A Question of Character

As many have said about the debates, John Kerry not only “won on points” as if such a thing mattered a great deal, but also came off as the more “presidential” in many ways.

“Kerry was thoughtful, knowledgeable and articulate, while George W. Bush had difficulty formulating responses to questions and was visibly uncomfortable throughout the evening.
 These substantial, unscripted exchanges are helpful, not as theater, but as a demonstration of what resources each candidate possesses that would enable him to respond in real time to the challenges of world events – which are always unscripted.”
 Ron L. Meyers
New York, Oct. 1, 2004
Letter to the editor in the NY Times

The notion of a president who cannot “think on his feet” and deal with situations as they arise is a very scary one. To downplay Bush’s performance (and conversely Kerry’s dominance) as simply a plain-spoken guy versus a polished, eloquent speaker with all style and no substance is to do a great disservice to the capacities that John Kerry has as a leader and thinker, and to the American public, who may occasionally need to be reminded about the type of job we ask the President to do.
On Friday morning Bush came out, guns blazin’ with several new talking points and rebuttals carefully prepared for him by the folks who wish they could debate Senator Kerry. I for one wish they could too.
America needs a president who can think in the moment. America needs a leader who has good judgment and an ability to rise above pettiness and petulance. On Thursday night America got the chance to see clearly which man fits those descriptions. Let’s hope they were paying attention.

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