The Corner

The Result

A draw.

Kerry is the more fluid debater– that’s pretty clear. But on substance all he offered was an appeal to ambiguous multilateralism – even at the end when he said Iraq was a threat, but we went about it the wrong way because we didn’t build a larger international coalition. On style, I think he might have picked up some undecideds because I thought he looked and sounded plausibly Presidential.

Bush was fine – and downright solid at point. Nothing spectacular but nothing spectacularly wrong. He’s clearly got the better policies but he missed the continual opportunity to use Kerry’s Senate record on intelligence (nothing said about Kerry’s record here! Ack!!) and defense to characterize his opponent. Perhaps he’s leaving that to surrogates.

John Hillen, a former Assistant Secretary of State, is the James C. Wheat Professor in Leadership at Hampden-Sydney College’s Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest.

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