1. John Edwards missed an opportunity when Dick Cheney brought up all those missed votes. After all, Cheney spent months and months (2001 and 2002) in "an undisclosed location." And Cheney couldn't find Edwards?
It reminds me of when Joe Lieberman failed to pounce in 2000 after Cheney said his great wealth had nothing to do with the government! What a whopper, given Halliburton's defense contracts.
2. Edwards also probably should have dealt with the "flip flop" charge by pointing out that the October 2002 resolution authorized the use of force, but was not a vote for war. Even the President, when he signed it, said he hoped it would help "the cause of peace."
With this resolution, Congress has now authorized the use of force. I have not ordered the use of force. I hope the use of force will not become necessary.It was a vote for coercive diplomacy, and the President blew it. Why not use that more clearly in the debates?
3. The moderator, Gwen Ifill, blew the second half of the debate. Two questions on gay marriage, but nothing specific about national health insurance? Two questions on trial lawyers and tort reform, but none specifically on education? None on social security? I sure hope the presidential debate on domestic policy focuses on more important issues.
4. John Kerry was fine on the "global test" last Thursday. Edwards didn't explain it very well. Some bloggers (like Brad Delong) have pointed to the Declaration of Independence as an example of what Kerry seemed to have in mind:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.As I wrote the other day, this is pretty much what Kerry said when explaining the "global test."
5. MSNBC is criticizing Edwards for his inexperience. Yet, they accuse Cheney of lying in the debate (about his past comments on the 9/11-Saddam link) and don't really discuss the argument Edwards made about this experience gap. Edwards pointed out several times that a strong resume doesn't guarantee good choices.
Edwards, of course, has much more experience in national affairs than George Bush had in 2000. He's been on the Senate Intelligence Committee, for example.