Thursday, October 14, 2004

Brief Debate Recap

I still haven't watched Wednesday night's debate in its entirety. However, based on what I did see, both candidates were sharp once again. By all accounts, the President was far stronger in this final debate than he has been in either of the two previous debates. The President was able to focus some much-needed attention on John Kerry's twenty year voting record in the Senate. Bush aptly contrasted Kerry's campaign rhetoric with Kerry's actual votes throughout his career.

The portion of the debate with which the media seemed most interested was the discussion on homosexuality. In response to a question about whether homosexuality is a lifestyle choice or is genetically predetermined, Senator Kerry brought up Vice President Cheney's daughter by name -- his lesbian daughter. This comes on the heels of Senator Edwards doing the same thing on a question regarding gay marriage in Edwards' debate against Dick Cheney himself. Most commentators and pundits seem to think that this repeated referencing of Ms. Cheney is gratuitous and under-handed.

I, frankly, do not take any offense at these references. However, I am baffled as to their purpose. Surely, the Kerry campaign is not making these references to somehow energize the gay community. Kerry must certainly believe that the gay community is already firmly in his column. And, if Kerry thinks that a lesbian member of the Cheney family will somehow alienate the Religious Right from the Bush-Cheney ticket, he is sorely mistaken. Perhaps Kerry believes that putting a face on the issue will take attention away from his own position. I don't know, but I am curious.