Ok, I'll weigh in with some semi-non-partisan observations:<br><br>- Kerry was definitely a better speaker, and sounded very focused- much more so than he has been on the campaign trail and in various interviews. Funny how when someone gets the chance to speak their mind in public, without the press over-analyzing every single word, they sound a lot better.<br><br>- Bush, as Chris Berman might put it, was STUMBLIN' RUMBLIN' FUMBLIN'....looked as if he just read a few quick index cards on the ride over. Kept repeating himself- if I heard the phrase 'a free Iraq' one more time I was going to shoot myself. Luckily I had the Yankees game to flip to occasionally.
<br><br>- Kerry still doesn't quite have that emotional appeal that I think a lot of people are looking for. Bush has that 'let me give it to you straight' quality that an awful lot of people admire, and that's what will garner him an awful lot of votes come November...<br><br>- Bush acted like he didn't want to be there, and almost as if he didn't HAVE to be there, and seemed insulted when it came to anything having to do with Iraq. It was as if he wanted to precede each statement with, "I've only told you a THOUSAND times, (fill in blank)"<br><br>- Reactions: Kerry played it smart by not even looking up while the president was speaking. Bush, on the other hand, looked like he was going to roll his eyes at any minute every time Kerry answered a question. Bush also looked like he was waiting for some sort of reaction from the crowd- I'm sure he would get a huge ovation out on the campaign for using some of the lines he did, but he just looked *really* awkward taking those pauses when there was nothing but dead silence to accompany it..<br><br>I didn't need to read anything on here or anywhere else to know that Kerry did sound a lot more 'presidential' than Bush, but I don't think that's Bush's appeal to the voters. He has that 'folksy', 'backyard BBQ' kind of quality that a lot of people want in a president. They want someone who seems genuine and honest with them.<br><br>And regardless of what Bush MAY have lied about, he's obviously either fooling an awful lot of people, or they just don't care.<br><br>Kerry still has to convince a lot of folks that he is as determined in keeping this country safe as Bush claims to want to do. I think he needs to break down some of his intellectual barriers and appeal more to the heart of the voters rather than the minds. <br><br>We'll see how the next debate goes....<br><br>[color:red]C'mon...you know me.