Scoring the Second Round

It was one of the most powerful moments of the debate. Dick Cheney listed the many votes John Edwards missed in the Senate and, like a school proctor, chided him for his unimpressive performance. The knuckle wrapping was punctuated with a final blow as Cheney noted that in all his visits to the Senate, the two had never met before that evening on stage.

Except it wasn't true. When Elizabeth Edwards joined her husband at the lectern afterwards she pointed out to the Vice President that they had met before. Three times.

In a debate that centered around credibility, it didn't help the Vice President who had come across as so stern and steady to get caught in an inaccuracy. Sure, the meetup mishap was a small detail, but when the Administration is on the defensive about distorting pre-war and post-war intelligence once offered with the same stern and steady aspect, the slip-up was a symbolic groaner.

TIME.com: Scoring the Second Round


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