But in Coral Gables, Fla., last night, Bush looked -- at least for the first half of the debate -- like Elmer Befuddled, a commander-in-chief not in command. Perhaps what was so unnerving was that Bush found himself in a foreign-policy debate with a seasoned politician who was espousing the same sort of measured, internationalist approach to a dangerous world that was the hallmark of his father's Presidency. Debating the security and future of the nation on live national television isn't easy -- but debating your Dad is downright scary.
This pretty much sums it up: "Karl Rove must have known things didn't go well when the New York Post asked him whether this was the worst debate of President Bush's life."
For the Republicans, when even the Murdoch-owned NY Post and Fox News Channel can't spin the debate for you - it's quite obvious you lost.
MORE: Who is the enemy? George Bush DOES NOT KNOW.
The "New spin" of course is how the debates will actually effect the polls, and voters.
The "Old spin" was that John Kerry needed a decisive victory in the first debate or he should pack up the campaign.