Kerry: B. Looked presidential, stayed on message, and generally reassured voters that he’s the front-runner for a reason. Emerged without being bloodied by attacks that will certainly occur below the media radar in the coming days.
Dean: C+. Did okay. Emphasized his centrist record and exhibited some self-control, for a change. Unless he seizes the agenda tomorrow, Dean will likely continue bleeding in the polls. The ball is in Wes Clark’s court.
Edwards: B. Helped himself immensely with a sharp performance, and could have a better-than-expected finish next Tuesday. Looks more and more attractive as the field shrinks.
Lieberman: B. Best debate performance for him. His humor went over well for a change. Came across as strong, principled and consistent.
Clark: C-. Underwhelming performance, as usual. Acquitted himself well when questioned, but failed to truly grab the spotlight as needed. Also failed to leverage his military experience and, as a result, is losing the stature race to Kerry.
Faux News: D-. Botched opening. Confused moderators that made even the Ted Koppel debate look good. And a mysterious early conclusion without even closing statements from the candidates. Why is the Democratic Party holding debates on this network?