Bush's Mistake...

Posted by Brandon |

I guess I realized something about presidential debates and politics last night during the third debate. When John Kerry lobbed a big fat softall of a quote asking Bush why he "was not concerned" with Osama Bin Laden it came to me. As soon as he said it I knew that the Democrats must have tape of him saying he wasn't concerned with Bin Laden. So with great anticipation and excitement I waited for Bush's response. Sure enough he took the bait and tried to make a snarky comeback saying “Gosh, I don’t think I ever said I’m not worried about Osama Bin Laden. That’s kinda one of those exaggerations."

And, as I expected, after the debates ended the media was quick to start playing the tape of him from a White House press briefing saying exactly what he denied. It was incredible that he didn't see it coming and couldn't stop himself from making a collosal mistake. The Republicans have tried to spin it saying it was taken out of context but the tape doesn't lie. Check out exactly what he said in his press conference and a little audio montage contrasting what he said on Kermit The Blog.

Back to what I realized during the debate. I guess I knew this already and most people have known all along but it never really clicked in until last night. Both sides prepare certain phrases or charges designed to trap the other into contradicting themselves or saying something completely misleading or false knowing that if they should take the bait they have evidence they can release immediately to make their point. Usually the candidates can avoid these traps or tricks and are prepared for them.

Bush obviously was not prepared for what Kerry said and it took him by surprise. The Democrats had to be elated and started releasing the video immediately contradicting the president. The Republicans had to be shocked and knew that they were going to have to answer for what he said so they started working on any defense and came up with a rather weak "it was taken out of context" response.

Anyway, it was a masterful stroke by John Kerry. Bush looked foolish as soon as the networks started playing both the debate tape and the press conference tape. Sure Bush trapped Kerry a couple of times and Kerry had some factual mistakes that he will have to answer for, but most of those were on numbers and figures. Nothing quite as grand or as important as Bush saying he wasn't concerned about Bin Laden.