Summing Up the Vice Presidential Debate

Summing up the vice-presidential debate: that's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

So who won?  Once again, I'm not going to make the call.  That is your job.  As you know, my job is to bloviate, but I will tell you who benefited more from the chat, just as I did last Friday in Miami where John Kerry (search) benefited the most.

Last night, Dick Cheney (search) got the nod because he stopped the  bleeding caused by the president's lackluster performance last week.  No matter who you think won last night, there's no question Mr.  Cheney had command of the issues.

Of course the pro-Kerry "New York Times" editorial page painted a far different scenario.  They described Cheney as looking, "tired and angry," while John Edwards (search) looked, "serious and tough."

Fair and balanced assessment?  Well, you make the call.  But to me, Cheney looked the way he always does.  A little teed off, but authoritative.  Edwards was good, but he did the two-step a couple of times.  And here's an example.


GWEN IFILL, MODERATOR:  Yet French and German  officials have both said they have no intention, even if John  Kerry is elected, of sending any troops into Iraq for my peacekeeping effort.  Does that make your effort or your plan to internationalize this effort seem kind of naive?

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Well, let's start with what we know.  What we know is that the president and the vice president have not done the work to build the coalition that we need.


No, let's start with answering the question.  He never answered the question.  See, if I were Gwen, I would have said, no, let's start with answering the question. — But that's why I'm not there and she is.

Cheney also had awkward moments when we was asked about Halliburton:


DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I'd like to respond, Gwen, but it's going to take more than 30 seconds.

IFILL:  Well, that's all you've got.

CHENEY:  Well, the reason they keep mentioning Halliburton is because they're trying to throw up a smokescreen.  They know the charges are false.


OK.  Now, the vice president should know by now that Halliburton is going to come up.  And he should have one disarming fact in his quiver — assuming one exists.  But both candidates did score points, to be fair.

In the end, however, it won't matter very much, as the main event, the second presidential debate comes this Friday in St. Louis.  That's a key moment in a race that both Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry will have to win or lose on their own.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

As you may know, I'm out promoting my new book, "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids." and last night David Letterman (search) was nice enough to have me on.


O`REILLY:  When you and I were growing up, we had to face the horrors of the world, around 12, 13, 14.  Now it's 7, 8 and 9.  You have kids who are 8 years old using the f-word, imitating Ludacris (search) and all of this rap stuff.

DAVID LETTERMAN, TALK SHOW HOST:  Is that the worst thing a kid can do, honestly?

O'REILLY:  Let me put it this way to you.  When Harry is 8 if he comes over and says, "You know, Dad, f-you, you're not going to be too thrilled, Dave.  You're not going to be thrilled.  If he's walking around going like this, you're not going to be thrilled.


Harry is Letterman's baby boy, by the way, and too young for the kids' book, which is aimed at American children ages 10 to 16 and their parents. — It's a great discussion starter. — Also the new paperback edition of "Who's Looking out for You?" will be number three this coming Sunday on the "New York Times" [bestsellers] list. — That'll tee 'em off over there. Thank you all. And that book is a survival guide for adults.

Now we are keenly aware there's a lot of book product out there... May be ridiculous, but these books do help some people, so that's the tradeoff.

By the way, I will be on the "Today" show tomorrow morning 7:40 a.m.  And then I`m trotting over "Fox & Friends" after that.  I am way overexposed!  I understand it.

—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: