This letter posted to Andrew Sullivan's site is instructive: So I put the TV on mute, and spent the next hour or so talking on the phone and just watching the candidates. It was pretty interesting, actually. It's often said that part of what people look for in the debates are facial expressions, posture, body language and just relative poise, and at least on that measure, Kerry won in a landslide. Watching on C-SPAN's split screen there was a stark contrast between the candidates. Kerry looked confident, stood fully upright throughout, even looked commanding. Even when being criticized (and you could guess when that was happening), Kerry just smiled, nodded and took it. Bush on the other hand often looked irritable, kept oddly twitching his lips (which was pretty noticeable on mute), rolled his eyes, hunched over the podium, sighed (that horrid crime Al Gore was convicted of), and basically looked insulted that he had to be there—as if he was thinking “but I’ve already TOLD you that talking point." As is this one: Last night about 40 minutes into the debate my son, a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne, called from his barracks room. He let me know Kerry had just earned 5 votes from him and 4 other troops watching the debate in his room. He got back from Iraq in April. He was at a FOB just south of Fallujah when he was there.


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