Round One: Kerry 1, Bush 0

Bush vs. Kerry.Thank NPR for putting audio of Thursday’s presidential debate on their site. Spin-masters will be working this one over for a while, but the original is the most important.

There were people who expected Bush to come off in his casual, frat-boy manner, but he didn’t. He stumbled, he got red-faced, and he never answered any questions. Republicans like to stay on message, but their message, already short on details or plans, has grown stale.

BlogPulse reported Thursday before the debates, on endorsements in the race:

Wednesday’s second-burstiest personality is John Eisenhower, son of former President Ike. John has endorsed Sen. John Kerry for president in this year’s election, and his piece appears in the Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News, Wednesday’s fourth-ranked link. Also endorsing Kerry? President Bush’s hometown newspaper, the Crawford (TX) Iconoclast, Wednesday’s 18th-ranked link.

AlterNet has a bundle of post-debate stories. From Father Kerry vs. Boy George:

Kerry spoke truth to power, while Bush said whatever the powerful said was true.

Kerry demonstrated that Bush had diverted the country from tracking down Osama bin Laden, the real target in the war on terrorism. In fact, he said Bush “outsourced” the job of capturing or killing bin Laden to Afghani warlords who, only a week before, had stood with bin Laden.

In Short Takes on the Debate:

The breakthrough moment…came at about 10:12 when Kerry, in response to another lame Bush attempt to label him a “flip flopper” retorted: “You can be certain and be wrong.” That one moment reinforced what people had been watching for more than an hour on Bush’s puckered face during the cut-away shots. Here was a man who was clearly annoyed that he had to be subjected to such public scrutiny, and clearly stung by Kerry’s assertion that Bush made a tragic error when he chose to fight Hussein and not bin Laden.