(2004-09-30) -- Political commentators from the major American TV news networks and CBS unanimously declared John Forbes Kerry the winner of his first debate with President George Bush.
"This is a clear triumph for Kerry," said one unnamed CNN pundit. "His performance was way above expectations. He looked almost senatorial, which is virtually tantamount to looking almost presidential."
Meanwhile, at Mr. Kerry's south Florida campaign headquarters, the mood was jubilant.
"Convincing Americans that John Kerry is actually a U.S. Senator would be a major credibility boost," said one campaign aide. "What's important tonight is that he's nearly got the look. That's 90 percent of the battle."