Wednesday, October 06, 2004
If u followed closely...

the debate last night, you would have noticed some startling maneuvers - some effective, some not so effective. Some that I got:

1. The whole thing reminded me of the Titanic. Cheney was this iceberg that threatened to maim the beautiful Titanic, and sink it. Menacing, huh? Sure. But who has ever empathised with the iceberg for getting hit by that overspeeding ship? That is how it was. Sure, one was able to appreciate the girth of Cheney, his experience etc etc. But one could just not relate to him.
Cheney tried to come across as one of us, everyday humans, who has lost his health care, been laid off etc at some time in the past. But he was cold through all that, kind of as if all that had made him numb to human suffering. Ironically, Edwards was more effective in thawing that image a little bit, talking about Mary Cheney, and the emotions the Veep and his wife must be going through etc. If Cheney thought he was playing the taciturn westerner, he did not quite get it.

2. Edwards' legerdemain came when he talked about the Medical Malpractice claim. He smartly avoided cases where it was a Doc versus a patient he had tried to save. Instead, he chose to talk about a case where an unfortunate, unsuspecting child was maimed by the greedy folks at some swimming pool company - not health care company. Smart, eh? Cheney never caught it. Worse, he started talking about how some poor company in Wyoming was suffering. Who could relate to that?

3. Edwards was given a golden opportunity to launch his future Presidential bid when asked what made him think he qualified to be the One heartbeat away. He did good job. But wasted a bullet - he could have pointed out that he has more experience than the top of the challenger ticket last time.

4. While Cheney was targeting the base with all that redmeat, Edwards quietly went for the middle. Not much talk about out sourcing (Will Saletan counted it to a mere four), no talk even about two Americas. And in some places, he smartly tacked to the right - for a moment I thought it was cross talk when Edwards said that the best defense is a good offense!

5. Overall, I think it was a draw. But I think Edwards would score with the people who matter - the center. He came in as the underdog, and exceeded the expectations. Cheney's performance will be forgotten. So, as we go forward, I think this will be seen as a win for Edwards.

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