My two favorite sports were on TV opposite each other tonight. Baseball and politics. It wasn’t supposed to be a hard choice for me, though. I was taping the debate and trying to watch both ballgames at the same time. I also knew that the debate was going to be shown after the games, so I was covered.
The trouble with this plan is that I couldn’t stay away from the debate. So I missed most of both games (and why does Fox insist they both be played at the same time anyway?). And I missed enough of the debate, with all the switching back and forth, that I still had to watch the replay.
There was nothing at stake in the debate, as far as my vote is concerned. I know who will get it, and nothing will change my mind. (Well, I suppose in theory Kerry could lose my vote, if he suddenly changed character and started babbling like Daffy Duck, or if he committed some unforgivable (and unforeseeable) sin. But nothing, and I mean nothing, could make me vote for Bush.)
What was at stake in the debate for me was the gaffe factor. Was one of the candidates going to say something really stupid (like, “The Yankees are my daddy,” or something equally appalling and quotable)? It didn’t happen.
What stuck out for me was the missed opportunity for Kerry to say, “Mr. President, that’s a bald-faced lie and you know it.” I know he was thinking it, but he likes longer, more diplomatic answers than that. I wish he had called Bush on his deliberately misleading statements. This is how a debate where one candidate is so much better than the other can be interpreted as a “draw.”