I don’t know how anyone can repeat this Democratic talking point with a straight face. Bush was absolutely pathetic in those early Republican primary debates four years ago. It was McCain who regularly won them, which is one of the things that led to his early surge among some conservative opinionmakers. Some people qualify the Bush-always-wins line by saying he’s never lost a head-to-head debate. That’s a more defensible proposition, but he got a big assist from Al Gore’s huffiness and general bizarreness in the 2000 debates. Most of the Bush sympathizers I know will watch all these Bush-Kerry debates with a pit of anxiety in their guts, and they probably should, even if he has come a long way since 1999.