The Command Post
2004 US Presidential Election
October 04, 2004
Kerry | Did Kerry Violate Debate Rules?

The Drudge Report is carrying this video clip that seems to show John Kerry taking notes from his breast pocket.

The debate rules read: No props, notes, charts, diagrams, or other writings or other tangible things may be brought into the debate by either candidate…. Each candidate must submit to the staff of the Commission prior to the debate all such paper and any pens or pencils with which a candidate may wish to take notes during the debate, and the staff or commission will place such paper, pens and pencils on the podium…

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at October 4, 2004 09:24 AM | TrackBack

This is a ridiculous topic for so many reasons, I would think that it would be embarassing for you to have to resort to this in order to control the damage your own candidate did to himself (by not being prepared to be President).
Think about this for a moment. Why is the Bush campaign spending so much energy at trying to make the case why John Kerry shouldn’t be president instead of making the case why GWB should be reelected? Two reasons: That is the only way they know how to fight - There really is no reason to reelect GWB since his record in every area has been so bad for the country.
GWB is the candidate for robber-barons, war-profiteers and imperialists (and those like the children of the CPA that want to be imperialists).

Posted by: elemgee [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2004 10:31 AM

Funny how the Libs all seem to blame the Bush campaign for any negative information on their candidate. As I understand it the Bloggers of the world have noticed this and complained and the Bush campaign has remained silent. If you want to talk about a campaign based on attacks rather then record just look at the kerry campaign. the only record he wants to run on is over 30 years old and if you look too closely you get accused of attacking his patriotism. LOL

Posted by: daweb [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2004 10:42 AM

I’ve been a Bush supporter from the beginning. I’m neither Democrat nor Republican. I am an independent who had not missed a single vote since 1969. And while I think elemgee is misguided in his/her political views, I must agree that bloggers’ persuit of this topic is probably the lamest thing I ever seen.

Who the freak cares about crib notes? Let’s talk about issues, not stupid things like little scraps of paper.

Posted by: old_timer [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2004 11:42 AM

What makes the subject even more lame old timer is that Bush did exactly the same thing.

He also interrupted both Lehrer and Kerry…against the rules.

Neither Bush nor Kerry are playing Crap, Drudge & Bilge with this gnat’s ass origami. It appears that the RightWingKillianMemoTruthSquad is so enamored with itself that any loose thread is fair game. Logical conclusion: vanity, too much time, not enough to do.

And even more to the overall point…this tempest in a teacup can’t obscure the consensus that Georgie Porgie got his hat handed to him.

Posted by: dubyus [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2004 12:03 PM

OT, I agree..but the question is something so benign..the debate rules..he couldn`t even follow them..or so it seems..nothing conclusive..a waste of time I agree..

Posted by: Rob_NC [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2004 12:07 PM

old_timer: I do care. Once again, the Democrats have a bad case of Freudian displacement: they’re sure “the other team” is going to break the rules, so they decide ahead of time that the rules don’t matter anyway, and plan accordingly.

In other words, the Dems negotiated in bad faith.

Posted by: gus3 [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2004 12:07 PM

..the devil is in the details..

Posted by: Rob_NC [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2004 12:08 PM


I’m sorry, but I’m afraid your little rant doesn’t pass the international test.

Posted by: TL [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2004 01:03 PM

“I would think that it would be embarassing for you to have to resort to this in order to control the damage your own candidate did to himself “

Mr. Van Winkle was reporting the story as a contributor to Command Post, not as a representative of the Bush campaign.

The New York Post has determined that the object in question was a pen.

Posted by: Michele [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2004 02:15 PM

I don’t care if it was a pen. I still don’t like it.

I wonder, was that Sen. Kerry’s favorite pen, that he got as a xmas present in Cambodia? Is it the pen he always uses and never parts with?

If so, I can imagine a campaign aide saying, “if you want to use that pen, you’re going to have to give it to the moderator to leave on the podium for you.” To which an imperious Sen. Kerry would reply, “no way, this is my pen, I’ll take it with me, I’m not really breaking the rules.”

Granted, that’s a hypothetical case; but IMO it’s entirely plausible. Even if not, Sen. Kerry demonstrated that he is not willing to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

Ultimately, it is the rule of law that matters. The idea that Sen. Kerry is not somehow special. The idea that if he makes a promise to act in a certain way, he will actually keep his promise. It seems we have yet another flip-flop.

And yes, the President’s interuption of the moderator is also against the rules and thus wrong. But President Bush clearly was not as smooth and polished as Senator Kerry; the President’s interuptions are most liely spur of the moment mistakes. Such mistakes are far less worrisome that (what I believe to be) Senator Kerry’s willful flaunting of the rules.

Posted by: Tomorrowist [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2004 05:35 PM

I think the most amaziing part of the debate was at the very end when the canidates’ families came on stage. Jim Lehrer walked up to Kerry and winked (yes winked!) at him. It got me thinking—since Lehrer made a point of saying that he composed the questions—what would have stopped this left-leaning “journalist” from providing Kerry with the questions in advance? After all, who in the Kerry camp would have blown the whistle on this?

Maybe the piece of paper that Kerry takes out of his pocket contains the questions and his notes for the responses.

Seems odd to me—Lehrer doesn’t strike me as the “winking kind.” Was he indicating to Kerry, “We pulled this one off”?

It would be great if someone could get a video clip or still shot of the “wink.”

Posted by: conservet [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2004 10:28 PM

if this video shows that is a PEN, then I am a green martian!


Posted by: WPoS [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2004 07:38 AM

Simple way to fix it for the next debates. Put a camera overhead, and shine it down on the podium. Give a new meaning to the phrase “hand-i-cam”

Better yet, have those of us on the internet submit the questions, and have a random generator pick the next question. There’s tons of questions we’d like to ask which will never see the light of day.

Posted by: Mona B. [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2004 11:11 AM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (Click here should you choose to sign out.)

As you post your comment, please mind our simple comment policy: we welcome all perspectives, but require that comments be both civil and respectful. We also ask that you avoid the extensive use of profanity, racist terms (neither of which we consider civil or respectful), and other boorish language.

We reserve the right to delete any comment, and to prohibit you from commenting on this site, if we feel you have broached this policy. As a courtesy, we will first send you an email noting a violation so you understand the boundaries. This will occur only once, however, and should we ban you from our comment forums we expect that ban to be permanent.

We also will frown upon those who suggest that we ban other individuals for voicing unpopular opinions, should those opinions be voiced in a civil and respectful manner. The point of our comment threads is to provide a forum for spirited though civil and respectful discourse … it is not to provide a forum in which everyone will agree with your point of view.

If you can live by these rules, welcome aboard. If not, then we’re sorry it didn’t work out, and thanks for visiting The Command Post.

Remember me?

(You may use HTML tags for style)