My first mistake was watching the Vice Presidential debate on MSNBC, which I wouldn’t have done on my own, preferring C-SPAN, but Mr. Shakespeare’s Sister insisted on the former, in part, I imagine to see if Joe Scarborough’s conversion to acceptable leftihood was rendered complete. (It wasn’t.)
I was already dreading what I anticipated to be the predetermined spin: Cheney crushed Edwards. No matter what the reality of the debate, I fully expected that the media wanted a comeback story; what better way to nurture the perception of an inevitable photo-finish han to seesaw favor back into Bush’s camp? Still, when the talking heads on MSNBC made the predicted call, I got a knot in my stomach that stayed with me as I went to bed, where nightmares of a BC04 victory plagued me.
In truth, I had thought Cheney may have edged Edwards just a bit, but what is a win if one must prevaricate to get it? Cheney is an inveterate liar, and his equivocation and dissembling at last night’s debate are now well documented (see, for example, here). And as I sat on the couch screaming corrections (and the occasional vulgarity) at our VP Dark Lord, I wasn’t sure if Edwards was quite quick or harsh enough to convince the unconvinced.
What a happy girl I was this morning to discover that what I saw last night on MSNBC was in fact the exception, rather than the rule. While I found the usual party-line support in the usual reliable places, I was pleasantly surprised to see the likes of Andrew Sullivan and Will Saletan declaring a strong Edwards victory.
And more good news: much of the support of Edwards has come on the basis of the strength and veracity of his arguments, rather than the usual stylistic commentaries. There is plenty of “Cheney looked tired; Cheney sounded mean” stuff out there, but those who have declared Edwards the winner have often cited policy above aesthetics. (What a concept.)
Dare I say the wind has shifted? I won’t jinx it, but there is a sweeter smell in the air today…