Jessi Klein: Blogging along with Bush and Kerry
Editor's Note: VH1's "Best Week Ever" Jessi Klein provides a lighter take on the presidential debate through this CNN.com blog. Follow along as she shares her observations, and send us your own by typing them in the "Share Your Comments" box to the right.
At least I could hear them...
Posted: 10:55 p.m. ET
Well everyone, I have to say I really didn't find the substance of this debate to be very much different from the first one in Miami, even though they were talking about nominally different issues. However, both candidates were definitively louder. And if there's one quality I desire in a president, it's the ability to speak in a grating tone at a high volume.
Did anyone else notice that by the end of the debate, the audience in the hall looked almost bored to tears? I don't necessarily blame them, but they certainly seemed excited the minute it was over and they could all jump up to get photos with these guys. Undecided voters, once again, I plead with you: if you can dress yourself in the morning, surely you must be able to make up your minds by now. We really just need to make sure we actually elect someone this year, and it needs to be someone we can trust. Hilary Duff is reading scripts at this very moment.
Thanks for taking a break from the playoffs and reading my blog. Remember to vote!
Posted: 10:35 p.m. ET
Linda, a woman in a nice red jacket, just asked Bush to list three mistakes he's made in the course of his presidency. That's an interesting and intelligent question. I don't think she meant it in as loaded a way as Bush just took it.
Anyway, nice job Linda. Maybe I'll write you in for president. I'll tell you one mistake Bush didn't make -- the selection of his tie tonight. It's very flattering.
Backstreet Boys ban
Posted: 10:31 p.m. ET
I find it extremely ironic that Bush says that personal opinion should not be a tool in the interpretation of the Constitution, when he's the one who's lobbying for a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. If that doesn't stem from personal opinion, I don't know what does.
The fact that Kerry did not jump on that is frustrating. Look, if I was president, of course I'd want an amendment banning boy bands, but it just wouldn't be right and I wouldn't do it. Then again...I don't want to paint myself into a corner on this one. Let me think about it.
Why stop pandering?
Posted: 10:16 p.m. ET
Kerry just said he cannot promise to stop the outsourcing of jobs because it would be pandering. But isn't that what he's been doing the whole time? Could he at least just continue to pander for the rest of this debate to keep me happy? Why should we get started talking about hard truths at this late point in the game?
On another note -- Kerry just said Bush has authorized sneak and peek searches as part of the Patriot Act. Now, wait a minute, that doesn't sound that bad to me. Who doesn't like an occasional sneak 'n' peek?
Posted: 10:08 p.m. ET
This is beautiful. Bush just said that the administration before him endangered the environment by not making sure the forests were properly "harvested" in order to protect them from wildfires.
That's just beautiful. I have to say that's very comforting -- I've always considered the wetlands to be a real fire hazard. You know what else is very flammable? Panda bears. They're bone dry. We got at least two or three of those suckers at our national zoos. It's sad, but we should probably kill them for the sake of the greater good.
Hatred of lawyers
Posted: 9:50 p.m. ET
OK, why did this woman just ask how Kerry could reconcile affordable health insurance with choosing a VP who's a malpractice lawyer? Our country's hatred of lawyers drives me nuts. Everyone wants to say they hate lawyers, and yet I've never met a parent who didn't want their kid to be a lawyer.
More importantly, it makes me shudder every time either of these guys says "OB-GYN." It's just wrong. They should just say "lady doctor." It would be less gross.
Is there a plan for the real threat?
Posted: 9:45 p.m. ET
Kerry is reminding us that airplane cargo is not x-rayed and our intelligence needs to be better. But again, he's not addressing the fact that Hilary Duff has a movie in theaters right now, and meanwhile, nothing is being done to protect our recording studios and record stores from her striking us again musically. Does he have any plan at all on this?
Don't fear the Canadians
Posted: 9:42 p.m. ET
Is anyone truly worried that cheaper prescription drugs from Canada might "kill us"? I appreciate Bush's concern, but I have greater fears. See the previous entry on Hilary Duff.
Posted: 9:33 p.m. ET
Did Bush just refer to rumors of a draft floating around on the "Internets"? That's pretty paranoid -- as far as I know the rumor has only reached one Internet.
Posted: 9:31 p.m. ET
Why are both Kerry and Bush strutting around the stage and yelling? I would say this looks more like a scene from "8 Mile" than a presidential debate, except for the fact that "8 Mile" was far more entertaining than this.
Bush just tried to make a joke about how Kerry's answer almost made him want to scowl. Well, watching Bush try to pronounce "multilaterally" makes me want to weep. You can tell he's still proud of the fact that he acted "unicorn-erally." He's magical.
Posted: 9:23 p.m. ET
Bush's face is completely priceless right now. He was obviously coached this time not to smirk when Kerry was talking, but the new result is that he looks like a guy failing to hold in an enormous smirk. It's not unlike the way a person looks, well, after he's passed gas in a pool and doesn't want anyone to see the bubbles.
Can you hear me now?
Posted: 9:15 p.m. ET
I love that Bush is totally straight faced using his brand new "oil for food violation" justification for the war which he just came up with in the last 24 hours now that his own administration admits there was no WMD. Why not just say that our army "needed the exercise"?
I'd write more, but I have to watch Kerry turn this question about Iraq into a series of unrelated sentences about the economy. Kerry seems to be talking louder this go-round. That's such a classic American move -- it's what we do when we want someone who doesn't understand our language to understand us.
Posted: 9:09 p.m. ET
OK. I already hate this debate. Why was this first woman allowed to ask Kerry to explain why her friends find him "wishy washy"? Why would Gibson allow such a question to be asked in that way? Are we all in 4th grade?
I hate to politicize Rodney Dangerfield, but I really feel like these candidates and this whole process up till now reflect his famous line, "No respect, no respect at all." I'm not blaming her, mind you. She was wearing a cute vest and seemed at least truly earnest, which is more than I can say for either of these guys.
Let's get ready to rumble
Posted: 8:59 p.m. ET
Thanks once again to those of you who need a break from Begala's and Novak's gravitas, and are looking for someone asking more probing questions into the presidential race, such as why neither Bush nor Kerry have yet to present a plan to deal with the ever growing Hilary Duff threat. If Bush was willing to use pre-emptive action on Iraq, why did he allow "Raise Your Voice" to hit theaters? It just seems inconsistent to me.
Tonight is a "town hall" format, with the two men sitting on stools, which I have to admit makes me uncomfortable on a variety of levels. It's impossible not to look awkward sitting on a stool, and these guys are already way too awkward. But even worse is when they try to move around and show how tall they are. That's always so degrading.
Alright. Let's get ready to rumble.
Jessi Klein was born and raised in Manhattan. She's been performing stand-up comedy for three years, and in 2002 was named one of Time Out NY's "Top 10 Comics We Never Get Tired Of." She made her TV stand-up debut on Comedy Central's Premium Blend earlier this year and has since appeared on VH1, MTV2, Showtime, and CNBC as a commentator on pop culture. She's currently a regular on VH1's "Best Week Ever" and is a self-described tabloid addict. Check out her site at http://www.kleintastic.com/