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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Meet the Press Debate, Part I

I'm working up a pretty lengthy commentary on the debate and I realized it's taking me forever. So, I'm just going to put up some initial assessments and bring the rest later. Consider this the trailer for the full post(s).

Initial impressions: Webb dominated this debate, both in terms of substantive comments and time talking. As my (Republican) wife pointed out: if this was a football game, Webb would be killing Allen on time of possession (football analogies – that’s why I married her). More face time for Jim Webb = higher name ID for Jim Webb = more votes for Jim Webb. I especially liked the opening montage of all of Webb’s service medals. (They must have lost the pictures of Allen's. Oh, wait...)

As most everyone else has stated, the first half of the debate was much better than the second. I think it was appropriate to spend a large amount of time on the Iraq War and the War on Terrorism as they are the two biggest issues in the country today (note: these are two separate issues). However, I would have preferred the second half to be more about issues and less about "gotcha" questions. Generally, I like Tim Russert but he dropped the ball on that (chewing tobacco, seriously?). I probably won't have much to say about this section. [Note to those who will accuse me of ducking the "Women Can't Fight" issue in favor of Webb, remember that means no M-word either.]

George Allen is simply out of his depth when discussing Iraq, terrorism, national security, or the military with Jim Webb. Webb definitely showed that his understanding of military matters far exceeds Allen's. That is an important attribute in Virginia in which the military is such an integral part.

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