From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
2nd Debate -- live blogging

October 8, 2004 5:49 PM

-:12 I'll be live blogging this debate too. See ya in a few.

:02 Ooh. The audience has been certified "undecided." Wonder what was involved in that?

:04 Kerry patted Bush on the back.. wonder if he was feeling for the supposed wire?

:04 Cheryl's question for Kerry: "Are you too wishy-washy?"

:05 Kerry: Bush has turned his campaign into a "weapon of mass deception."

:07 Bush is repeating the same old "flip-flops." Mentioned Howard Dean. "There's a lot of pressures. You gotta be firm and consistent."

:08 Question: Do you sincerely believe this to be a reasonable justification for war?

:09 Bush: same old same old. 9/11 changed it all. Repeated the 75% of al-Qaeda brought to justice lie.

:13 Kerry: "If we'd used smart diplomacy, we could have saved $200 billion, an invasion of Iraq and right now Osama bin Laden might be in jail or dead. That's the war against terror."

:16 Bush: Iraqi foreign minister was optimistic, until he heard the media here and he got pessimistic.

:17 Bush: "I know how these people think. .. They're not going to follow an American president who says follow me into a mistake!"

:17 Kerry: "The right war was Osama bin Laden."

:18 Bush: "My opponent thought he had weapons." Forcefully, "You gotta have resolve."

:20 Bush is being very forceful, aggressive. "People love America." I don't think this is gonna work for him.

:21 Kerry: Bush promises more of the same. He brought up 2000 debate where Bush said he would only go to war if we had a viable exit strategy.

:22 Here Bush goes again... almost yelling, talking very quickly.

:24 So far, all the questions have been foreign policy.

:25 Kerry: Very hard to get other countries to give up their nuclear weapons, when we're busy building our own.

:26 Bush: "That answer almost made me want to scowl." With a really lame delivery. Uncomfortable chuckling in the audience.

:28 The Draft Question!

:28 Bush: "I hear there's rumors on the Internets." The Internets??

:29 Bush: "We're flying unmanned vehicles." So who's flying the unmanned vehicle, Mr. President?

:31 Bush: WHOAA! Bush just completely interrupted Charlie, almost an argument! He's getting unhinged!

:32 Kerry: "Mr. President, countries are leaving the coalition." Fucking beautiful. Bush just got schooled.

:33 This is huge. Bush is going down in flames. Incredible.

:36 Bush: "I don't see how you can win in Iraq if you don't think we should be there in the first place. ... This war is a long, long, war."

:38 I see, now come the domestic issues. Why did you cut off Canadian drugs?

:38 Bush: I want to make sure they cure you, and don't kill you. "Looks like it might be coming from Canada, and it could be the third world."

:41 Kerry: Four years ago, Bush said he thought drugs from canada would be a good idea. Bush blocked the bill, we passed it in the Senate. "President blocked it."

:41 Kerry's on a roll on this Canadian drug issue. Nice. "I'm fighting for Medicare to survive."

:42 Bush: Clinton did it too!

:45 Bush: National Journal says Kerry is the most liberal senator. He's gonna tax everyone here.

:47 Bush: "That's what liberals do. They create government funded health care." DAMN STRAIGHT WE'RE GONNA DO IT!

:48 Kerry: "Compassionate conservatism? What does that mean? .. Mr. President, you're batting 0 for 2!"

:48 They are full on arguing with each other. This is a GREAT DEBATE.

:50 In the span of 30 seconds, Bush complained about the recession cutting revenues, about how much the war is costing, and then bragged about cutting taxes. Wow.

:52 Kerry: This is the first time during a war that we've cut taxes.

:53 Kerry keeps pushing the Bush is looking out for the rich, and I'm looking out for you. "Wrong priorities. You're my priority."

:54 Kerry: "Yes, right into the camera. Yes." I will not raise taxes for those making less than $200,000.

:56 Kerry: "Only three people in this room are going to be affected" by Kerry's tax increase. Bush, himself, and Charlie.

:57 Bush: Kerry's gonna break his promise. He's gonna raise your taxes.

:58 Bush: Kerry's got a record. "You can run but you cannot hide."

:59 Question for Bush on the environment.

:60 Bush brought up the "Clear Skies" initiative. Kerry's is practically gigling with delight waiting to respond. Now he brought up "Health Forests!"

:61 Bush: "I'm a good steward of the land."

:62 Kerry: "On the environment, this is one of the worst administrations in modern history." He used "orwellian"!

:63 Kerry: "I'm gonna be the president that believes in science."

:63 Bush: "The quality of the air is better since I've been President of the United States."

:64 Question: How can we be competitive in manufacturing jobs when our cost of living is so high?

:66 Kerry: "I have a plan for energy independence in 10 years."

:69 Bush: "I own a timber company? ... Want some wood?" Chuckles from the audience (and Kerry)

:70 Civil liberties question.

:70 Bush: "Every action prevents terrorism." "I don't think the PATRIOT Act abridges your rights at all."

:72 Kerry: They've got people that can go into churches and political meetings with no justification. "I believe in the PATRIOT Act ... but we need to make sure the terrorists don't change the Constitution."

:73 Stem cell question.

:75 Kerry: We can do ethical embryonic stem cell research. "I think it is respecting life to reach for that cure."

:76 Bush: "Embryonic stem cell research requires the destruction of life. ... I think we gotta be very careful to balance the science and the ethics. ... To destroy life to save life is one of the real ethical dilemmas we face." As much as I hate it, he's got a really strong answer here.

:77 Kerry: "Talk about walking a waffle line."

:78 Bush is for preserving the possibility of life, but has no problem lying to destroy actual lives.

:80 Now that we've been in domestic issues, Bush has toned down the yelling and defensive posture masquerading as offense ... nowhere near as unhinged as he was earlier.

:82 Kerry brought up that the Supreme Court will be affected by this election.

:83 Kerry on abortion as a Catholic: "I can't take what is an article of faith for me, and legislate it." YES!

:86 Bush: I want to protect life in this country. "Culture of life is really important for a country to have." Tell that to 13,000 dead Iraqi civilians!

:88 Great final question: Have you made any wrong decisions?

:88 Bush: I didn't make a mistake going into Iraq. The report confirmed that.

:90 Kerry: "I believe the president made a huge mistake. A catastrophic mistake."

:91 Kerry: "Gut check time. Was this really going to war as a last resort?"

:92 Bush repeated the "I did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it" yet again.

:92 Kerry: "I didn't want to give a slush fund to Halliburton."

:95 There's a woman with a huge scowl on her face right behind Bush's head.

:96 Bush: "We're at war."

More from the archive in Bush, John Kerry, Politics.

2nd Debate -- live blogging (10.08.2004)

Next Entry: 2nd debate -- rumors on the internets! (10.08.2004)
Previous Entry: Bill O'Reilly on Letterman -- video (10.08.2004)

Read the 31 comments.

Red Ghost:

"Soft" undecided, because "real" undecided voters don't exist this election. They're basically people who support one candidate, but have identified that they would maybe vote the other guy as well...

I think.

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:07 PM

Red Ghost:

50/50 soft supporters on each side

I can't believe Bush just brought up that "global test" lie.

Kerry is doing really well. He remembered Cheryl's name!

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:14 PM


Kerry is off to a DAMN solid start! YES!

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:16 PM

Red Ghost:

Bush's push seems to be:

"The Iraq War is MY mistake for ME, not John Kerry."

Oh, and,

"Kerry told everybody Sadaam had weapons. Kerry thought he had weapons."

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:18 PM

Red Ghost:

You don't want a president who tries to be popular and do the wrong thing.

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:21 PM


Let me compose myself after hearing Bush's really dumb joke...

...did Bush just wink at someone? It's like he wasn't even listening to Kerry. Is Bush cruising the town hall?

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:27 PM


Bush is freaking out

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:27 PM


Rumor on the Internets!!!

On the internets!!!!

There is a RUMOR on the internets about a draft!


Fri Oct 8 2004 6:29 PM


Jim, how is Bush's composure and time management? He did a lot of searching for words last time and it was really obvious when he had to fill time.

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:32 PM

Red Ghost:

Hissy fit! HISSSY FIT!

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:32 PM


What's the deal with all the foreign policy questions? I thought this was supposed to be the domestic policy debate?

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:34 PM


Oh, this is a town hall format. I guess people can ask whatever they want?

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:35 PM

Red Ghost:

Bush: "long, long war... "

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:37 PM


This is blowing my mind..

Bush is crashing and burning, oh so soon..

And here we go with domestic issues.. I can't wait.

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:39 PM


As a foreign 'Anybody But Bush' person, I have to say Bush appears to be doing far better in this one than in the last one! He's still just repeating the same crap, but he's not stumbling with his words as much anymore.

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:41 PM

Red Ghost:

Bush is pushing the moderator around, twice now.

Kerry is being completely cool and level. He remembers everybody's names and he's, well, converting people.

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:43 PM

Red Ghost:


98% of America, I'm giving you health care and tax cuts

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:46 PM

Big Dave:

Bush's proclivity for saying YOU-nited states and bowing his arms off his hips when he walks around is telling. He is my 7th grade phys-ed teacher.

Fri Oct 8 2004 6:51 PM

Red Ghost:

Bush: "You can run but you can't hide." What the hell is that?

So I guess over the last 20 years, Kerry was the King of the Senate and, therefore, personally responsible for our current situation. Got it.

Bush is actually stuttering on the environmental issue. Over the past summers, apparently, he's flown over the forests and now knows they're like tinderboxes. Wow.

Fri Oct 8 2004 7:01 PM


In my opinion, Kerry has dominated and ruled this debate even more than the first. Bush was totally out of control and raging for the majority of it and even now as he's regained some composure, Kerry has mastered his compsure through the entire debate.

Fri Oct 8 2004 7:28 PM

Red Ghost:

How much do you love Linda in the red and her perfectly sensible, relevant question?

And how much do you loathe Bush for dodging the question?

Fri Oct 8 2004 7:29 PM

Dave #2:

Alrighty...let the pundits pundit!

I've show Kerry owning about 10 of the 12 rounds.

Fri Oct 8 2004 7:39 PM

Red Ghost:

Kerry was truly in control.

Wait... Bush DID get a royalty in 2001 from a lumber company.

Need any wood?

Fri Oct 8 2004 8:05 PM



Everybody knows Bush is not the Great Communicator Reagan was.

Bush pounded Kerry on his record and put Kerry on the defensive.

in one question he said he was for Medicare and later he said Medicare had to be fixed.

Fri Oct 8 2004 9:03 PM

Tom from Madison:


Kerry is BOTH for Medicare and advocating for its repair. Bush screwed things up royally by making it ILLEGAL for the US Government to negotiate with drug companies for the best price like the VA does. This Medicare "fix" that Bush is touting is actually a huge give-away to the drug companies. Overall it's raising the cost of prescription drugs. As bad as it is now, the cost of drugs will only increase in the future under Bush.

I didn't see Bush pounding anything. He didn't look as stupid as he did in his last debate, but Kerry still won handily--especially on the environment.

Mon Oct 11 2004 9:46 AM

Right Wing Robby:

I have read alot of articles from a wide variety of authors across the spectrum. This is the only place I have been that has Kerry winning the second debate "handily."

The bias is so thick in this room I could do the backstroke in it. All you lefties think he won cause you agree with him. Its that simple. I have Bush winning that debate easily. Which doesnt surprise me, since I agree with him.

Just keep something in mind while your beating you liberal drum. In the majority of polls, Americans still prefer Bush over Kerry. You may not think so swimming in this koolaid factory, but thats the reality.

Mon Oct 11 2004 11:53 AM



Stop looking at the video and read the transcription of the debate: style points go to Kerry but SUBSTANCE goes to Bush.

Mon Oct 11 2004 5:39 PM

Tom from Madison:

Kerry won easily on both style and substance.

Bush said some very silly things. The idea that drugs from Canada might be dangerous is funny. Canadians seem to be doing just fine. They live 2 years longer than Americans on average. Maybe they're just more tolerant of bad drugs!

Bush's statements about the coalition are severely divorced from reality. How many countries left the coalition, George? What about beheadings and putting contractors in harms way? What does that say about planning?

Bush never seems to give a substantive answer about how he's going to pay for the war and all his other spending. I've read the transcript and I see a President who is out of touch with reality and hopes nobody will notice. Toward that end, his only hope is scaring people. I'm not afraid & I'm not impressed by Bush's style or substance.

Tue Oct 12 2004 11:45 AM


It really dose not matter who is pres. as far as medicare expenses or jobs are concerned.It will always fluctuate.Ultimately, it comes down to who can protect this country the best way he and his administration can from terrorism,or else we will be living in fear every time we step in to a major mall around the country,just like Israel.
Except it for what it is and don't be so naive.
The world is what it is today and all the would've,cuold've,should've bullshit is not going to change anything.

Tue Oct 12 2004 4:24 PM


As far as canada drugs are concerned,more power to the people who are saving money through buying their medications from canada. It's fucking ridiculous the amount of money the drug companies charge here!

Tue Oct 12 2004 4:39 PM


I live in a red state, but I'm a democrat.

Go Kerry. With substance and style. I proudly drive with that sticker on my vehicle. For the next four years.

Sun Feb 6 2005 9:47 PM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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