In the run up to the American presidential elections we will be asking a panel of BBC News Online users to share their views. Here, we asked them for their thoughts on the second presidential debate between George W Bush and his Democrat challenger, John Kerry.
Nancy O'Leary Pew
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Nancy O'Leary Pew
Lives: Seattle, Washington
Current voting intention: Democrat
In 10 words or less: "Concerned American wife, mother, grandmother, librarian, friend, neighbour, activist"
As a confirmed Democrat and Kerry supporter, I feel he won decisively on Friday because of the substance in his arguments, the support he could cite among Republicans and generals and because he is able to look at complex issues and evaluate them with attention to fine points and facts.
If there was any doubt about the high stakes in this election there is no doubt now, as we see Bush's and Kerry's tenacity in defending their records and positions.
Kerry's ideas present a more full view of the complexity of the problems, whereas Bush's seem pretty straightforward but simplistic, without much sense of nuance or introspection.
Bush believes he has done the "right thing" in almost every decision he has made.
He was defensive and angry in the first part of the debate - even wresting control of the debate from the moderator - demonstrating lack of restraint and respect for others or skills at diplomacy.
I found his behaviour unpresidential.
The missing WMDs, the rush to war, many aspects of the Patriot Act and its implementation, the diminishing "coalition of the willing", the backdoor draft and ramping up of draft boards for the first time in decades cause me to lack trust in Bush's honesty and judgement.
Reservists have had extended tours and some have lost their homes because of the low salaries.
The Medicare prescription plan has not made a dent in the prescription needs of my older friends on limited incomes. They still ration their medicines, alternating days or skipping months to the detriment of their health and comfort.
Bush's whole domestic agenda is devoted to repealing the social advances since FDR's [US President Franklin D Roosevelt's] New Deal and making the rich richer.
John Kerry has a better grasp of what America needs at home and abroad.
He will have credibility with Americans and others because he has not made the disastrous decisions made by this president.
Send us your comments on Nancy's views using the form below.
I agree with many of Nancy's comments, but especially the ones about Bush's defensiveness and anger, he was positively shrill! My husband and I giggled as Bush ranted and raved, but we grew more concerned as we watched him verbally shove the moderator aside. This was inexcusable behaviour for a president.
Danielle, Dallas, TX, USA
Nancy is so committed to Kerry she would think Kerry had won even if he slept through the debate. She criticises Bush for believing his decisions were right, did she seriously expect a presidential candidate to say his decisions were wrong? Kerry's answers often started out with "I have a plan..." and then he promptly switched topics instead of telling us the details of that plan. She repeats the allegations of Bush wanting a draft when the only people trying to bring back the draft have been Democrats and even then only as a scare tactic. Sorry Nancy but Senator Kerry's record and his plans lack credibility.
Scott Westwood, Port Orchard, WA, USA
While I did not see Bush being angry and defensive I know that I was. Time after time Kerry made position statements that would clearly put this country at risk. Perhaps Kerry never bothered to read about Teddy Roosevelt in school. Speak softly and carry a big stick only works if you have a big stick, Kerry obviously does not favour having a big stick.
Andrew L Goss, Detroit, MI, USA
"Ramping up the draft boards"? I hate this Democratic attack because they have no evidence at all. In fact, a couple days ago, a piece of legislature reinstating the draft was soundly defeated except for the votes of its two sponsors: Both Democrats! Don't assume things!
Tim, Bethesda, MD, USA
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