Tuned in… thought about blogging it 15 minutes in… If you have thoughts about it… put it in the comments. I’ll update this entry every ten minutes or so with my thoughts.
O.k. — click the link for specific thoughts, but here are the overall thoughts on who won and lost:
Edwards — generally sounds smart and thoughtful and on-point… helping himself a lot. I think he could surprise and take a top three spot.
Dean — Warmed up as it went on. Really hit his stride and impressed me several times as the debate went on. He was calm, rational and really hit his points well. He really impressed me on what this presidential election is about. And "Social Justice and Fiscal Conservative" is a smart play that he should repeat over and over again.
Kerry — can someone ask him a question? Why didn’t he get more questions? Good answers but I think his charisma problem is that he doesn’t end his statements well compared to Dean. Perhaps overplaying the "I was a vet" card. Did well, didn’t hurt himself. Is that all he needed to do?
Lieberman — Needs to drop out, but he is right on when he says that Democrats need to remind people that they, not the GOP, are the party of values. And he resisted the bait on going negative. He hammered home his pro-war politician. I think he played strong to the folks who are inclined to vote for him, but I am not sure that he expanded his base. I do see where he would be someone who would play to swing voters on some issues, but overall, Dean is right. It’s not about changing a president, it’s about changing the way we are looking at our country. Lieberman isn’t doing that. Still, overall, played smart to his base. Let’s see how big that base is.
Sharpton — someone make this guy Secretary of Something… Glad he’s there just to say what he’s saying.
Kucinich — some good ideas but sounds irresponsible on his spending. Not helping himself. I do hope a few of his ideas get on the platform.
Clark — getting more comfortable as he goes on, sounds strong, but not a detail guy on domestic issues yet… too many "I don’t know"s for my tastes. I’m back where I was with him. He’d be a great VP. I think he was the big loser tonight because he had the most to gain and the most to lose. A really strong debate could have insured a top three for him. I think he looked uncomfortable too often, did not have answers on too many questions and generally showed that his inexperience is a bad thing. My prediction is that he falls out of the top three next week.
(Oh… and Fox News… having Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes analyze the debate? Why not just have Karl Rove comment?)