On the morning of the second presidential “debate” between President Bush and Senator Kerry, I woke up to the sounds of Bob Schieffer exulting on the radio. This debate, the one in town hall format from St. Louis, wasn’t even the one he was to moderate a few days later, but he just couldn’t wait until that evening’s contest, he said, comparing his excitement to that which he might have felt at a heavyweight championship bout, the World Series, or the Superbowl. As a Bush supporter myself, I knew that my feelings and those of most others of my acquaintance who vote for the red-state party were rather of dread. Would our man again betray the signs of impatience and irritation at his opponent’s remarks that were thought to have told so heavily against him after the first debate? Then, it seemed, he had lost his lead in the polls by pulling faces—or doing what the eagle-eyed media critics we have all become could...


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