Tonight's Democratic Debate

I didn't watch it all, largely because I was neck deep in papers I should have graded Thursday, but I caught the last 20 or so minutes of it, and here are my short impressions of it.

1. Mike Gravel wasn't as entertaining this time around. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that he was seated over in the corner by himself and couldn't get recognized.

2. Kucinich, a longshot to begin with, shot whatever chances he had by saying he wouldn't fire a missile at Bin Laden of they found where he was.

3. The net plus from that question was that when Blitzer tried the ridiculous "raise your hand" ploy, the rest of the candidates jumped on him with both feet and noted that the question wasn't as simple as all that. They did it more than once in the debate, which was a good thing, and hopefully it will bring an end to that inane practice.

4. I didn't see this, but according to Kos's coverage, Obama was the first to question the premise of one of Blitzer's questions. Good work. And the other candidates picked up on it and handed Blitzer his ass a couple of other times.

5. Hillary's good. Really good. She's not tops on my list for multiple reasons, but she knows how to communicate, and she stole Obama's thunder on the "first hundred days" question.

6. Richardson is done, which is a shame because he's got a great resume and as I said last week, his story ought to be garnering him lots of attention. This is going to seem silly, but it was the "Olympics boycott to help save Darfur" which is going to bury him. Jimmy Carter is lauded for what he did after his presidency ended. That's unfair, as he was the guy who made the US economy take the medicine it needed post LBJ and Nixon and he was pilloried for it and the succeeding boom period wouldn't have happened without him, but for better or worse, you don't make friends in the Democratic primaries by saying you'd repeat what most people look at as a public relations nightmare.

7. Biden still isn't going anywhere because even when he's being direct, as he was tonight, he still uses twenty words when four will do.

8. Edwards still has a shot at this thing, even with Clinton and Obama getting all the national attention.

9. In any other year, Chris Dodd might have a chance. Not this time, more's the pity, even though he had the coolest internet debate tracker.

So that's everyone on the stage. What were your impressions?

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