3.05: Nice opening salvo by John Kerry. Obviously he immediately referred to the WMD report. Bush' rebuttal wasn't bad, but a bit of a slow start.
3.09: The initial big difference between the first and the second debate is that George W. Bush seems more composed. At least, a little. Sometimes, he speaks on the top of his voice. He doesn't sound too relaxed at all.
3.12: Bush rebuttal with the now infamous Global Test again. Good point to refer to the sanctions. Kerry steals his thunder by saying the sanctions obviously worked, since no WMD's were found. Unfortunately for Bush, he can't rebut by saying this still doesn't explain why Kerry also sanctioned the use of force.
3.14: Kerry quotes Chuck Hagel, a Republican senator who is infamous for criticizing Bush on nearly every occasion. I'm not sure that's wise. Also, he criticizes Bush for not allowing France and Germany to bid for Iraqi reconstruction contracts. He'll be lambasted for that for the next fortnight. Bush is again repeating the same thing he already said twice or thrice in the first debate. Also, he should take a lozenge to nurse that throat, and something to calm him down. He sounds like he's on amphetamines or something.
3.18: Finally, a good quote from Bush: 'The war on terror is not just Osama bin Laden.' But please, leave out the endless references to 'firm resolve'.
3.19: Now Bush is comparing himself to Ronald Reagan. This leaves him vulnerable to a Kerry quote amongst the lines of 'Mr. President, you are not Ronald Reagan.' Kerry was already a senator at that time.
3.21: Kerry doesn't go for the Reagan reference. Weakest rebuttal by Kerry so far, he repeats his previous points.
3.23: Now Bush is blaming his generals? What's he doing?
3.25: Kerry is stretching the truth by stating that North Korea wasn't a threat in 2000 - Clinton is probably more to blame for that situation than Bush. Kerry does deliver his point well though. Again Kerry plugs his 'get all the loose nuclear material in four years', a plan even Democratic pundits have labelled unrealistic.
3.26: Bush finally smiles. A good reply to Kerry's point from the first debate that Bush should engage in bilateral rather than multilateral talks with North Korea. Bush' best rebuttal so far.
3.28: 'We don't need mass armies anymore.' Er?! Kerry is going to have a ball with this Bush quote. Stop fiddling with that tie, too.
3.31: Kerry sure mentions 'middle class' a lot. Which sounds about the same as a soap salesman telling you his particular kind of detergent really does remove all stains.
3.32: Did I mention Bush really should calm down?
3.37: Kerry's flipflopping within five minutes. First he criticizes Bush for not spending enough money on homeland security, then he says it's not about the amount of money, but about how you spend it. Bush ignored the opportunity.
3.42: Why is Bush not pointing out that Kerry's position on importing drugs from Canada will cost American jobs, especially since Kerry made such a big deal about his resistance against outsourcing?
3.49: Bush: 'I'm spending so much since I'm spending less.' I almost believe it.
3.51: Kerry on the defensive, explaining his health care plan. He's afraid now?
3.53: Kerry does a Reagan: Read my lips, right into the camera, no new taxes!
3.56: Bush should have waited for the laughter to break before rebutting. Is he hasty on purpose, to convey some sense of urgency? Otherwise, he really should start paying attention to his advisers.
4.00: Bush also should have memorized the environmental bit a tad better. Especially since it isn't his strong suit. He's also stammering again, whereas the only thing Kerry messes up is his creepy smiling.
4.01: Thanks to Michiel for the plug.
4.04: Kerry defends Kyoto. I'm not sure that's a good move.
4.07: I'm also beginning to wonder if Kerry is perhaps appearing a bit too slick. His voice is in his favour; nonetheless, his demeanour and the incessant smiling makes me want to grab a black-and-white camera to shoot a remake of Frankenstein.
4.09: Kerry is dodging the whole 'taxing companies that outsource' issue. Bad. Humorous FU by Bush.
4.12: He's also walking like a duck with hemorrhoids.
4.14: And now he equates a religious sentiment with 'a feeling'? Not a good move. Kerry had the upper hand in the first 45 minutes, but is losing it fast now. Even though I actually agree with him on the issue of stem cells.
4.16: Bush' stammering on the issue of stem cells will actually help him. And Kerry now trying to blame Bush for fllipflopping will rebound with those voters who actually care about this issue.
4.19: Did anybody ever tell Bush that he is actually at his best when he speaks slowly, pauses for a few seconds every now and then, and goes with the flow rather than trying to regurgitate pre-written quotes?
4.22: Now Kerry is grovelling. This will not work. Especially not with women, whom he seems to be too desperate to please.
4:26: Bush gets a question in which he is asked to explain a few of his mistakes. That of course is a biased question; Kerry isn't being asked to explain why he is unfit for the job. Bush could have turned this one around though, which he fails to do. Weak ending for Bush.
There was more here, but it got lost due to user error. Overall, I think it is a slight win for Bush. Kerry started off well by being nuanced and well-composed. He overplayed his hand though and ended up looking very opportunistic. This made Bush look steadfast rather than dogmatic. Of course, the polls will show whether or not this assessment is correct.
(Read Hugh Hewitt as well. I'm not really sure he was watching the same debate though.)