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The Northerner

Debate had no clear winner

Steve Funaro

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Winning a presidential debate doesn’t always mean you did a better job than the other guy. That was the case in the first of this year’s three debates. Over 62 million people watched the debate Sept. 30. The media said that Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., won the debate. I agree and disagree with them. Allow me to explain.

Coming into this debate, polls showed President Bush was up by 6 to 12 percentage points. He could have put John Kerry away at the debates, but he didn’t. He fumbled and stuttered a bit too much and didn’t remove his opponent from the race. So in that regard, Kerry did win the debate.

To really judge a debate you need to discern what each candidate was hoping to accomplish coming into it. President Bush came into this hoping to solidify the image of his opponent as the wishy-washy, poll-chasing senator who had no vision of the future. He also needed to show the American people that he is indeed the candidate best suited to lead this nation in a time of war. President Bush did an excellent job mentioning some of the weak positions that Kerry had on the war, but he failed to drive home the point on either of his objectives. Mission failed.

Kerry came into this hoping to show everyone that he is strong on terrorism and that we need a global community to assist us in times of war. He did an excellent job getting his views out there but failed to back up his statements with the actual plan for accomplishing them. A summit is not a plan, Mr. Kerry.

Neither candidate was able to get their objectives accomplished fully, although they had plenty of chances. From Bush’s stammering to Kerry’s “global test,” there were plenty of chances for both of them to win this debate hands down.

Although I must say that this is a tie, Kerry comes out on top because of the good press he will get from his friends in media. John Kerry didn’t really win; he just survived. I guess if you are a liberal, you can call that a win.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Debate had no clear winner