when asked about who he would appoint to the supreme court, bush pulls a bizarre reference to dred scott out of his ass. who told him to refer to a slavery case from the 1850s? i was like huh? and my sister pointed out that bush clearly didn't understand the dred scott case either (as atrios points out here)
bush definitely did a better job controlling his facial expressions this time around, but some of them still slipped through. at times he blinked so much you'd think he was trying to get something out of his eye; he still occasionally rolled his eyes or smirked or winked conspicuously; and he was often so desperate to respond that he jumped out of his chair before the moderator could acknowledge him and offer him an extension. one time he was so adamant that poor charlie gibson couldn't even get a word in: it was pretty obvious charlie wanted to ask some specific follow-up but bush kept talking, "i need to respond to that. let me respond to that." (abc news already has a story about him fighting his emotions tonight)
but he was off the hook somewhat because the town hall format proved that the split-screen view was not practical for much of the debate. the candidates didn't have podiums; they had chairs but when speaking they would wander around the stage, trying to address the whole crowd a la theatre in the round. the switcher crew had to stay on their toes lest a candidate walk completely offscreen or turn the wrong way.
we noticed at least 2-3 questions that bush didn't answer at all: a question about how he would work to rebuild relations with other countries (he basically just said "i make unpopular decisions but they're the right decision"), and one where she asked him to cite 3 specific mistakes he's made (he couldn't name one; he just said he'd made "tactical mistakes" and "mistakes in who i appointed").
still a clear win for kerry, but not a total blowout like the first debate. now it's time for the post-debate fact-checking and spin. the democrats have totally killing at those so far...
now this has nothing to do with the debate, but i'd been hearing good things about going upriver, supposedly the definitive kerry documentary, but i looked & it's only showing locally at one theater way on the north side of carmel. then i found out it's available online in what appears to be a sanctioned download. i started downloading the torrent right before the debate and it finished downloading awhile ago. hooray for bittorrent!
time to go vote in some online polls...
[okay; srn is down so i can't post right now (in all fairness, i did receive an email stating there'd be scheduled downtime tonight) so let me say that so far kerry is slaying the online polls. he's usually getting at least 70-80% right now. to think the republicans were bragging before the first debate about their rapid response capabilities.]