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Area residents weigh in on debate

October 06, 2004

The Herald-Mail asked readers to tell us what they thought about the vice presidential debate. Here's what some Tri-State area residents had to say.

Brian Kelley, 26
Hagerstown

"I believe Dick Cheney was poised and in command of this debate. He laid out facts on foreign policy but most importantly he put Kerry's and Edward's voting records at the forefront. John Edwards seemed lost many times during the debate and even showed many expressions that Bush was criticized for on Thursday. I also believe Edwards kept referring to the Thursday night debate too often. I have never been a big fan of Cheney until tonight. He did a great job of stating facts, which is what I believe the American people want to hear."

Rachel T. Bowers
Hagerstown

"Wow! This seemed like a repeat of the presidential debate, with Cheney looking annoyed, bored, disgusted, angry, critical, hunched over and nervously using his hands and looking down at the table until the final few minutes; whereas Edwards looked relaxed, serious with no inappropriate grinning, responsible, listening to his opponent. His explanations were straightforward with his head up, looking at his audience and he was alert throughout. I think it's time for a change of administration."

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Donald A. Smith, 73
Hagerstown

"At last! A debate that was actually interesting. Both candidates revealed something of themselves. Some of those revelations were, they are both intelligent, determined, knowledgeable and honorable men. Have I changed who I plan to vote for? Nope. Tonight there was either no winner, or two winners: Your choice!"

Duane K. Schroyer, 58
Greencastle, Pa.

"One thing that struck me was how Sen. Edwards (and Sen. Kerry) keep repeating that they 'have a plan' but never really make it clear what it is or what it will cost. And, as predicted, Sen. Edwards was very polished, as one would expect a lawyer to be, and demonstrated exceptional debating skills, even if he was lacking on facts. Vice President Cheney was very deliberate, factual, and forceful in laying out the Administration's goals and policies on fighting terrorism, the war in Iraq, the economy and health care. I can only hope that the American public is intelligent enough to choose substance (Vice-President Cheney) over style (Sen. Edwards), and make the choice that will be best for our nation."

Ralph Mauriello, 47
Hagerstown

"Tonight's vice presidential debate between Sen. John Edwards on the Democratic side and Vice President Dick Cheney was not a surprise to me. What I heard were a series of sound bites in the foreign policy part of the debate. Cheney seemed to chastise Sen. Edwards who looked and sounded uncomfortable at times. ... Both men had predictable answers to the question of flip-flopping. ... Who wins: Neither. This was a toss-up and will have little effect on changing minds."

The Rev. Dean P. Pryor, 31
Hagerstown

"I feel that Vice President Cheney had the best answers to the questions during the debate. When Vice President Cheney answered the question concerning 'trial lawyers' (as Edwards was a few years ago), he was right. He said for example, that many OBGYN's today cannot afford the malpractice premiums that are soaring through the sky."

Bob Ayrer
Falling Waters, W.Va.

"I watched the Vice Presidential debate and came away giving Vice President Cheney a slight, repeat 'slight,' advantage. There were no surprises as each candidate performed as projected. Vice President Cheney was the solid, professorial presentation - better than his boss. Vice President Cheney had his facts together and handled himself well. Sen. Edwards was predictably focusing on the poor record of the administration and painting rosy pictures of the future under a Kerry-Edwards administration. ... Net result - no change. Neither answered the issues raised. For the partisans, each will claim their guy won. I don't think this debate will have any effect on the polls or the outcome of the election. The spin by the media will have more effect than watching the debate live."

Melissa Stoey, 37
Greencastle, Pa.

I basically thought that Edwards won the debate. I thought that Cheney didn't answer questions. I felt that he changed the subject. I felt Edwards gave a lot of details about the Kerry plan. I felt like he (Edwards) was more forward with information, and that I know what they're about. I don't think Cheney really admitted any of the mistakes they've made.

Margaret Stone, 86
Hagerstown

"I thought it was pretty good. They were both pretty good. I thought Edwards made a very good impression and Cheney got a little testy at times. Cheney is very smart, much smarter than Bush."

Shirley Nigh
Clear Spring

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