Bush v. Kerry is one hell of a spanking.

For Sen. John Kerry to win this evening’s debate he needed to do one thing: appear presidential. Kerry did much more, providing solid answers on every topic. Logically consistent? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But can I see him as an effective president? I’m not a huge Kerry fan, but you bet.

Conversely, President Bush gave weak, stumbling responses to many if not most questions. Worse, his petulant, unhappy looks when not speaking spoke volumes themselves. Since, as we know from Nixon v. Kennedy, TV is primarily a visual medium, all one had to do was watch the debate with the sound off to see who the clear winner was. It sure wasn’t Bush.

If you didn’t catch the debate or if you’d like to vote how each person did on an issue by issue basis, MSNBC has video and voting for broadband users.

I don’t know how this might change polling in the battle ground states (I thought Gore destroyed Bush three times straight in 2000, too), but I can only think it helped the Kerry cause.