Bush is the one who "can't hide"

Published October 9, 2004 4:23AM (EDT)

While early "insta-polls" from ABC and Gallup essentially call round two of the debates a draw, Salon's Scott Rosenberg says the Bush camp, though perhaps feeling relatively relieved after their man's performance, is still on the losing end:

"I imagine the Bush people are happy tonight -- this debate wasn't the obvious rout the last one was. But I still think the essential dynamic here helps Kerry. The problem for Bush is simple: The more time he spends in front of the American people in a forum that is not handpicked and tightly controlled by his own handlers, the more it's clear that there's nothing more to Bush.

"The time Bush spends in the spotlight diminishes him; the time Kerry spends in the spotlight enhances him. Since a political campaign can't hide the candidate, this leaves Bush in a bind. No wonder Kerry's strategists were willing to compromise on so many details of the debate formats to get Bush to commit to a third engagement."

Read the rest of Rosenberg's play-by-play of tonight's contest here.

By Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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