I'm proud of Bush tonight, he was on the attack against Kerry and I also believe that not only the American people, but also Kerry himself have more respect for him. Bush won on Foreign Policy by a long shot and even tied Kerry on the economy IMHO. Good for George, maybe he can start regaining some ground with the United States.
My impression of Kerry: "I respect your convictions. I respect the morals that motivate you. I respect your beliefs so very very much. Here's why your beliefs wrong." I'm somewhat neutral politically, but that's pretty damned offensive.
The part where Kerry accused Bush of being a hypocrite morally for allowing embrionic stem cell research to be tested on certain specimens. Turns out those embryos were dead before any testing was even considered. That didn't look too good either. Also, there was more than one occassion that he tried to turn the "flip-flop" thing around on Bush in situations where it REALLY didn't fit. The occasion where Bush said something to the effect of, "Still trying to figure out what he just said." after Kerry managed to talk himself in a circle and ... well, I wasn't really able to figure out what he was saying either.
Bush looked pretty weak on the Supreme Court Justice question. Most of the situations in the debate that favored one of the other candidate favored Bush this go around.
Well, it was a pretty silly counter to Bush's point about many of the forests in the west. Because lumber companies are not allowed to pull dead and dying trees, there is always a TON of fuel ready and waiting for the next forest fire. I grew up right in the heart of it - 50 miles from Yellowstone where the lack of management burned almost half of the park down. On the other side of the Idaho border, they have managed areas. Its not hard to guess which area sees more catastrophic fires. The one that isn't managed of course. Lumber companies are only too happy to pull the deadfall out and make use of it but generally aren't allowed to.
Factcheck.org dug up what Kerry was talking about. In 2001, Bush had owned stock or interest in a lumber company. Overall profit for Mr. Bush? $86. He hasn't owned stock since that year apparently, but tax-wise he was qualifiable as a small business owner. So it is perhaps a valid point, but its a pretty weak one. Kerry was trying to make the point that Bush was somehow motivated by this to push for the interests of lumber companies. What, for $86?? Gimme a break.
I'd say Kerry won by a slim margin;Bush did much better in this debate than the previous. What bothered me the most was when both candidates were asked to explain exactly how the deficiate would be cut in half in the next four years. Neither gave much of an answer, they just repeated previous statements.
The way that the deficit was cut before was due to an economic boom. Clinton didn't cause it in any way, but it sure made him look good. So how do you fix the deficit now? It would be difficult to swing. You'd have to start cutting funding to things and everyone gets pissed off when you do that. "I'll cut funding for __________ " is political suicide.