Although the vice presidential debates held last night at CaseWestern University in Cleveland, Ohio lacked the strict atmospheredesigned by campaign lawyers for the first presidential debate, itwas not lacking in sarcasm, scare tactics or personal attacks oncharacter.
Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John Edwards met face toface last night in their blue suits, white shirts and red ties totell voters their plans for America during the next four years.Moderated by Gwenn Ifill, an African American female PBS Sr.Correspondent, the debate shed light on the candidate’s views onforeign policy, homeland security, health, tax cuts andeducation.
Cheney began the debate by countering accusations that the Bushadministration entered Iraq with a blind eye and no evidence. Heargued that Americans should look at intelligence developments inthe broader context in the War on Terror and ignore the fact thatno weapons of mass destruction have been retrieved since the U.S.military entered Iraq.
He continued that the administration is still actively pursuingOsama bin Laden although Edwards claims they “had him cornered andleft the job to Afghan warlords.”
Disagreeing with the tactics used by the Bush administration,Edwards told the American public that U.S. military efforts havefailed because of a failure to plan and involve other countries.Calling Cheney’s business tactics “the height of hypocrisy,”Edwards attacked the vice president’s $7.5 billion Halliburtoncontract with Iran, money the senator claims should have beenwithheld due to a pending investigation.
Cheney countered Edward’s attack by making note of theDemocrat’s flaccid senate attendance record, claiming that “thefirst time I met you was when you walked on stage,” causing thesenator to get a bit red in the face.
Although Cheney’s comeback seemed to work in making Edwards siton the edge of his seat, the Vice President’s lack of knowledge onthe growing rate of AIDs infection among Black women between theages of 18 and 35 may give some voters reason to worry about thecandidate’s connection to the American public. Edwards maintainedthat he and Kerry will double international spending on theepidemic and that their administration will take a more active rolein fighting genocide in Sudan.
Stay tuned forthe next presidential debate to be held on Friday Oct. 8 atWashington University in St. Louis, Missouri.