The eye rolling, the long, awkward pauses. Bush wasn't just defensive, there was a weird air of entitlement; it looked at moments like he was irritated that he had to make his case, as though he expected the public to know it already and was angry at them that there might be any doubt. As a result, his normally charasmatic style of speaking in short sentences came off as arrogant and insincere.
I think that Bush is remarkably weak here, if the media narrative can be made to focus on this the same way it focused on the serial exaggerator/sigher, etc with Gore, because it speaks directly to the President's character. Folks around these parts have long seen through the thin veneer of down home folksiness to see the self-centered pr*ck beneath. I think the public caught their first glimpse of it last night.
Last night was the first broadly public indication of the unaccountable kid, the kid who has always had his messes cleaned up for him, and has never had to take responsibility for anything.
That narrative ties immediately to Bush's unwillingness to even acknowledge the mess in Iraq, and with the history of his business ventures, military service, etc ad naseum.
If I were in the Kerry camp, I would be making every effort to make that the narrative.
I'm curious to hear your thoughts.