Restoring Sanity has a pair of slide-shows consisting of unretouched images of GWB from the second debate, one of the “furious George” moment where he loses it with the moderator and starts raving about Blair and Berlusconi, the other featuring the demened cackling about who’s to blame for rising health care costs. They’re really pretty scary.
If things go badly on November 2 — which right now seems like roughly an even-money proposition to me, though the bettors are more pressimistic than I am — part of the reason will be that the Republicans did well at focusing attention on Kerry’s bad moments, and even at making not-so-bad moments into bad moments (a la M*ry Ch*n*y), while the Democrats failed to get much traction out of Bush’s bad moments.
Bush’s odd display of emotional lability during the second debate and his bald-faced denial in the third debate that he ever said what he said about ObL could each have been the defining moment of the campaign, if the Democrats were better spinners or if the “liberal press” of right-wing mythology actually existed in practice.
To put it simply: the Republicans managed to make “flip-flop” a laugh line that didn’t need to be explained. The Democrats never did the same with “furious George” or “I hope it’s not my fault, heh-heh-heh.”