I was expectinng better from Bush. It’s not so much that Kerry’s points were stronger, and that Bush’s responses were factually weak; I expected that, since the facts actually are on Kerry’s side. But in trying to put myself in the position of a hypothetical swing voter, someone who has managed to get this deep into the process without knowing who to vote for, and who presumably is going to vote based not on policies and track records, but on which candidate makes him or her feel better, Bush came out behind.
It’s not that he lost to Kerry on substance (though he did, dramatically). It’s that even without trying to evaluate the substance, Bush sounded weak. He was whiney. And up against Kerry, the contrast was dramatic.
Bush lost big tonight.