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October 8, 2004

Round Two in St. Louis
Presidential debate, October 8, 2004

John Kerry and President Bush listen to a question from the audience during the town hall format debate at Washington University on Friday, October 8, 2004. (AP Photo/Rick Wilking, Pool)

John Kerry was widely seen as the winner of the first presidential debate in Miami, making the second in Missouri all that much more important. Our panelists offer their critiques of the candidates' performances. Click here to watch a video clip of the entire program.
Paul Gigot Paul Gigot
The president is trying to draw an ideological line between himself and John Kerry. He wants to ask voters, "Are you for big government or against it?"
James Taranto
James Taranto
The president's best moment was when he said that it's a fundamental misunderstanding to say the war in Iraq is only about Osama bin Laden.
Daniel Henninger
Daniel Henninger
This was night and day from the last debate for the President. John Kerry didn't lose on the note of presidential style, but of presidential substance.
Dorothy Rabinowitz
Dorothy Rabinowitz
The president was a completely transformed man this week. People don't care about the World Court or the United Nations. We care about our safety first.
Jason Riley
Jason Riley
The president responded well to the question about our unpopularity abroad, saying that leaders often have to make unpopular decisions. I hope his points will not be obscured by his demeanor.
Viewer Opinions & Response
Links and Sources

TRANSCRIPT: Presidential Debate, October 8, 2004

TRANSCRIPT: Vice-Presidential Debate, October 5, 2004

VIDEO EXCERPTS: Presidential Debate, September 30, 2004

TRANSCRIPT: Presidential Debate, September 30, 2004

ARCHIVE: Paul Gigot Commentary

ARCHIVE: Susan Lee Commentary

ARCHIVE: Daniel Henninger Commentary

ARCHIVE: Dorothy Rabinowitz Commentary