Wednesday, October 06, 2004

I guess now we know what they mean by electability . . .

Not that I don't think Edwards got the better of Cheney, but the only way Cheney was able to hold place like he did, and even push back, was on account of his voice (I know, hardly original thought). The debate format, I see, favors the cool-measured toned over the emotive. Edwards' intonations wanted more time to play out their amplitude--the subtler play of intonation Cheney and, Kerry, use, calm and boring, works perfectly in the multiple-2-minute format. With Edwards, I felt like I got a whole bunch of starts, and each had a strong emotional shape to it, and with so many starts near each other, the similar shape became noticable, which to my ear made them less effective. This dynamic helped Kerry last Thursday against Bush. And listening, Edwards sounded a little jumpy and eager; like an excited smart student but without the sense of proportion and measure in assessing how to say what where that years would give (though he still did so better than Cheney; I'm focusing on this one quality, one of pacing and measure). So I guess it seems to me, at least (who liked Edwards early on in the primaries), that maybe the whole 'electability' thing wasn't just vapor after all. But what do I know? And that I still really like him as a candidate.

My favorite moment of the debate? Cheney's heartfelt (it sounded genuine to me) response regarding his daughter and refusal to argue the Republican position concerning gay marriage. He obviously feels the constitutional amendment is wrong. And the question that followed that exchange, though I forget what it was, made me laugh with happiness--that the whole debate was worth either of those moments, if nothing else.

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