First Read at MSNBC seems to have pretty good coverage of the debate (and useful links). Walter Shapiro notes that Dean is the leader of the pack, and that explains his "willful blandness." The others, however, were strident in their denunciation of Bush, with Gephardt taking the lead by saying that Bush is "a miserable failure on the economy and foreign policy." They argued most with one another on the economy, and denounced Bush on foreign policy. This is a strategic mistake, and will pay dividends for Bush (and Republicans). The whole thing was quite unimpressive, and I am not even mentioning the pandering to Hispanics. That was both badly done, and much too late. Besides, the reason Bush is popular among Hispanics (even Democrats) is because of his foreign policy and character. If the Demo candidates continue to question both they will not only lose the election, but, more important for the long term, will lose the Hispanic vote. Why does it surprise anyone that about two-thirds of voters don’t recognize any of their names?
Charles Krauthammer explains why Dean is in the lead: This is a recall election, and it is driven by passion, and the war and its aftermath have helped Dean to become "Mr. Intensity." But, warns Krauthammer, this doesn’t mean that he is the presumptive Democratic candidate, yet. Good writing. And do note that Wesley Clark is moving ever closer to announcing. Just keep in mind that the most profound thing Clark has said up to now is this: "You cant win without a vision, and that means working with allies." And yet, if he entered the race, he would turn everything upside down!