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.
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Jim Hill
Lives: Sudbury, Massachusetts
Job: Equipment finance manager
Current voting intention: Republican
In 10 words or less: "Family man, business owner, community volunteer, gardener, fisherman, sports fan"
It was a spirited debate. Will it change anyone's vote? I don't think these debates, as styled, will change anyone's mind.
Is anyone concerned about how well a presidential candidate speaks during a blind question session, or is it what decisions he has made which affect people's lives here at home and worldwide that matter more?
To me, the electorate should decide on past records. The old saying "zebras don't change their stripes" couldn't be clearer.
Some will use those past records to indict Bush and some will use that to indict Kerry.
On Friday, President Bush stayed consistent on policies in both domestic issues and foreign policy.
Senator Kerry's responses were designed to fit the current political landscape and, at times, were soundbites with little to do with the question asked.
Kerry made bold promises of actions he, as president, would take to change domestic programmes he participated in creating for the American people in the first place.
He doesn't explain why he has done nothing to change them as a senator.
His claim of now supporting tort law caps and his refusal to answer the abortion question show a shrewd political consideration of the impact the answer could make on voters.
In foreign policy, Kerry stayed with his previous policy, which the Iraq Survey Group clearly shows as nothing but wishful thinking.
His quaint story of meeting with the Security Council and being "convinced" the members would all support the removal of Saddam shows a naive politician with a lack of understanding of what was truly going on in the world.
A 34-country coalition and UN resolution were not enough to convince Senator Kerry to act.
Why would our allies believe he would do anything different in the future?
Send us your comments on Jim's views using the form below.
Senator Kerry is full of promises and words but there doesn't seem to be much substance to go with it. Kerry doesn't seem to have a grasp on what he will do if elected into office. He just seems to be saying "I have a plan." Well, what is it? President Bush is not the charismatic speaker we have seen in past presidents. However, he is sincere! Bush understands the challenges America is facing and has a sound grasp of what direction to go in next. Bush is the best candidate!
Shannon Shepard, Woodruff SC, USA
"On Friday, President Bush stayed consistent on policies in both domestic issues and foreign policy." Yes Jim, consistently wrong is still consistent. Congrats, Mr Bush. You are strong enough to ignore the evidence and public (and world) opinion, and remain consistent.
Ryan, Wilmington, NC, USA
So many great points, Jim. Kerry constantly focuses on Osama Bin Laden and Afghanistan as the sole threat to the US. Of course Bin Laden is a huge threat and we need to hunt him down, but it is naive to think that the war on terror begins and ends in Afghanistan. Kerry doesn't understand the war on terror as a global conflict.
Tim, Bethesda, MD, USA
Bush has made some serious mistakes which have cost thousands of lives and put us in an untenable position in Iraq. His refusal to listen to military leaders, who unlike him, actually served, and have experience in combat, shows a very simplistic approach to leadership. I'm not interested in whether he is able to "speak" - but I am very much interested in whether or not what he says is true, and if he has the ability to change course, if the situation warrants!
Lydia Selwood, Virginia, USA
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