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Debate Circa 2000

Reported by Deborah - October 3, 2004 -

Newshounds Editorial

C-SPAN aired one of the Gore/Bush debates from 2000 this morning and it's clear that a lot has happened in four years to Gore, Bush and our country.

It was fascinating to observe both the candidates before the events occurred that have significantly changed this country. At this time in 2000, the economy was still good and the surplus was in place. Our confidence in the sanctity of the voting process was intact. We were at peace and unafraid of terrorist attacks. The "axis of evil" reference was not part of our vocabulary. The environment was improving thanks to 8 years of Al Gore's informed attention to our problems.Baby boomers were still confident that there would be money for their retirement and the late night comics could actually make fun of Gore's"lockbox" reference to social security protection.

I was only able to see the last 10 minutes of the 2000 debate with Jim Lehrer as moderator. George Bush was talking about the fundraising scandal concerning the Buddhist Temple that was such a big news story back then. Bush acted so shocked and self righteous and, at this time, he was still able to run on a "character" platform. This was before, so many incidents that make the Buddhist Temple story seem too ridiculous to even report. Now everyone knows about his role in destroying McCain and his connection to the Swiftee Boys and the multitude of questionable campaign contributions, he accepted especially from Ken Lay, who he pretended not to even know very well.That's just in the area of campaign offenses.

Bush 2000 , straight and calm, gave his closing statement telling the voters how he would work in a non partisan way to bring everyone together in Washington. He spoke of assuring prescription drugs to our seniors and concentrating on education of our children and of course protecting our social security. His Texas drawl was in full gear and he seemed like such a nice guy back in 2000.

Now in 2004, we know a lot more about GW Bush and what kind of President he would be for this country. In this debate, we saw his anger, arrogance, rigidity and the toll of the the last four years on his nervous system. His facial tics and grimaces were distinct signs of emotional problems. In this debate in 2004, it was clear to me that he wasn't up to the job."It's hard work" was repeated nine times.

Al Gore has changed profoundly since the debate of 2000 where he was stiff, controlled and very conscious of maintaining an even tone. The tragic consequences of the 2000 election have turned Gore into a warrior, who has been freed by the pain of injustice and the realization of what might have been.

If the debates of 2000 and 2004 were shown together on prime time TV, no American would be undecided, no matter how they chose to vote.