Okay. Here's the "down-and-dirty-I'm-up-at-1:15-in-the-morning-three-days-after-the-debate" rundown of how the candidates measured up.
First of all, let me say, I was not happy with this debate format. I hate group interviews that are called debates. This was a "speed forum" if nothing else. That being said, here ya go:
1. Hillary Clinton: Can this woman get any more fake? If I had never heard her speak and had no idea what she stood for, this performance would have made me her fan. As such, I give her the debate-winning prize. Her strong answer on the terrorist attack question and believable tone reminded me of her husband. Good going. (A)
2. Barack Obama: Who was this guy? Stick to the platitudes. They are your strong suit. Unfortunately, you are running for the Democratic Party nomination. If you don't get some policy points in your presentation before Labor Day, you'll be sunk. You said more words than anyone on stage, and yet you said nothing of substance. Down you go. (C-)
3. John Edwards: That $400 haircut looks just like your $50 haircut. Too bad that story got attention prior to the debate. I think alot of people were looking more at your hair than your platform. Overall, you gave very succinct answers that were heavy on policy. I like that. (B+)
4. Joe Biden: "Yes" was the best answer you gave all night. You dodged Mr. William's questions like a pro. I was particularly intrigued by your answer on the Virginia Tech shooting. Considering none of the gun laws you mentioned would have been useful in this case, what was your point? Thanks for complementing the Democratic field of candidates. Don't fawn over Hillary too much, though. (B-)
5. Bill Richardson: For experience, policy positions, and downright balls, you are my favorite candidate. However, you did yourself very few favors in this "debate." Did you have trouble hearing the questions? If not, were you constipated? Your answers were garbled and you looked uncomfortable. If I didn't like you so much, I'd give you a lower grade. (B-)
6. Chris Dodd: Stiff. Boring. At least you gave a creative answer on abortion and Justice John Roberts. (C+)
7. Dennis Kucinich: You have improved so much since 2004. Fmr. Sen. Gravel made you look almost sane. You earned a high grade, but your still just a bottom feeder used to make other candidates look more reasonable. (A-)
8. Mike Gravel: Dude! You like to scream, don't ya! I can't stand people who are too angry to make a convincing argument. (D)
Overall, a disappointing night for me. I can't stand Hillary Clinton, and yet, she did best everyone on tone and content. She probably just added to her already burgeoning lead in the polls. Everyone else gained a little name recognition and introduced themselves to primary voters. Hopefully the next debate will be more inspirational.