a draw, then it’s a Bush victory, since this time, he was coming up from behind.

: At the end, the candidates block Charlie’s Teleprompter. Now that’s my favorite moment.

The questions from the audience were better than anything Charlie would have given us.