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Instant Debate Analysis: Edwards Helps Himself the Most; Obama Gains A Bit, But Hillary Struggles

    There will undoubtedly be plenty of analysis in the morning. And, as we noted before the debate, this event should be judged in tandem with the next debate in mid-November, with an eye towards seeing which Democrat emerges in Iowa and New Hampshire as Hillary's principal challenger.
    Nevertheless, some quick reactions: Edwards helped himself the most in this encounter by reinforcing his image as the leading liberal populist challenger to Clinton. He could have done a slightly better job of tying himself to some prior Democratic "greats" such as Robert Kennedy but his criticisms of Hillary were pointed and articulate while still seeming presidential. If this election is really about change and a new direction, Edwards "the outsider" articulated that theme the most effectively and with the most optimism (an attitude in short supply among candidates in both parties).
    After an awkward start, Obama, a work in progress, hit his stride midway and was able to present himself as a different kind of politician -- though he still often seems and sounds a tad too senatorial for his own good. Dodd and Biden were at their best (especially Dodd!), though they're still terribly unlikely to win; Richardson and Kucinich just took up space and time, as usual.
    Hillary had her worst debate yet -- and not simply because she was on the defensive. She sounded almost brittle and quite one-dimensional -- a figure of the past, not the future. For the first time, one could imagine her losing -- and not just to a Republican. She was too clever by half.
    All in all, it was Edwards' night. It will be interesting to see how the press plays it because so far in this campaign, the media have been unwilling to give the former North Carolina senator his due. After tonight, they should.
  • LorenzoJennifer said:

    Took your cue and did a quick-read of USA Today, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, New York Post and New York Daily News on last night's debate.  Looked at how much space was given to Clinton, Obama and Edwards.  USA Today was fairly equal in giving space to all 3. The Daily News gave most to Clinton while splitting the rest between Obama and Edwards.  The Globe made Clinton the lead story, Obama second in space allocation with Edwards getting least mention of the 3. The Herald and Post did not cover.

    October 31, 2007 8:25 PM

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