After the first round of verbal sparring between presidential
hopefuls came to a close Thursday night, many area Republicans
remained as committed as ever to their choice of President George W.
Bush, the man they consider a "strong, resolute leader."
About a dozen conservatives gathered over nachos and drinks at the
Burbank Bar & Grill to watch the televised showdown between Bush and
Democratic nominee John Kerry. Their general opinion at the end of
the 90-minute debate was the same as before it started -- that the
president is steadfast and resolute, and Kerry is indecisive and
unfit for commander in chief.
"I thought Bush wins this easily because Kerry is all over the
place," said Michael Bond, 55, of Burbank. "[Kerry] tries to say that
he is not inconsistent, but he voted for the war then is now saying
we're not doing it right."
"He's a flip-flopper, plain and simple," added Bond, a former
Even self-described "converted Democrats" came out for Bush. Tal
Liebrecht, 25, of Encino said he voted for former presidential
candidate Al Gore in 2000, but switched his support for Bush after
the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
"I have yet to see an Iraq plan from Kerry," he said. "I have no
idea what it is other than not being Bush's."
Rep. David Dreier (R-La Crescenta) said Bush came off as steadfast
and resolute -- the qualities Americans want in a leader.
"The president provided what to me was a very crisp and clear
presentation," Dreier said by phone. "Kerry was crisp, too, but the
president said it best when he said that we can't lead the world with
At least one Republican in attendance was left scratching her head
after Bush's comments. Vondra C. Porter, 38, of Burbank said she is
now uncertain of her choice for president.
"I think Americans wanted to hear more about [Osama] bin Laden,
and Bush didn't elaborate on that," Porter said. "He didn't answer
questions on that. He just went around it."