Money whiz Andrew Tobias attended Thursday's presidential debate and came away with some great, common-sense impressions:

Bush was a really handsome 20-something in that airman's photo we see over and over again — but what has he ever done that could possibly, conceivably, under even the most ludicrous of circumstances have qualified him to be the most powerful man in the world?

(Or as Andrew Sullivan put it as the debate ended, "We may have just had a man-behind-the-curtain moment. We are at war — the most dangerous war we have ever been in. And this guy is in charge?")

(Or as Bush himself reportedly put it to a long-time friend when he was first being encouraged to run for governor: “You know, I could run for governor but I’m basically a media creation. I’ve never done anything.”)

What’s more, he didn't actually look so good Thursday.

But Tobias, whose tax cut software was the first I bought for my Commodore VIC-20 more years ago than I care to count, doesn't stop there.

He plugs the thoughtful and even-handed film, titled "Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry," predicts a record turnout and quotes a surprising endorsement by the son of President Eisenhower:

As son of a Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, it is automatically expected by many that I am a Republican. For 50 years, through the election of 2000, I was. With the current administration’s decision to invade Iraq unilaterally, however, I changed my voter registration to independent, and barring some utterly unforeseen development, I intend to vote for the Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry.

The fact is that today’s “Republican” Party is one with which I am totally unfamiliar. To me, the word “Republican” has always been synonymous with the word “responsibility,” which has meant limiting our governmental obligations to those we can afford in human and financial terms. Today’s whopping budget deficit of some $440 billion does not meet that criterion.

[Thanks to C.D. for pointing out this article.]


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