The polls are starting to trickle in, but I have yet to get a clear view as to how the moderates/independents viewed the debate last evening. The common line seems to be that Cheney won on substance, and that Edwards had the edge on style. I think that this may be wrong. This seems to have been a debate in which style and substance came together. Cheney was relentless in showing the errors of Edwards statements, and he did so with facts. Edwards would say that Cheney wasn’t being honest, but he would then go off on tangents or fail to provide the same kind of factual support. For example, after Cheney pointed out Edwards mistake regarding the $200 billion for the war, Edwards said that the $200 billion figure was right, but offered no support. Cheney by contrast had provided a detailed statement of how much was spent by who on what. Here is where style and substance merge: even if you didn’t know the issues or which candidate was right, the relentless marshaling of facts by Cheney--his style in presenting the substance--made it clear that Cheney was the man on stage and Edwards was the boy-debater. There was, quite simply, a gravitas gap--one which you would expect given that Cheney has a lifetime of public-service experience, compared to Edwards, who has been in public-service only slightly longer than the kid who asks "do you want fries with that" has had his job.