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5.10.04

Debate Expectations

It's interesting how the left's whole expectations management game has evaporated in the euphoria over John Kerry's performance at last week's debate. Before the first presidential debate, there was a self-conscious effort to play down Kerry's debate skills and emphasize the idea that as long as Bush didn't drool on himself, he would be declared the winner. But Democrats have been salivating for an Edwards-Cheney debate for months -- the expectation that John would crush Dick like a bug was a major driving force behind the push for a Kerry/Edwards ticket. They're treating the VP debate like a Star Wars movie -- it will be an exciting ride, but we know the good guys will have a spectacular triumph.

On the one hand, it's a refreshingly honest phenomenon. On the other hand, I think many people are so caught up in it that they'll be sorely disappointed. I expect Edwards to win on points, of course -- but that's obvious, since I already agree more with his campaign's positions. But Cheney is no snarling troglodyte. Just think back to the 2000 VP debate, when the CW was "this debate was so productive and civil. Why can't both of these men be at the top of their respective tickets?"

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