Al Gore wrote in the NYT the other day that this election shouldn't be about which candidate you'd like to have a beer with. Which is good, because I'd rather regrout my bathtub than tipple with either. George Jean Nathan said"I drink to make other people interesting." But drinking enough to make the candidates interesting could get you hospitalized.
But I watched the debate. And Kerry not only won on points, he won the personality contest. Bush started out shockingly coherent. But as Kerry began to score in the later rounds, the president grew increasingly indignant and petulant, and it showed in his body language: slumping over the podium, and grimacing at his opponent in a West-Texas version of Al Gore's eyerolling. When called upon to defend his record and his war, he looked as resentful as a guy getting written up for a parking ticket, and deciding whether it was worth the risk to get into it with the cop.