Wednesday, October 6

The Russert/Brokaw post debate badinage

I am getting better at this or I should say it is becoming easier, but still leaves me with a sleasy kind of feeling and a bad taste in my mouth. But for your edification, the following is my transcript of the post debate commentary of two Big Time Media Blowhards. After I wash my brain out, I may feel like disecting some of the finer points, until then....

Brokaw: While I think it is always premature for us to make a decision about who won the debate, uh chris, I mean I know it's uh, it's part of the sporting moment after the debate, but uh, the people really will decide after the next couple of days and they'll piece it together with last week and what they see again on Friday night, but I absolutely agree, and I was not suprised by this having covered him for more than 30 years now that uh Dick Cheney was extremely
well prepared and earlier on NBC I uh compared him to george foreman uh he kind of shuffles across the ring and then he unleashes a powerful right hand. He had any number of memorable lines "you couldn't stand up to howard dean how can you stand up to terror" "He doesn't believe John Kerry has the conviction to carry through on the war on terror" "He said you were for the war when the headlines were good and against it when the polls were bad" Those are all not only memorable lines, but those are soundbites that are going to get repeated again and again Tim.

Russert: I thought Senator Lindsay Graham the Republican from South Carolina had a very interesting point, Tom, he said that last Thursday was not George Bush's best night.

Brokaw: Right

Russert: And they were very much afraid that if this debate went the same way as last Thursday's, there would be an extraordinary momentum for the Kerry Edwards ticket going into Friday. They do believe that tonight they blunted some of that momentum, because dick cheney was able to rally the Republican base at least by putting forward a very instructive and heartfelt case for the Bush Cheney administration. uh I think John Edwards, when he said your'e not being straight on Iraq was trying to frame this campaign on Iraq, and Dick Cheney kept saying it's broader than Iraq, it's the war on terror and if you want to win the war on terror you've gotta re-elect George Bush. And then when he turned to John Edwards and basically said to him you know what you're a young man in too much a hurry, I never met you before in my life until you walked on the stage tonight,(pundits laughing in the background) it was basically saying to the American people, you may disagree with me but I'm steady and I'm resolute and I have alot of experiance, and you don't have to worry about the government if I'm a heartbeat away.

Brokaw: But here's here's the tough part and I think this is where senator Edwards to his credit performed very well tonight. He stayed after the case that you've got an empty portfolio that you're defending here, that you are not being straight with the American people, it is more of the same and he cited what Paul Bremer was saying this week about needing more troops, he cited the question about what Don Rumsfeld raising about al Quaeda and the terra and the ties between Saddam Hussien and uh whats going on in Iraq. So I think that really becomes the issue for them. Dick Cheney put up a formidable uh defence of the
administration and turned it into an offence whenever he could, but then the question that will become in the minds of the American public, alright do we want more of the same is it going well now is it going in the direction that we need to

Russert: And does a long resume mean good judgement quote unquote John Edwards

Brokaw: Right

Russert: I think the soundbite we'll hear from edwards over and over again is You're not being straight with the American people on Iraq, the soundbite we're gonna hear from Dick Cheney, is saying you can't win the war on terror without George Bush and If you can't stand up to Howard Dean how can you stand up to Al Quaeda. Now what I felt uh Chris uh I think especially towards the last month or so this is a Campaign that is really being driven by events on the ground in Iraq on the ground in Afghanistan in the economy here much more than it was earlier than that coming out of the Republican Convention in which they really were able to frame the debate but now its I do think that these issues that are unfolding across this country and across the Middle East are driving this debate in a way that the political strategists no longer have the control that they did just a short time ago.

Matthews: Blah blah blah.