Most of the talking heads are calling the debate a tie and strongly hinting that a tie goes to the challenger.
I'm not buying that at all. True, Kerry didn't look like he'd just risen out of a coffin or a pumpkin patch, and he was somewhat articulate. But what he said will not get him elected.
At this point most candidates, left or right, would be moving to the middle to try to secure the undecideds. With a little over a month to go, Kerry apparently still feels the need to firm up his base. He actually tracked left last night. A "global test" for preemption? How can you say you recognize America's right to defend herself and then say that right depends on outsiders? A right is a right, not an unsigned permission slip.
Here's where Kerry lost it:
With respect to Iran, the British, French, and Germans were the ones who initiated an effort without the United States, regrettably, to begin to try to move to curb the nuclear possibilities in Iran. I believe we could have done better. I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes. If they weren't willing to work a deal, then we could have put sanctions together.He wants to sell nuclear fuel to Iran as part of his nuclear nonproliferation plan? Yeah, and let's sell hashish to schools as part of a "just say no to drugs" plan.
UPDATE: To sum it all up:
- Kerry thinks we have the right to launch a preemptive attack, provided we pass a global test (the U.N. says it's okay for us to exercise our right).
- He is critical of the President for going to Iraq without allies - when we had allies, but...
- Thinks we should have done our own fighting in Afghanistan, and...
- Wants to go it alone in dealing with North Korea (because that worked so well for Madeleine Albright and Jimmy Carter last time).
- He thinks nuclear nonproliferation means we can't develop a new bunker-busting nuke, but...
- We should deliver nuclear fuel to Iran.