VP Debate: Draw

Don't get up in arms. John Edwards did an admirable job getting his voice out in the debate; Dick Cheney, however, was mostly up to task. Not with numbers, mind you, or facts, but he's a craft, grumpy old man who has done this sort of thing many times before. There were a number of cheap shots during the event. Cheney, for one, indicated that he had never met John Edwards before tonight, despite the fact that they both work in the senate, implying Edwards was never around and claiming some people had labeled him "Senator Gone." Edwards frequently pointed out that Cheney had linked Al-Qaeda to Saddam Hussein, a frequently debunked idea. Cheney, however, insisted he had never said such a thing, despite statements such as these:

Vice President Dick Cheney revived two controversial assertions about the war in Iraq on Thursday, declaring there was "overwhelming evidence" that Saddam Hussein had a relationship with Al Qaeda and that two trailers discovered after the war were proof of Iraq's biological weapons programs.

The vice president stood by positions that others in the Bush administration have largely abandoned in recent months, as preliminary analysis of the trailers has been called into question and new evidence — including a document found with Hussein when he was captured — cast doubt on theories that Iraq and Al Qaeda collaborated.

... "There's overwhelming evidence there was a connection between Al Qaeda and the Iraqi government," Cheney said in an interview on National Public Radio. "I am very confident that there was an established relationship there."

That assertion appeared at odds with the recent words of other senior administration officials, including Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who said in an interview this month that he had "not seen smoking-gun, concrete evidence" of connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

Cheney was snide in some of his remarks, but he was "on point" most of the night and never faltered like the President. But then, no one expected that he would. At worst, John Edwards could have brought out more harmful information on the administrations failings, but perhaps he tried to take the "high road" in all of this. I've heard some give the debate to Cheney, some to Edwards, but the majority of the pundits with half a brain have so far indicated that this debate was merely a "draw" and wouldn't likely change many votes. Keep pushing against the Republican spin, but start looking toward friday night.
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