Excerpts from the Fourth Debate
by Christopher Manion
by Christopher Manion
[From Disneyland, California, October 19, 2004 — Univision broadcast. Translated from the Spanish by C. Amigo. © 2004, Walt Disney y Amigos de Mexico en California, A. Cisco, Presidente, A. Pancho, Sidekick (thanks PJ)]
Tim Russert: "Senator, if President Bush is re-elected, will you be able to support his continuing efforts to pacify and to liberate Iraq?"
Sen. Kerry: "Well, Tim, I believe in and deeply respect conversions. From my faith perspective, I believe that a person can have profound conversions, even in adult life, as George Bush did long after we left Skull-and-Bones at Yale. And I think, if you asked President Bush here, today, that he'd tell you that it's possible to admit a mistake — even if it's something as deeply-ingrained as a rampant, drunken revelry that spanned several decades and destroyed the lives of many good and innocent friends and family members. So yes, I would work with him from the Senate floor, work with him to admit his flaws, work with him to renounce and amend the many errors of his ways, and to help him along the right path — not only in Iraq, but elsewhere — especially with our allies, whom he has so deeply and gravely offended. I know how to heal that rift — and, speaking of healing, my friend Christopher Reeve — the late Christopher Reeve — he was Superman, you know, in the movie — or were there two movies? — well, Christopher Reeve, who used a wheelchair, you know, I fully respect his skills and abilities, but he fell off a horse, the jerk — well, as I was saying, Christopher Reeve once told me, in a private moment, that …"
Tim Russert: "Thank you, Senator, time's up. Now, Mr. President, if you are not re-elected, will you pledge tonight to help President Kerry in every way you can in his efforts to bring our operations in Iraq to a successful close?"
Pres. Bush: "Well, Tim, first of all, I'd like to thank the senator for that. Those tender recollections of our time together at Yale pretty much overwhelm me with a wave of nostalgia for those days, about which I cannot remember much else, frankly.
"Now, you ask about my being able to support him from Crawford, and I say, yep, you betcha. You know, I think if Senator Kerry wins — and I doubt that he will, he's such a liar and a flip-flopper — but, to answer your hypotheoretical question, If he wins, it'd be kinda like if the country was divorcing me, you know, and marrying him. At least, well, like dating him for four years. You know, like, until Hillary runs.
Well, I believe, if you asked Senator Kerry tonight, he would tell you how much he learned from the mistakes he made during his first marriage. Not only that his first wife wasn't rich enough to fund his admittedly excessive ambitions, but also in the private, hidden moments, like how he was pretty damned immature and rather cavalier in the way he approached the responsibilities of marriage and family life. And, if you asked the first Mrs. Kerry, I bet she could probably tell you a thing or two about the difficulty of divorce. And I think he drove her nuts, frankly.
"No, no, let me finish. In that light, Tim, I believe we can rest assured that a President Kerry could divorce himself from his past — from his abysmal, left-wing record and from his preposterous and self-indulgent conduct. I mean, he kinda has already, if you listen to him here tonight. Yes, I believe he could, if you will, recognize the sacred kinda bond that a president has with the American people, and that he could embrace that bond with the same zeal and fervor that he has embraced his beloved — well, beloved for now, anyway — his beloved second wife, Teresa."
Tim Russert: "Thank you, Mr. President. Senator Kerry? Thirty seconds."
"Well, Tim, I just want you to know that I know all about the sacred character of the bond — you could say that I'm an expert, I suppose. Now, if you asked my wife tonight — she's sitting out there in the audience right now — no, no, not there, not next to Laura, she's over there, next to Hillary — hello, dear — I mean Teresa, of course, hello, you too, Hillary, yes… — now, if you asked Teresa tonight how devoted she was to, how closely she worked with, how intimately she joined in the efforts of, her late husband, my dearly beloved and sadly and unfortunately and suddenly and quite unexpectedly departed colleague, the late Senator John Heinz, who represented so loyally that wonderful and admittedly pivotal state of Pennsylvania — I believe that, if you had been able to see her composure, her strength, her compassion, at his funeral, why, she even comforted the altar boys, they were all crying … And Tim, as you know, I, like you, was once an altar boy …."
Tim Russert: "Time's up, Senator. Thank you both, and good night."
President Bush: "Hey, you forgot Poland!"
October 20, 2004
Christopher Manion [send him mail] is president of Manion Music, LLC, which produces copyrighted, royalty-free music collections for telecommunications media and commercial and hospitality sites that use background music or music-on-hold. He writes from the Shenandoah Valley.
Copyright © Christopher Manion 2004. All Rights reserved.