Here is my recap- I’ll go candidate-by-candidate-
Barack Obama- Barack Obama is officially just another candidate. After losing a lot of the steam that he entered with, Obama looked flat after last night’s uninspiring performance. After being hailed as a magnificent speaker, Obama definitely let his supporters down with a stiff and boring performance. Obama’s diss on Edwards for being late to oppose the war fell on its face and seemed rude at best.
Hilary Clinton- It looked like Hilary was the most assertive, but some would argue that makes her look bad. She was definitely making a lot of bold statements and she talked about her husband more than I think she would have liked. Unlike Gore in 2000 however, Hilary seems more wiling to latch on to a lot of his accomplishments. On the other hand, a whole 10 minutes were spent talking about the Bill, so it was hard for her to avoid to the issue. I think she might have strengthened her position a bit, but she was the frontrunner anyway.
John Edwards- Edwards was probably the second most successful candidate. He answered questions with solid but short answers. I think he would have been wise to use his charm a bit more and maybe make a few jokes, but he did an okay job. His whole thing about the war being a bumper sticker was just setting up Hilary to talk about how she was strong on terror after being a NY senator.
Joe Biden- Biden did a solid job, but I think he might be too far behind to catch up. Biden didn’t really show off a lot of the foreign policy experience that he has. I always like Biden a lot but it looks like he’s going to need to really strut his stuff soon. I really liked his answer to questions about why he voted for the recent spending bill.
Bill Richardson- I think he plugged his record as a governor a bit, but not as much as I would have suggested. I think Richardson should really talk about how he’s actually had leadership experience and isn’t simply a politician like senators.
Mike Gravel- Cranky but thats nothing new. He definitely has a right to be. He wants to ‘rock the boat‘ of electoral politics but I think he might be a bit extreme. Mike, if you want to come to my dorm, I’d love to have you.
Chris Dodd- Honestly, I had no idea that Chris Dodd was even there.
The stupid handshaking photo-op the candidates all did turning the short break was oh-so-silly. That really turned me off of the entire second half of the debate. After seeing the candidates so shamelessly smile and shake hands while lining up like cattle, it was hard for me to take anything they said very seriously.