From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
VP Debate -- live blogging

October 5, 2004 5:59 PM

-:02 Well I'll be. They're sitting down! and furiously scribbling. Is that a No. 2 pencil?

:03 How many times has Cheney said "terra" in the last 45 seconds?

:05 Cheney on Iraq: "I would recommend exactly the same thing today."

:06 Edwards: Cheney's still not being straight with the American people.

:07 Edwards: They messed this all up. "We needa fresh start."

:08 Edwards: There is no relation with Saddam and 9/11, and the connection with al-Qaeda is tenuous at best. "We need to be straight with the American people."

:10 Cheney: "I have not suggested there is a relationship between Iraq and 9/11." Then he brought up the "Global test" lie.

:12 Practically everything Cheney says is just mush in my brain. It's all the same old stuff. "Freedom is the best antidote to terror."

:14 Edwards: "These distortions are continuing." Then he calls Cheney on the "Global test" lie.

:17 Edwards is asked to clarify the "Global test" lie. "It is critical that we be credible."

:19 Cheney dismissingly: "You're facts are just wrong, Senator." ... "You're not credible on Iraq."

:21 Edwards: What Cheney just said is "a complete distortion."

:22 Cheney: "Your rhetoric would be a lot more credible if you had the record to back it up."

:23 Cheney is going after various pieces of Kerry's record. Their positions changed based on Howard Dean's movement in the primaries.

:24 Edwards: "A long resume does not equal good judgement."

:25 Edwards: John Kerry has voted for the biggest military appropriations bill in the country's history. The biggest intelligence bill in the country's history. Cheney himself voted against the same weapons system he accuses Kerry of.

:25 Edwards just played the Halliburton card. Cheney side-stepped it.

:27 Edwards: "They have a plan for Iraq too. More of the same."

:29 Cheney: "So many inaccuracies there."

:30 Cheney invoked the Allawi speech -- the PR speech practically written by the Bush campaign.

:31 Cheney just went for the jugular. You don't care about our Iraqi allies, their sacrifice. "You're not willing to recognize the enormous contributions the Iraqis" are making for their future.

:33 Edwards is relentlessly attacking the administration's record, but he's almost too nice about it.

:36 Every time I hear "axis of evil" I think of Austin Powers.

:38 Edwards: "There are 60 countries that have members of al-Qaeda. How many are we going to invade?"

:39 Edwards: Halliburton again. Cheney was pushing for lifting of sanctions while CEO of Halliburton.

:40 Cheney: "I could respond, but it's going to take longer than 30 seconds." They're using Halliburton as a "smoke screen." ... He just mentioned!

:44 Cheney is attacking Edward's Senate record because of his attendance record. "I am the President of the Senate ... The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight." LOW LOW BLOW. Come on John, fight back hard! This guy is EVIL.

:45 Edwards response? Attack Cheney's record. "He voted against a holiday for Martin Luther King."

:46 Cheney got confused about whose question it was.

:49 Edwards points out that the question was about jobs and poverty, and Cheney talked about education. 4 million more Americans have fallen into poverty in this administration.

:51 Edwards: "Mr. Vice President, I don't think America can take four more years of this kind of experience." After citing numerous job loss and poverty statistics.

:56 Edwards: There is a fundamental difference. We're for middle class tax cuts, but not for multi-millionaires.

:57 Cheney tap-danced around gay marriage. "I support the President."

:62 Gwen asked Cheney if Edwards, being a trial lawyer, is the problem.

:67 Edwards points out that all the "reform" of medical malpractice proposed by the administration would only affect .5% of healthcare costs.

:69 This is getting really boring.

:70 Gwen just brought up AIDS. This is a tragic issue, but I'm about to fall asleep.

:74 Here we go. "What qualifies you to be a heartbeat away?"

:75 Edwards: "John Kerry and I will tell the American people the truth. ... A long resume does not equal good judgement."

:80 They both keep mentioning the threat of terrorists getting a nuke.

:83 Gwen: "What's wrong with a little flip-flop now and then?" Then they both proceed to roll right into the same old "You flip-flopped." "No you did!"

:88 Why is it so hard to know whose turn it is?

:90 Edwards: Bush said he'd be a uniter not a divider. "Have you ever seen a country more divided?"

:92 Cheney's been a bit dismissive of Edwards. He hasn't done it quite enough to look like an ass though, but almost.

:97 This is one debate that should not have gone 7 minutes too long.

More from the archive in Politics.

VP Debate -- live blogging (10.05.2004)

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Previous Entry: Did I say Iraq? I meant Iran! (10.05.2004)

Read the 20 comments.


Edwards needs to step it up if he wants to win this debate. He's definitely trying to tread lightly.

Tue Oct 5 2004 6:38 PM

Jim Gilliam:


Tue Oct 5 2004 6:43 PM

Red Ghost:

Edwards should be a little more charming. He's getting slapped around. Why aren't I more bothered?

I love that Edwards' cute face just drug Cheney through his own record. The Vice President voted against Meals on Wheels for seniors!

Edwards needs to wag his underdog tail a little more. It works for him.

Tue Oct 5 2004 6:48 PM


Haha boring it is

Tue Oct 5 2004 7:15 PM


why wont edwards just answer a bloody question? he is sounding like a bumpkin

Tue Oct 5 2004 7:22 PM


I thought this was supposed to be such a crucial debate. It seems like it was totally pointless. Both candidates repeated the same old lines. I don't feel like this debate will swing any indepedent voters either way. Will be interesting to see how the news spins this.

Tue Oct 5 2004 7:40 PM


By indepedent I meant undecided. Sorry. Tired.

Tue Oct 5 2004 7:40 PM

Jim Gilliam:

Yeah, it was pretty irrelevant. I doubt it will have any impact. And Bush will try to shift the dialogue tomorrow with his "major" speech.

Tue Oct 5 2004 7:43 PM

evil conservative666:

So let me make sure I have this right: Kerry does a better job debating and you shout it from the rooftops. Cheney makes a rag doll of Little Johnny Edwards and it's immediately irrelevant.

Jim, you're right, it will have no impact. The problem is, Kerry needed it to have an impact to have a chance, and his handpicked Vice Presidential candidate did absolutely nothing to help him, where Cheney effectively communicated what the Bush Administration's goal is in Iraq. I feel it's a shame that Bush can't communicate better, but I have no doubt he knows what he's doing.

Tue Oct 5 2004 7:52 PM


The best comment I heard tonight was:

"4 more years" or "4 more weeks" ?


Tue Oct 5 2004 7:58 PM


Dick be John.

The VP debate is always a side show. If it were all that important Quale would have lost it for Bush sr.

That said...

Cheney schooled Edwards. When Cheney talks about history dating back to the 70's its not because he read it in a book, its because he was there.

Johnny isnt ready for the big show.

Tue Oct 5 2004 8:09 PM

Right Wing Robby:

excuse me...

Dick beat John.

Tue Oct 5 2004 8:12 PM

thread hijacker666:

RIP Rodney Dangerfield.

Tue Oct 5 2004 8:36 PM


Did somebody hack Cheney mentioned it in his speech, but now it bounced automatically to George Soros' site.

Tue Oct 5 2004 8:50 PM

Tom from Madison:

I liked the timing of Edwards making an issue of Cheney's Haliburton ties. It's a sorry record to be sure. This guy was doing business with the "axis of evil" in the 1990s. Now he's fighting a war on terrror against the axis of evil? AND he's taking advantage of that prior relationship via no-bid contracts.

Once again, it's not just WHAT is going on, but it's HOW business is being transacted. Cheney and Bush have deliberately chosen to enrich their friends and themselves in the "War on Terror". How convenient.

I noticed Cheney didn't even try to justify use of Afghan war lords to go after Osama Bin Laden in Tora Bora. Don't they at least owe us an explanation of why they decided to outsource that job?

Tue Oct 5 2004 9:02 PM

raging red:

Oh man, that's hilarious! In the debate, I noticed that Cheney misspoke and said "" instead of "" No big deal. EXCEPT, when you go to you see a big headline that says WHY WE MUST NOT RE-ELECT PRESIDENT BUSH.

That's sweet.

(Thanks owl, I would never have noticed this otherwise. No hacking, just a happy accident from Cheney misspeaking.)

Tue Oct 5 2004 9:05 PM

Johnny Utah:

Cheney said The site he meant to say is It looks like Soros owns the domain. Oops. Now all the people watching the debate who wanted to find info about Cheney and Halliburton will get an earful from George Soros. I don't know why an entity like the Annenberg center didn't buy up the .com domain to redirect to their .org site.

Tue Oct 5 2004 9:07 PM

Jim Gilliam:

Nice catch!

Tue Oct 5 2004 9:25 PM


Well once again I can’t believe the conservatives watched the same vp debate that I did.

Cheney looked tired and slow. He even gave up his minutes. Didn’t have anything else to say. I even felt like he really didn’t care if he was vp for another 4 years. Also I felt as if he like Edwards and maybe doesn’t really like Bush that much.

As far as the substance goes they both made some good points and it swayed back and forth for a while. But Edwards blew him away at the end with the closing comments.

If you are going to get an objective view about the debates you really have to listen to both people folks.


Cheney: A little slow. Muffled his mike. Looked a little tired in his responses. Seemed to have a hard time standing up for Bush. Had nothing more to say several times. Had a hard time getting up out of his chair at the end. He has been sick. Is he on meds?

Edwards: Great smile and presentation, came back with good responses and stayed on the attack. Looked young, quick, crisp, sharp and full of energy. Gave a great inspiring closing comment. Sprung out of his chair to shake hands.

Cheney: obviously the more experienced man politically.
Did not answer Haliburton questions. Made good points about Edwards attendance record. Had facts at hand for his points of view. Attacked Edwards then complimented him.

Edwards: obviously the more inexperienced man politically.
Got called on his attendance record. Had facts in hand for his view points. Countered Cheney’s attacks. Brought out more support for Kerry than Cheney did for Bush.

The way I call it. Edwards won on style. Cheney won on substance although Edwards held his own. The Kerry campaign won tonight because of Edwards making points about their platform and showing that he is an intelligent guy would be a quick learner as vp and could take on the job if necessary. Cheney although nonplussed did not support his platform or ticket as well as Edwards did his.

Tue Oct 5 2004 10:17 PM


You know, I kept wondering what a neat debate would be to have that feed fed to sports commentators who were actually fact checkers throwing up factoids and correcting the debaters information when they tried to sling incorrect or misleading facts just like a superbowl.

I could get into something like that.


Wed Oct 6 2004 5:25 AM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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