What did they say or how did they say it?

What did they say or how did they say it? Best quote of the night from a pundit: Historian Michael Beschloss on PBS: “At times, I thought I was watching a debate between Adlai Stevenson and John Wayne.”

Personally, I have decided that the best way to watch a presidential debate is to open an IM conversation with someone who is against the candidate you support. You realize that debates are merely a rorschach inkblot test. Over the past 90 minutes, I’ve discovered in the real-time, stream-of-consciousness flow of IMing comments how our preconceptions totally dictate how one reacts to the “performance” of each candidate. Now as I watch the pundits, it’s so obvious that they have no idea how this debate is playing on the other end of the camera.

As I expressed to my IMing partner tonight, this debate was unique among those I’ve viewed in my life. The two candidates have opposite points of view on the BIG ISSUE. They actually clearly (ok, maybe not so clearly, but emphatically) communicated their disagreement. Most of the time, by this time in the campaign, the race for the “un-decideds” means the candidates both sound similarly mushy on their aims but wonkishly different on how to get there. Tonight, the candidates did a good job of giving voters a choice between two clearly (or unclearly) stated positions.

I know who I thought did a better job. I know my IM friend totally disaagrees. And now I know we’re just viewing an inkblot.

rexblog bumper music:
Two Different Worlds
(Ricky Skaggs)