I don't know if Bush got the TKO he needed, but he owned this debate tonight. The media spin (as it stands now) is B.S., and it will change several times over the next few days.
As you know, the conventional wisdom on the first debate is now that Kerry destroyed Bush. I happen to share that view. BUT, remember that immediately after the debate the wimpy mainstream media was calling it a draw. It was only after the polls began showing that people favored Kerry's performance by a 60-30 margin a day or two later that suddenly the media began to see it as a blowout.
They're so terrified of getting burned by an incorrect analysis that they'll dance around for a day or two on this one too. But whatever their current spin is, it won't change the fact that President Bush was absolutely in command of tonight's (now last night's) debate. He was rested, he was articulate (for him, anyway), he was in command of the facts, and he scored some devastating points on Kerry's record.
Bush's only weak moments were in his answers to the Supreme Court question and the stem cell issue (where the questioner set him up beautifully to proclaim his support for adult stem cell research, and to point out the embryonic stem cells have produced exactly zero treatments to date--which he totally failed to do).
Kerry's weak moments were just about everywhere else. I'm still trying to figure out that odd Red Sox reference. And he wiffed--badly--at his opportunity to knock Bush out of the park on the final question ("Name three mistakes you've made") when Bush didn't admit to any mistakes. He could have said "You see? The president simply cannot admit a mistake. Do we really want a president who won't admit when he's wrong, and instead will stubbornly drive us down the old, dusty road of error?" Instead, he merely disagreed with Bush on Iraq--not exactly newsmaking at this point--and allowed Bush to dodge a huge bullet.
Tonight was a decisive victory for President Bush, and will put him back on a more even footing after Kerry's eight-day first-debate media basking.
And yes, after watching the undecided voters on TV tonight being interviewed after the debate on every network, I'm more convinced than ever that they're complete idiots.