Saturday, October 09, 2004
Pundits see Bush win in second debate.
President Bush last night forcefully articulated his stance on the war on terror and portrayed Sen. John Kerry as incapable of consistent leadership, rebounding from his poor performance in the first debate to show the steadfastness analysts say swing voters will respond to positively.
"I think Bush killed him," said political consultant Dick Morris, who helped steer Democratic President Clinton to two terms. "Bush came out aggressive. He clearly won the exchanges on Iraq and he even won the domestic debate.
"I think he clearly won, and I think you will see that in the polls — moving from a one- to two-point lead to a four- or five-point lead," he said, adding that Mr. Bush's style and substance should impress those still on the fence.
Most polls showed that Mr. Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, won the first debate, but political analysts said they thought Mr. Bush was much more comfortable and assertive in last night's second debate, a town-hall format at which undecided voters asked questions at Washington University in St. Louis.
Several analysts said the performance will also hearten Republicans fearful Mr. Bush had not been aggressive enough in the first debate in Coral Gables, Fla., last week and was letting the race slip away.
"Go to your window, open it and listen carefully," said Peter Robinson, a former speech writer for Ronald Reagan. "What you'll hear is a huge sigh of relief."