Decision \'04: Democratic Debate
The Hiller Instinct: Decision '04: Democratic Debate
Just as the New Hampshire primary will likely produce more than one winner, and more than one loser...there were multiple winners and losers in tonight's debate.
Front-runner John Kerry was an obvious winner, because he had the most to lose, and didn't lose anything at all. Similarly, since Howard Dean needed most to win--and didn't--he's the biggest loser. But they weren't alone.
John Edwards was a winner because he was the best debater on the stage, smartly blending strength and sensitivity. But add Wesley Clark to the list of losers. Even when the General tried to be passionate, he seemed programmed...and too often defensive.
I'd call Al Sharpton a winner, too, even though he won't win many votes. Once again, he aggressively debated his way toward personal redemption. As for Dennis Kucinich - label him a loser. All he proved is that, in politics, unlike in life, showing up doesn't mean very much at all.
I'm undecided whether Joe Lieberman was a winner or loser, because while he was always earnest, his debate performance was uneven.
Bottom line: nothing newsworthy happened in tonight's debate, so nothing changed.
New Hampshire votes in five days.