From the standpoint of style, there is no doubt that John Kerry "won" the debate. In terms of substance, those who understand the intricacies of foreign policy could argue that President Bush won on substance. But the fact is that John Kerry made a good "showing" and President Bush did not. What did happen though, was something that most people missed. Either Mr. Kerry lacks knowledge so completely in foreign policy as to be fully unqualified to be the President (which I really don't think is the case), or he is displaying an immense character flaw. It was displayed when Sen. Kerry brought up the fact that France, Germany and Britain were involved in a diplomatic initiative designed to force the Iranian government to abandon their nuclear ambitions. He alleged that the President exercised bad decision making by not being involved with this effort. It was plain that this statement clearly annoyed the President, who chose only to say that there was US involvement, and then quickly changed the subject. This was the second of two opportunites that the President had to "slam the door" on John Kerry's presidential campaign, but chose to put foreign policy and national security above politics; he chose to risk losing the Presidency over political considerations, in effect, "taking one for the team". First, understand that foreign policy is like magic; it isn't what you see that counts, it is what is going on behind the scenes. Often what you see is a diversion (called a feint in magic) to divert your attention. Understanding that Iran is the epicenter of state sponsored radical Islamic terrorism, in its most simple form, the current strategy being employed is a case of "good cop, bad cop". The US, with its military might, is the "bad cop". We got rid of the Taliban and cleaned out the Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan to position ourselves on Iran's eastern border (flank). We then rid Iraq and the world of Saddam, and took a position on Iran's western flank. With our fleet in the Persian Gulf (Iran's southern border), we now flank Iran, a country more than 5 times the size of Iraq and which has a formidible well trained well armed military, on three sides. We are now in a position to apply pressure (both internally and externally) to Iran which gives us the "teeth" in diplomatic negotions that were never present before, the lack of which was the reason that diplomatic negotiations had never worked in the past. But we are the "great Satan". Iran will resist any attempts at diplomacy launched by the US. But France and Germany are a different story. They are trading partners with Iran, and are welcomed there for their part in resisting the US action in the UN, and for not participating with us. They are the "good cops". Britain becomes the middle man, interested in finding and maintaining peace. All of this fits the public sentiment of these nations. Their job is to negotiate politely with Iran, with the background inference that if an agreement is reached, they can keep the "bad cop" from kicking Irans butt, by removing the military presence which is also serving to motivate the reform movement in Iran to overthrow their government. This is applying tremendous pressure on Iran; a strategy that could save tens of thousands of lives over a military confrontation that might otherwise have become necessary. Look at the entire picture. It is an exceptional strategy by the administration that IS working. But to work properly, the US cannot be seen, at least publically, as the driving force behind it. Now, either John Kerry has no understanding of the situation and its delicate nature, or else he knows that the President cannot discuss it and therefore threw it up in his face as a "bad decision" not to be involved with France, Germany and Britain. That would be a despicable character flaw. What he did was "bait" the President with something that, had the President chosen to address in full would have jeopardized the success of the plan, and thereby the national security of this country. The President chose instead to jeopardize his own Presidency and the opportunity to "knock out" John Kerry, rather than jeopardize the national security of America. By his action taking this tactic, it tells me that John Kerry is the type of person that, had the situations been reversed, would have taken the offensive, and put his candidacy above the national security of this country. And therein you have the measure of the character of each man. Did John Kerry win the "debate"? On the surface I'll concede that... but if the voters in America use that as the measure by which to elect their new President rather than by the character displayed by each, and by the leadership displayed by President Bush in this strategy, they may well be making a grave mistake. Unfortunately, too many Americans base their decision on Political rhetoric; they have a "soundbyte" mentality. This unfortunately, spans both Republicans, Democrats and all others. Relatively few people fully understand the intricacies of the situation and the strategies being employed, but rather than research the subject and gain the knowledge and facts required to form their own opinion, they often change the subject or resort to accusations and name-calling. Being truthful to yourself, how many people do you know that had even considered the "good cop, bad cop" strategy before last night's debate, and understood that a public admission of it being a US strategy could derail it. If they knew that, they would understand that bringing the subject up was bad; but using it to throw in the President's face as an example of a bad decision fully knowing that the appearance of the US not being involved was critical to its success, that in fact it was a masterfull strategy, and that the President could not respond without putting politics over national security was despicable. I implore the reader to do their own research, and have the knowledge necessary to make a truly informed decision. Regardless of which candidate is elected we will have our work cut out for us. For instance: border security. The Republicans want cheap labor, the Democrats want voters. Neither has made a truly significant effort to close a hole in our defenses that an army could come through, much less a handfull of terrorists that could easily provide us with our own Beslan. I think the opportunity for cheap labor and votes pales in comparison when it is your own children and grand-children who are traumatized and won't leave their parents sides much less go to school for fear of being killed; or who were killed in such a situation.