First see my related post below.
Some good analysis of last night's debate ("good" because it agrees with mine) from NRO contributors:
The good news for Democrats is that only hard-line Democrats and junkies were watching."
And by a different writer: "The cable networks could do America a great favor by airing Democratic presidential debates every week... If not for the Iraq war, none of them would have any chance in 2008."
Here is a good and longer commentary.
You know you’re in trouble when Joe Biden starts to sound good. And in Sunday night’s debate, the Democrats showed they are indeed in trouble. Building up to an election that should offer them a truly exceptional opportunity for victory, they have put up a very weak lineup, filled with senators and therefore with hot air.
Americans almost never elect their presidents out of the Senate. Just about every modern presidential election has seen sitting senators vie for the White House, but only two of our presidents — Kennedy and Harding — have managed to be elected directly from the Senate. We often say the public seeks executive experience. But more likely what voters really look for is something of an executive temperament: a simplicity and clarity of purpose, and some sense of how to manage action. The Senate trains its members in almost precisely the opposite set of skills, and it shows.
Given all this, Bill Richardson should be the strongest candidate on a Democratic debate stage: governor, former U.N. representative, former Cabinet members, former member of Congress. But Richardson may well have been the least impressive debater last night.
The second strongest candidate should be Hillary Clinton. She has no executive experience, but she should have a good sense of what a president sounds like. Last night was not a strong performance for her, but she made no significant errors, and for the front-runner, that’s a successful debate.
The other two top-tier candidates — Edwards and Obama — are both empty suits that seem to grow emptier and emptier. They showed an appalling lack of seriousness regarding the country’s security. Quite apart from having no solutions to offer, they offered no evidence that they understand we are at war with a determined enemy.
Senator Biden — while he did nothing to endanger his title as the king of hot air — showed now and then that he did understand the situation we are in, and that George W. Bush did not cause it. Biden won the debate, and Hillary was not far behind. She will be a formidable candidate next year, and no Republican candidate should imagine otherwise.
But at least so far in this early campaign season, the Republican debates have shown a much more serious, responsible, and seasoned cast of front-runners than the Democrats. That will offer Republicans a real advantage when the public starts paying attention next year. And they’ll need it.