October 08, 2004

"Abridged" 2004 Vice-Presidential Debate

An Abridged* Version of the Vice-Presidential Debate

Moderator Gwen Ifill: You know the drill from the Presidential Debate last week. I don't, of course, which will become painfully obvious when I botch the rules later on. Ready?

Ifill: Let's start with the war on terror. Is there a connection to Iraq?
Vice President Dick Cheney: Iraq represented the greatest possibility of a nexus between terrorists and weapons of mass destruction.
Senator John Edwards: Only after you invaded ... with too few troops.
Cheney: This is going to be a long night.


Ifill: How about Osama bin Laden specifically? Any connection to Iraq?
Edwards: We weren't attacked by Iraq on 9-11. Everyone but the President and Vice-President know that.
Cheney: If I spend the next 90 seconds talking about al-Zarqawi in menacing terms, will you forget what he just said?


Ifill: The President changed his mind about the 9-11 Commission and the Department of Homeland Security. Senator Kerry changed his mind about the war in Iraq. What's wrong with a little flip-flop once in a while?
Cheney: Are you trying to pre-empt my main line of attack?
Edwards: Objection. The Vice-President used the words "pre-empt" and "attack" in the same sentence.


Ifill: What are your thoughts about a Constitutional ban on gay marriage?
Cheney: I think people should make their own choices, but when it comes to the government sanctioning those choices, I think it should be up to the states. As for the amendment, though, the President sets policy for this administration.
Edwards: I think the President is using this as a wedge issue ... but I would like to say that the Vice-President loves his daughter, and I respect the Vice-President for being able to talk about his daughter being gay amd embracing her.
Cheney: That was sly.


Ifill: Let's talk about your records.
Cheney: The President and I have experience fighting the war on terror.
Edwards: A long political resume is not the same thing as good judgement.
Cheney: My opponent never attends the Senate. I'm President of the Senate and I never met him until tonight.
Edwards: Actually, you've met me twice before. I have the photographs to prove it.
Cheney: [coughs] Well, my opponent has voted for tax increases roughly 67,253,251 times.
Edwards: The Vice-President voted against a holiday for Martin Luther King.
Cheney: Don't make me come over there.


Ifill: I'd like you to talk about how you're different from the other candidate here tonight without mentioning the other person on your ticket.
Edwards: Well, with the Vice-President, you get four more years of the same. Senator Kerry and I -- oh, wait, I broke your rule ... are you ... enforcing --
Ifill: Yes, I'm enforcing the rule.
Edwards: O.k., o.k. I believe that I bring a fresh perspective and energy to this job, and just like Senator Kerry -- dang, I've done it again ... your rule -- [laughs]
Ifill: Yes, you have.
Edwards: Right, o.k., um [pause] we [pause] believe that --
Ifill: I didn't just mean don't use his name, for God's sake, I meant talk about yourself -- just you. Unbelievable ... were you seriously a successful trial lawyer?
Cheney: Nice.


Ifill: Senator, you have 30 seconds to respond.
Edwards: I thought I already ... do I still have ...?
Ifill: Yes, you have 30 seconds.
Edwards: O.k., well, here's the thing. The "No Child --
Ifill: O.k., I lied. You already used the 30 seconds. Oops.
Edwards: I got in way more trouble when I broke a rule.


Ifill: Mr. Vice-President, how do you respond to Senator Edwards' allegations with regards to Halliburton?
Cheney: I could respond, but it would take a lot longer than 30 seconds. [laughs]
Ifill: I'm not laughing. Thirty seconds is all you have.
Cheney: Someone call Dan Rather, please.


Ifill: What qualifies you to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency?
Edwards: My charm and natural good looks.
Ifill: I said heartbeat, not heartthrob.
Edwards: Oh.
Cheney: I've already been "a heartbeat away" a few times, if you know what I mean.


Ifill: Closing statements?
Edwards: I'd like to tell a long and personal story to connect with the average American and thus fulfill the reason that John Kerry put me on the ticket. [90 seconds later.] And I'd like to thank you for moderating, and thank the Vice-President for being here.
Cheney: I'd like to thank you for moderating. I don't particularly want to thank Senator Edwards.


Ifill: Thank you, Senator Edwards, Vice President Cheney. And that's a wrap. Mr. Vice President, there's a car waiting outside to return you to your undisclosed location. Senator, we're off the air. You can wipe that smile off your face now.

[*] And, you know, completely abstracted from what was actually said. For the actual debate transcript, click here.

Posted by anatole at October 8, 2004 12:31 AM

Okay, this comment is unrelated to your useful and amusing synopsis.

Is this a little weird?:

U.S. Military Pounds Targets in and Around Falluja
In other violence today, a car bomb killed 10 Iraqis. Also, Poland said it would reduce its troops in Iraq.

Ummmm... "in other violence today" ???

I am starting to realize, incidentally, that blogs like this one need a sort of message board attached to them for idle comments that are not strictly related to a particular post but ARE related to the theme of the site.

Does Movable Type incorporate such an option?

Posted by: George at October 15, 2004 01:27 PM

Sadly, MovableType does not by default include such an option, although presumably there's a way to build something like that in through coding. I might work on that if I get some time. Nice point re: "in other violence today." I've hard that phrase on the TV news as well. Madness.

Posted by: Anatole at October 17, 2004 04:48 PM