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earlier burfling | later burfling

Some quick thoughts after watching the debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards, the two major party candidates for Vice President of the United States:
  • Compared to Jim Lehrer, Gwen Ifill (the moderator) is asking hardball questions

  • Cheney had no response to Edwards' hitting him on his House votes and his actions as Secretary of Defense. He had to know those were coming ...

  • At one point, Cheney talked about how raising taxes on small business owners is a bad idea; later, he hits Edwards for taking tax breaks as a subchapter-S corporation. As a small business owner who's going to be paying taxes as a subchapter-S corporation, I'm really surprised. The vast majority of Americans aren't going to care, but why attack what you claim is your base? (Cynical answer: because your base really is multi-billion dollar corporations, not the little guys.)

  • Cheney had no answer at all for the gay-marriage questions, except to say "that's the President's position, and I'm supporting the President." In fact, he refused to take a chance to respond to Edwards' reply.

  • Cheney didn't know how bad AIDS was in the US? Especially that African-American women are hugely more at risk? Even when he knew the moderator was an African-American woman? Ooops. (Of course, the Republicans have written off the black vote.) (And, of course, he changed the subject quickly to Africa.)

  • Cheney said that he didn't know why the Congressional parties don't work well together anymore. How the heck did he say that with a straight face?

  • And how could I forget ... Edwards thanked both Cheney and Ifill in his closing remarks; Cheney thanked Ifill and ignored Edwards.


All in all, I'd call it a win for Edwards, though not particularly decisive. But ... was Mary Cheney present? I don't know her by sight, and I didn't hear any of the commentators mention her, so I couldn't tell myself.

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