By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2004, 12:08pm PT  

The Debate exchange that hasn't happened. Yet.

LEHRER: "Mr. President, you stated that Saddam Hussein was a clear threat to the United States because he had WMDs. Now you state that he "could" have developed into a threat. Was your reason for war invalid?"

BUSH: "'re asking if we would be better off today if Saddam were in power? No. I reject that. See, Saddam was a threat. Remember he attacked his neighbors. He killed his own people. He tried to kill my daddy. No. If I have to choose between the word of Hans Blix and the word of a madman, I'll choose the madman any time."

LEHRER: (confused) "Mr. President?"

BUSH: "When you're the president, you don't have to explain what you do. That's the nice thing about being president. It would be easier if this were a dictatorship, I wouldn't even have to campaign. (snickers) But what you're asking is this --- the UN and Saddam are saying that Saddam doesn't have weapons. Am I gonna trust Saddam to lie about his weapons? You bet I am.

(From comments by 'Sage Vanden Heuvel' in reply to "The 5 Stages of Bushism" at The Talent Show.)