Liveblogging The Debate: “Tricky” Dick Cheney Vs. John “Silky Pony” Edwards

— Let’s get ready to rumble…..

— Way to start with a loaded question. Here’s a quote from Bremer “I believe that we currently have sufficient troop levels in Iraq”.

From Rumsfeld,

“Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday he was misunderstood when he stated hours earlier that he knew of no “strong, hard evidence” linking Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and al Qaeda.”

— Good job nailing Kerry on his record, but Dick needs to look towards the camera and not down at his hands so much.

— So far, Dick is doing a better job of bloodying Kerry/Edwards and getting out the talking points.

— I think Gwen Ifill is doing a far superior job to Jim Lehrer. She’s actually making Edwards answer some relevant questions.

— “You probably weren’t there to vote for that.” Nice jab.

— What is with this effeminate look Edwards is giving to Cheney while Dick is zinging him?

— Dick Cheney is hammering the living hell out Kerry. I love this. I wish Bush could pop these guys like this.

— My verdict so far…25 minutes in….Dick Cheney is winning B-I-G. Edwards is on the defensive and repeating Kerry talking points.

— Gwen Ifill is nailing Edwards on the allies thing? Gwen, Gwen, Gwen, you are doing the job a moderator should…

— “Wrong place, wrong time, then send troops”. Not going to work. Exactly Dick.

— Classic example, he won’t include the contributions of our Iraqi allies. BAM — Kapow! Lovin’ it. He’s beating Edwards like a pinata.

— Forgot this one, “If they can’t stand up to Howard Dean, how can they stand up to al-Qaeda?” Ooooh…

— Gwen Ifill “Well (30 seconds) is what you got”. Best. Moderator. Ever. Lovin’ her.

— Edwards is really hammering that “Israelis have the right to defend itself line”. They must be trying to shore up the Jewish vote.

— “Senator, you have a record that quite frankly isn’t very distinguished” — Your hometown paper calls you “Senator Gone”. “The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight”. If this were a boxing match, it would have been stopped by TKO already…

— From Betsy’s Page, “Cheney is doing so well that I fear it will resurrect all those slurs that Bush is Cheney’s puppet.”

— “1.7 million jobs over the last year.” Finally, they should be saying that all the time.

— Ifill is asking how he’s going to cut the deficit…lovin’ it.

— You know why Edwards sucks so bad tonight? Bush and Cheney always get the media’s best pitch, but when Edwards and Kerry don’t get huge, underhanded, floating, softballs, they whiff over and over.

— Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, believes Edwards and Kerry are all about middle-class tax cuts. Nice comeback by Dick on the “they didn’t even show up to vote for the middle-class” tax cut.

— They always say “You can’t force one state to recognize another’s state marriage. Never happened in 200 years”. Well, judges never forced a state to recognize gay marriages over the objections of the legislature and voters in 200 years either.

— Cheney doesn’t feel comfortable talking about the gay marriage thing. Too bad.

— Cheney comes across as incredibly well informed — on everything.

— Putting Edwards in charge of legal reform is a joke. John Edwards whole career was built on frivolous, junk science, cerebral palsy lawsuits. Cheney could maul him on this, but he doesn’t want to hit his personal cases. Edwards did a great job on this topic, probably because he had so much practice. Nice smackdown on the 600,000 dollar loophole by Cheney though.

— This was a lot more fun when they were talking about foreign policy. I can practically feel people starting to see what else is on TV now…

— They want to double the 15 billion to 30 billion? Good grief…how much money are we going to pour into that sinkhole in Africa? For all the money we spend down there, we never seem to accomplish anything…

— Gwen Ifill nailed Edwards on the experience thing? She rocks so hard! I don’t remember the last time a MSM person other than Tim Russert actually made these clowns answer hard questions. I’ll be interested to see the Democratic reaction to her questions….

— Awww…Dick is going soft on him. Beat him down on his inexperience Dick. Beat him! Dick is still doing fine, but the debate has been watching the paint peel off the walls dull since they switched to domestic issues…

— Dick Cheney is doing the “humble origins” thing. Who knew?

— Dick Cheney comes across as the experienced, competent, tough, leader who you can trust. Edwards looks like a used car salesman beside him.

— “The light of America is flickering.” What nattering nabobs of negativism these people are.

My conclusion from the Bush/Kerry debate.

Bottom Line: Neither candidate really said anything new to people who have been following the campaign closely, no one made any major mistakes, or scored any big points.”

The Verdict on this debate?

Bottom Line: Cheney absolutely dominated Edwards during the foreign policy debate and beat Edwards solidly in the more boring domestic policy debate.

How much will it help? Hard to say. There will be less people watching this debate than the Kerry / Bush debate and Veeps aren’t nearly as important. But, whatever happens, it’s going to help the Bushies.

Also, as a side note, if as expected Kerry and Edwards lose, I think Edwards killed his chances of running for President in 2008 by getting whomped so bad in this debate. I mean when you have a guy whose whole appeal is supposed to be his charm and charisma getting pounded by Dick Cheney of all people, it really undercuts his whole appeal as a candidate.

Side note #2: Gwen Ifill is the best moderator EVER. Every future moderator should aspire to be like here…which of course means all the liberals will probably complain about her.

*** Update #1 ***: Let’s take a quick tour around the right side of the blogosphere to see what the immediate reactions are…

Kerry Spot: “The single most devastating drubbing since Lloyd Bentsen smacked Dan Quayle all around the stage in 1988.”

Polipundit: “Cheney wins this debate. It won’t have much effect on the polls, because most people aren’t watching, and those who’re watching don’t vote for Vice President.”

Outside The Beltway: “Overall, I think Cheney won this one. Moreover, the debate was much more illuminating than Round 1 of the presidential debates.”

Jonah Goldberg at The Corner: “Personally, I thought Cheney won, clearly and decisively….Cheney won on foreign policy and Edwards won narrowly on domestic policy — politically. Substantively, I think Edwards lost on almost every point.”

Blogs Of War: “Dick Cheney victory. Edwards was smooth (well he stumbled a few times) but Cheney effectively countered every single point he made. No detail was overlooked in Cheney’s replies. This will only fuel paranoid liberal assertions that he is some kind of ozian puppetmaster but if you look for capable leadership in a Vice President Cheney is unmatched.”

Betsy’s Page: “The ABC instant poll gave it 43 to 37% for Cheney over Edwards. However, their talking heads thought it was even. I don’t think they watched the same debate I did. I thought Cheney hit it out of the park.”

Blogs For Bush: “Tonight, Vice President Cheney clobbered John Edwards in their first and only debate.”

Hugh Hewitt: “A Cheney win, but no disaster for Edwards, though perhaps for Kerry.”

Sister Toldjah: “GREAT debate. Cheney held his own against one of the most slick talking Senators in recent memory. My verdict: Cheney won.”

Crush Kerry: “Somebody pick the carcass up off the floor of Case Western University. It used to be John Edwards, Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate. The only body part that’s moving is his hand, which he kept pointing and poking in such an annoying and distracting manner for 90 minutes.”

Captain’s Quarters: “I think that the first half of the debate had the most resonance, and I think Cheney tromped on Edwards all night long, but especially during the first half. Edwards spoke well but only in slogans.”

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