Last night was a unique set of debates - first the Republican debate, and then the Democratic debate, in the run up to the 2008 primaries in New Hampshire.
First, the Republican debate. Romney was terrible. McCain, who I am not a fan of, shredded him. Huckabee shredded him. Pretty much everyone who went after him shredded him. Its amazing to me how easy and smoothly Romney can give any answer, regardless of its truth. Its George W. Bush-like. Frankly, I'd rather not have another president so able to easily lie. Or, even change his mind as the day requires. I am obviously not going to vote Republican, but unlike many of my pro-Democratic writers and readers, I found this to be the most enjoyable of the Republican debates. Guiliani couldn't decide whether he wanted to be president of 9/11 (thank you to the Onion), or Ronald Reagan's son. Fred Thompson, who in general, is a terrible campaigner, even had a decent debate. And, I do enjoy Ron Paul (and think that some of what he says makes sense - in a different time and different national circumstance). I would have to say great night for McCain, very good night for Huckabee (although his conciliatory tone about Obama would probably not win him many votes among chest-thumping Republicans). Decent night for Thompson (which for him, is a great night - the guy is devoid of any original idea and any compelling way to deliver it). Guiliani is a one note dead-ender. His campaign is dead in the water. As for the Mittster, hard to say, but this wasn't a good night for him at all - especially when the news media is on immediately after showing that your statements are demonstratably wrong.
As for the Democrats, their debate was strange. The first 1/2 hour or so was painful to watch. Everyone looked dead-tired, except Edwards, who looked tired, but was able to speak with some passion none-the-less. Hillary Clinton looked pissed. Then, they woke up. Overall, I thought Clinton was pounced on a lot by Obama and Edwards. She weathered it just fine. The sad thing is, if this were a male in Clinton's shoes, the story would be that Hillary stood her ground and firmly fought back. Sadly, because she is a woman, people will think she was being a pissy bitch. Ahh well. Either way, its hard for me to understand why Bill Richardson is still on the stage (and I doubt he'll be around after Tuesday in New Hampshire). Richardson is a terrible speaker, terrible debater, and has a snowball's chance in hell of winning anything. Worse for him, he will not be a VP candidate - he just doesn't have a good presence. Overall, I'd say great night for Edwards (considering how tired everyone was, he was the most passionate), good night for Obama, and decent night for Clinton. Poor night for Richardson.
I still like Edwards. He is saying things that nobody else is saying - things that have to be said.
It will be fun to see Republicans running on Mittster's type comments about how the 47 million without health insurance simply choose not to have it, and all they need is medical savings accounts.