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Starting impressions

October 1st, 2004

The two candidates just came up on stage–I noticed that Kerry came as close to Bush as he could, undoubtedly to demonstrate the difference in height!

On the first question: on preventing another 9/11. Kerry comes out strongly, answering strongly and confidently, with a good thank-you and nod to Floridians. Kerry’s longer answer on the topic does contain a few small stumbles, but his sentences are shorter, more terse, to the point–he’s really getting his points out well, and he’s laying out his argument.

Bush started out very quickly with a religious reference. He sounds more relaxed, almost bored, but it gives perhaps a more confident impression. His answers are less substantial, but better-sounding. That will probably be his main style in this debate–he’ll be remarkably short on substance, and will just use comforting words and an easy, slow style to win the night, while Kerry will be coming out with facts and plans. That would be a challenge for Kerry, whose style is less personally endearing.

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