Vice Presidential Debate-Spin
Washington University in St. Louis - St. Louis, MO - October 8, 2004

P R E - D E B A T E   S N I P P E T S   F R O M   T H E   S P I N   R O O M
Bush-Cheney '04 Communications Director Nicole Devenish:
I think the Vice President needs to hold his own against someone who is a skilled, polished, fancy, eloquent trial lawyer.  And I think his skill and talent of compelling juries and persuading juries and that's what he brought to the ticket, and I think John Edwards was selected for this debate, for this night, for what he could do for John Kerry tonight.  So we'll do our best to hold our own and to beat back style with substance, and I don't think there's anyone who can speak with more authority or knowledge about the presidential record and the president's commitment to keeping American's safe and growing the economy.

Reporter: And what would Sen. Edwards' challenge be?

I think Sen. Edwards is going to have to convince Americans that heaven forbid something should happen to the president that he's prepared to lead a nation at war.

Kerry-Edwards 2004 Senior Advisor Joe Lockhart:
Edwards has to demonstrate that he's got what it takes to be the vice president and eventually the president.  He's got to have that intangible, that strength, the conviction, the wisdom, and the leadership. 

I think the challenge Vice President Cheney faces is he's got a record to defend, and it's a record of failure both at home and abroad.  And it's very difficult to see how he can square the facts with positive spin.  He'll try, but I'm not sure he can do it.