That’s how Morton Kondracke described John Edwards’ performance against Vice President Cheney tonight. I concur.
Cheney raises Sen. Edwards’ lousy record on defense and intelligence matters, and Edwards yaps pointlessly about…”Meals on Wheels.”
Edwards’ cloying closing statement was stunningly weak compared to Cheney’s stalwart, policy-packed summation.
Three quick media notes:
1) Gwen Ifill deserves strong praise for her role as moderator. Unlike the mess that Jim Lehrer presided over, Ifill asked focused, firm, relevant, and useful questions of both candidates. One major complaint is that Ifill neglected to ask a single specific question about the most pressing domestic homeland security matters of our time–illegal immigration/border control. But I’ll have more on that tomorrow.
2) I caught Powerline’s John Hinderaker on NBC News. His post-debate analysis was concise and spot-on. Can’t say the same about his opponent, the gossip/penis joke blogger known as Wonkette, who had the unmitigated chutzpah to liken our distinguished Vice President to the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man.
No substance, she snorted.
No shame. But you already knew that.
3) Finally, it never ceases to amaze me how whiny the MSM pundits can be. Channel-surfing, I heard complaints that both candidates were “too dry” and “monotone.” That Cheney was “grumpy.” That the debate went on too long and that, in essence, Americans are too dumb and apathetic to have stuck through the entire boooring event on TV.
It was a substantive debate and the reason the MSM navel-gazers are grumpy is that they didn’t get any non-substantive fireworks–no sighs, no frowns, no major flubs–which forced the pundits to do what Kerry/Edwards don’t want them to do: talk about the Dem ticket’s pathetic record, constant flip-flopping, and perilous weakness on fundamental national security questions.
Update: Rod Dreher has a different take.
John Hawkins has a good round-up of post-debate reax from the right side of the blogosphere.
Update III: Spoons is agog over praise for Ifill. Say Anything says something similar. They make some good points, but as I say, compared to Lehrer, she was an ace. Besides, I think my expectations of PBS hosts are so unfathomably low that even a mediocre performance is worth kudos.
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